Friday, 05 June 2020 11:29

Get ready for the ‘now’ norm

Written by  Mark Daniel
KPMG’s head of agribusiness Ian Proudfoot describes the Covid-19 event as the most disruptive ever in the global ecomomy. KPMG’s head of agribusiness Ian Proudfoot describes the Covid-19 event as the most disruptive ever in the global ecomomy.

Get prepared for a ‘Now Normal’ future, says Ian Proudfoot – Global Head of Agribusiness for KPMG – discussing the likely effects of COVID-19 in the months to come.

Speaking via a recent webinar, organised by AgriTech New Zealand, Proudfoot described the event as the most disruptive ever in the global economy,

“Our experience is our biggest asset – and also our biggest constraint – is the fact that we need to overcome our educated incapacity.” 

He suggests there has never been a better time for a rethink about the way we operate and open our minds up to new ways of doing things.

With the early stages of the lockdown creating irrational waves of panic buying, Proudfoot says this level of insecurity, the greatest since the 1940s and World War 2, means that food and its guaranteed availability is no longer a given.

“The level of food insecurity over the last four weeks has seen people give the freezer a good workout, but also reverting to traditional home cooked meals – a trend that will hit the suppliers of ready or high-end meals hard,” he says.

Proudfoot says that food security within NZ means around 1.25 million in the country were “food insecure”. He claims the Government will need to shift its focus from encouraging exports to a position that says we need to feed our own first.

“This might mean structured investment in rural infrastructure to attain the required levels of security and an investment in water,” Proudfoot explained. “Backing off from the intense pressure to adopt environmental schemes it is trying to place on farmers at the moment and generate a better connection between rural and urban communities.”

At the producer level, he says stricter border controls will constrain immigrant and seasonal labour, necessitating a move to mechanisation and robotics quickly and the redeployment and retraining of displaced labour or the unemployed.

“The social isolation we have seen over the last month or so has certainly accelerated the uptake of digital solutions in our day-to-day lives,” Proudfoot added. “I believe businesses will need to take this on board, probably re-inventing themselves to deliver direct to consumers, be they the growers, manufacturers or retailers.” 

Discussing likely changes in future consumer spending, he thought people would be looking for lifestyle solutions that helped build immunity and minimise the risk of any future contagions. 

“This means producers will need to establish products that offer unique health benefits or immunity boosting capabilities, with sales of functional and nutraceutical products going stratospheric.”

He added that the impacts of C-19 are unprecedented and will be long lasting.

“This means primary and secondary producers will need to rethink their product offerings in a period of austerity, where traditional demand will have shifted. History will recall that this crisis came about from a food safety failing, so in the future, food supply will need to be traceable, trusted and safe for the global community.”

More like this

Dairy demand tipped to firm

Demand for dairy will firm over the next two years as  the global economy rebounds from Covid, says Westpac senior agri economist Nathan Penny.

The minister of zoom

Trade Minister Damien O'Connor says he and other trade ministers around the world will need to get used to developing relationships via Zoom.

Virtual CV valuable tool

With a 12-year history of recruiting specialised operators from overseas to service the agricultural contracting industry, Hanzon Jobs typically brings in around 200 people to New Zealand each year from the UK and Ireland.

Featured

 

John Deere names new Aust/NZ head

John Deere Australia/New Zealand’s new managing director Luke Chandler says he will prioritise leading the way in technology and investing in strong relationships.

Trade deal delivers new 'rulebook'

A new trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), has been described as a new rule book for trade in the Asian region.

National

Miraka picks up awards

Taupo-based Maori dairy company Miraka took the top honours at this year’s Biosecurity Awards.

Wyeth ready for new challenge

The chief executive-elect of Yili-owned Westland Milk Products Richard Wyeth says he’s looking forward to the challenge of running the…

Machinery & Products

Mixer makes feeding easy

Coolbreene Trust near Taupo is a large-scale dairy operation farming 1150ha, including run-off blocks, within a 10km radius of its…

More colour to light range

Originally available with amber lenses only, Narva’s ‘Geomax’ Heavy Duty LED Strobe Beacon light range has been upgraded with the…

State funding for recycling

Having declared in July that all farm plastics sold in New Zealand will have to be recycled or reused, the…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Avoiding listeria

OPINION: The company that makes dairy products under “The Collective” brand, and which copped a nearly $500,000 fine for failing…

Greenpeace seeing red

OPINION: Still with Greenpeace, the organisation’s push for a price on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions is gaining momentum since the…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter