Thursday, 26 September 2019 07:55

Telling NZ’s agritech story offshore

Written by  Pam Tipa
Agritech task force head David Downs. Agritech task force head David Downs.

The New Zealand Agritech Story launched last week by Trade and Enterprise will make a key difference for export companies in the $1.5 billion sector, says an industry leader.

The suite of free promotional materials highlight NZ’s leading edge.

Peter Wren-Hilton, the executive director of Agritech New Zealand, says the sector is highly competitive, with companies from around the world all promoting their products. 

“The New Zealand Agritech Story will provide us with a distinctive voice, a way to engage with customers and communities and explain to them why Kiwi companies are different, both in the way we have developed our innovative solutions and the way we operate as partners,” he said.

“Agritech has a significant value for NZ’s export economy. It currently contributes about $1.5b to our export receipts and campaigns like this will support its growth.”

The ‘Story’ was shared for the first time internationally last week as part of NZ’s presence at Ireland’s National Ploughing Championship. 

The development of the agritech story fits within the framework of the New Zealand Story. Comprehensive market insights were gathered to better understand current perceptions of NZ agritech – areas of strength, weakness or possible misconceptions. The Story is designed to help respond to these issues.

Central to the New Zealand Story is the Māori concept of Kaitiakitanga (guardianship, for people, place and planet) and how this sense of responsibility has inspired many of our world-class agritech innovations.

David Downs, the head of the all-of-government agritech taskforce which commissioned the Agritech Story, says the international research was the first step.

“It became clear that one of our greatest competitive strengths is our connection to the land and the way this has influenced our approach to developing agritech.

“NZers are driven by our sense of responsibility as guardians -- or kaitiaki – where we have always worked in partnership with nature. From this connection we have drawn the inspiration, ingenuity and skills to create world class agri technology. 

“In essence, we are Powered by Place, which is the central theme of this story (and the name of the website).

The Story includes four key messages: Powering Great Farmers, A World of Expertise in One Country, Natural Innovators, Powerful Partnerships.

Each of these messages highlight the diverse solutions that have been developed by NZ companies, from the invention of electric fencing to robots that pick apples.

A range of materials is now available to assist companies and NZ organisations tell the Agritech Story, including a market insights report, emotive Story video, showcase booklet, more than 100 photos, a comprehensive user guide and more, all designed to promote NZ as a source of world-class agri-innovation.

All materials have been developed by NZ Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) in partnership with Agritech New Zealand, Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand Story, MBIE and MPI, and are available for free download from Agritech New Zealand’s website.

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