CEO of the Year Awards 2024

APAC Insider - CEO of the Year Awards 2024 Agricultural Seed Technology CEO of the Year 2024: Lewis Hunter AgriVentis Technologies is an agricultural seed technology and development company, leveraging the latest IP advancements to create and distribute seed lines that are more profitable for farmers, GMO free, and environmentally sustainable. Spearheaded by CEO Lewis Hunter and his expert team, AgriVentis is well-positioned to meet the world’s growing global demand for food and has the potential to supply up to one-quarter of Australia’s grain production requirements. In the wake of his win at APAC’s CEO of the Year Awards, we speak to Lewis Hunter about his role in the market-leading company. Officially formed in 2017 and backed by 20 years’ worth of agricultural technology, intellectual property, and commercial rights, AgriVentis strives to deliver the best and most advanced seed genetics to provide a good ROI for farmers. AgriVentis develops plants that have higher yields, better disease resistance, lower cultivation costs, and lower water requirements. The company has become globally recognised for its unique and superior range of commodities such as Pulse Crops, Brassica (Mustard), Dryland Native Rice, and Mungbeans. AgriVentis is founded on world-class academic research and development and includes Central Queensland University amongst its esteemed research partners, with representative academics serving as senior advisors on the AgriVentis board. The company’s leading-edge, ongoing agricultural research is a testament to its reliability and commitment to cater to the world’s growing demand for food security. The AgriVentis team share a common vision of a future where global food security is not just a market opportunity but a reality for all. By partnering with its Turkish counterparts in Hektas, part of the Oyak group of companies, AgriVentis can stay up to date with fast-moving trends to counteract the effects of population growth and climate change. Lewis Hunter leads the AgriVentis management board as Chief Executive Officer and as the Head of Marketing and Business Development. In his role, Lewis oversees all operational and administrative activities within the executive committee, supported by an experienced team on the front line of its farming, research, and development group. On his experience, Lewis says, “I come from an Airline, Sales, and Marketing background where I quickly climbed the corporate ladder to senior executive management level and travelled the world to learn about international business and commodity trading. This global knowledge steered me into the private business sector, and I formed several private companies, ranging from a successful Import and Exporting company to being involved in multiple family-owned businesses. This combination of skills enhanced my leadership abilities and led me to become involved in the Agriculture Industry. I was initially invited onto the boards of two privately listed agricultural seed companies, which ultimately led to establishing AgriVentis Technologies with three other business colleagues in 2017.” Through a combination of market research, field trials, strategic partnerships, and streamlined distribution channels, Lewis has developed an effective business strategy designed to increase sales and distribution in seed technologies. AgriVentis’s continuous research and development ensures the company remains the best in disease prevention and performance and maintains its position as a reliable leader in Apr24704 the seed industry. Most recently, leading seed companies have begun focusing their efforts on developing through plant breeding and seed selection to create better resistance traits to disease, pests, and yields. Providing farmers with improved seed genetics allows them to deliver increased ROI to their bottom line. Farmers are currently experiencing increased input costs, which have led them to seek new viable cash crops to supplement their regular cropping choices. Clients who approach AgriVentis are looking to improve their margins with state-of-the-art farming practices and superior seeds crops. AgriVentis strives to provide customers with the best solution for their individual needs by taking the time to listen to their requirements in order to deliver on its promises. The team is committed to nurturing strong relationships with clients and farming communities through impeccable customer service and reliable professional advice. Since its inception, AgriVentis has remained committed to delivering improved seed technologies to maximise returns for its valued clients. On his own journey as CEO, Lewis Hunter says, “The primary challenge I faced initially was being accepted by the broader Agriculture Industry due to the fact that my background was not in the Agriculture sector. However, I saw this as an opportunity to learn and embrace this incredible industry. Through extensive networking and participation in events, field days, and collaborating with the leading Ag based organisation, I slowly gained the respect and acceptance needed to be an effective leader and ensure confidence by providing value and benefit to the farming community.” It is AgriVentis’s mission to become the leading seed technologies company in Australia, renowned for its superior seed line varieties that provide unparalleled value to farming communities. The company is currently developing a new range of high protein, high yielding Pasture Legume seed blends for the North Australian Feed Lot industry. This new range will be high value and premium quality, allowing AgriVentis to grow a market share in this expansive industry and position itself as a prominent brand in a highly competitive market. From the hard work of its agronomy team led by Andrew McDonald to its R&D team developing new seed lines for future commercialisation, this coming year is set to be an ambitious one for AgriVentis. The business is also eager to continue working with research institutions such as CQUniversity to further develop its plant breeding genetics in disease and drought tolerances. Over the next 12 months, AgriVentis plans to launch six new seed lines to support its goal of meeting the needs of the world’s food supply in a manner that is sustainable, GMO free, and profitable for farmers. Lewis Hunter shares, “Over the next five years, long term goals for me are continuing to lead this great company to