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Farming: Hema, a food market of the future

03 Jul 2018

We have had two days at the South Island Dairy Event known as SIDE here in Dunedin. It was their 20th anniversary and it was held in the Dunedin Town Hall, a great venue for such a large gathering.

We were Silver Sponsors of SIDE and Jared, Lisa and I manned a stand in the Sponsor’s Hall branded 'Life After Farming', see Rhodes talking with a very handsome delegate below ...

SIDE stand

Rhodes delivered an inter-active workshop on Life After Farming that was well-received. Here he is below extolling the virtues of having interests outside of farming. It was too much for one delegate who expected to be farming till he died!

SIDA presentation3

Our overall feeling from the two days was:

  • Dairy farmers are hugely friendly and open, super down-to-earth people. I have never been to a conference where the delegates were so friendly and communicative.
  • We were impressed with how young the delegates on average were. The industry seems to be well-placed for the future. It seems that the dairy model has several proven pathways to dairy ownership for young people.
  • Some families have very large holdings running over 5,000 cows over several farms, with over 40 staff, in some cases.
  • Life After Farming? In some cases, delegates were finding it hard to sell their farms, perhaps because their farms were so big.
  • There was very little mention of M.bovis. Delegates expressed a desire to work closely with MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) on the project to eliminate it. When it was mentioned that no country had managed to eliminate M.bovis, one delegate mentioned that maybe that was because no-one else had tried?

We had lots of takeaways from our two days at SIDE and here is a link below from a session on the future of food that will take you to a food retailer in China called Hema. Well worth a look at. Maybe this is where the world is going with food retailing?

Alibaba is expanding Hema, a chain of cashless supermarkets – see here .

Keep asking great questions …

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