Co-operative Leader of the Year

Co-operative Leader of the Year


Farmlands logo


Mark McHardy, General Manager – Farmlands Fuel, pictured above with Cooperative Business NZ Board Member, Kim DeGarnham,, was the standout nominee for this award which recognised “an individual who has shown significant co-operative leadership either within a Member’s co-operative or the co-operative sector generally over the 2015/16 year“.

Craig says Mark’s successes as General Manager of Farmlands Fuel across over 62,000 customers have been based in strong co-operative principles.

“These include leveraging the collective buying power of the group, displaying a strong vision and determination in ensuring full health and safety compliance, implementing systems and procedures that have ensured the efficient and sustainable supply of fuel, and leading the long-term survival and growth of Farmlands’ fuel business.

“In true co-operative style, Mark had led Farmlands Fuel’s involvement in community projects including bringing Super Rugby back to grassroots with pre-season trainings and matches hosted on paddocks owned by one of Farmlands’ shareholders”.

Craig says Mark more than met the criteria for the Co-operative Leader of the Year Award by clearly demonstrating:

  • Co-operative leadership;
  • Vision and courage for the co-operative model;
  • Successful initiatives that have benefited their co-operative or the co-operative sector; and
  • Commitment and support of well recognised and accepted co-operative principles.

More about Mark McHardy:


Mark has a strong affinity to rural New Zealand.

He comes from a dairy farm in the North Island and completed a Diploma in Horticultural Management at Lincoln University, before working in the grain and agricultural chemical industries.

Mark has been at the forefront of growth for Farmlands Co-operative’s fuel business, Farmlands Fuel, for the past 10 years.

He has also contributed to Farmlands Co-operative as a whole, as a key member of the executive team that now guides New Zealand’s largest rural supplies co-operative.

  • Mark has shown decisive leadership around the expansion and delivery of the Farmlands Fuel business to 62,500 shareholder customers and the wider rural New Zealand community, along with offering innovative solutions throughout the fuel and lubricant sector.
  • He has excellent focus on customer service, has implemented a leading environmental awareness plan and has been a champion in the health and safety arena, not only within Farmlands but in the wider fuel industry.
  • He is focused on keeping people and the environment safe and working to the Farmlands motto – work safe, home safe, every day. All this is complemented by the latest delivery technology being utilised through the co-operative’s delivery fleet under his guidance, ensuring farmers get their fuel on time.
  • And we hear that Mark’s a pretty good rugby player too!