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Wednesday, 12 June 2019 10:29

Feed NZ first before offering the world

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NZ Trade and Enterprise chairman and former Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier was among guests at the Agribusness Agenda 2019 launch. NZ Trade and Enterprise chairman and former Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier was among guests at the Agribusness Agenda 2019 launch.

The agriculture sector must take a more active role in ensuring every New Zealander is fed properly, according to KPMG’s Agribusiness Agenda 2019.

The report, sub-titled Acknowledge, Evaluate, Accelerate, is based on interviews with industry leaders: it was released at a breakfast marking the start of National Fieldays 2019 at Mystery Creek, Hamilton this morning.

Report author Ian Proudfoot says the 2020s will be dominated by health and wellness.

“Now is the time to place wellness front and centre in our agri-food story if we really want to secure our share of the value we grow,” he says.

The report says New Zealand’s agri-food sector is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities arising, as governments around the world prioritise investment in preventative healthcare. Over the next decade, food will become integral to how health and wellness is managed, with the role of food as a medicine will dominating how organisations develop, produce and distribute their products.

A key recommendation made in the report is that the industry needs to take a far more active in ensuring we feed every New Zealander properly.

“New Zealand can’t afford to continue to be home to one of the world’s most unhealthy communities if we want to tell the world about the natural, healthy, nutritionally dense food we grow in New Zealand,” says Proudfoot.

“Having a plan to adequately feed all five million kiwis before the first tonne is exported should be a goal for the industry.”

The Agenda suggests that wellness extends beyond just health, with the industry clearly understanding the expectations of the wider community and that the license to operate it is granted is a privilege as opposed to a right.

“Industry leaders are more prepared than ever to do the right things because they are the right things to do and recognise that they must place greater focus on listening to the wider community.”

The potential impacts of the Zero Carbon Bill and Biosecurity remains top concerns of industry leaders, according to the report.

The launch breakfast was also attended by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Fonterra chairman John Monaghan.