Keeping You
Informed

Farming: The future of farming. 9 action items

23 Jan 2018

The success of the agri-food sector is dependent on individuals across the industry placing consumers at the centre of everything they do, according to the …

2017 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda: The Recipe for Action

Ian Proudfoot, the Global Head of Agribusiness for KPMG, released this report on 7 June 2017 and it is based on contributions from more than 100 agribusiness leaders.

There is plenty of detail to be found in the full report online at The Recipe for Action, but if you are short of time here is a summary:

  1. Maintaining world-class biosecurity remains the highest priority.
  2. Managing consumer relationships – There is an increase in priority attached to provenance branding (where stuff comes from, source or origin). (An example of this is the new single farm organic milk being marketed by Kapiti. Anyone can go online now and see where their milk comes from.)
  3. Also under Managing consumer relationships was an idea of developing a New Zealand integrity mark which would highlight the focus being placed on consumer relationships.
  4. New Zealand’s unique food culture – Nobody goes out for a ‘New Zealand meal’, in fact it is unclear to most New Zealanders and visitors to our country what a New Zealand meal is. While we grow some of the best food in the world, it is used to make other nations’ cuisines, there is an urgent need to strengthen New Zealand’s unique food culture.
  5. High quality trade agreements – Leaders placed greater priority on securing high quality trade agreements, reflecting the shift in the trade environment because of Brexit and the election of President Trump. Industry leaders suggested free trade as we know it will only survive if everybody benefits. If the benefit of trade liberalisation only goes to a few elites, then it won’t succeed in the long term.
  6. Swimmable water – Much discussion related to water and the impact this has on the wider community’s confidence in farmers to protect and restore the environment. The industry uses science to defend its position but this is an emotional issue that cuts to the heart of being a New Zealander. The message was clear: swimmable must mean swimmable and not ‘scientifically swimmable in 2040’. Bold action is needed on water and the environment to preserve the license to operate as food producers.
  7. Alternative proteins – Leaders believe that alternative proteins are set to become a material part of the global diet. Understanding these technologies, their strengths and weaknesses, is critical to protecting our natural protein markets. We ignore these technologies at our peril.
  8. Biotechnologies – The conversation around biotechnologies (e.g. genetic modification) has evolved; it is no longer about whether these technologies will be adopted given the benefits they can deliver, but about the regulatory framework that is needed to manage their application. It is time that New Zealand reviewed its rules so we remain competitive and address each product on its merits.
  9. Leveraging data – Concerns were expressed around how the sector is leveraging data that is being collected, with some leaders suggesting we are moving backwards comparatively to other countries. Individual companies are keeping close control over their data and seeking opportunities to monetise it. However, without collaboration it is unlikely any significant financial benefits will crystallise.”

It turns out that everyone in the food producing chain in New Zealand has a part to play, from checking for biosecurity issues emerging on your farm through to pushing your processors to collaborate with the wider industry on data sharing.

Keep asking great questions …

Rhodes

 Read more articles in this fortnight's edition of 'News Farmers Can Use':