Key agri-food leaders to focus on growing their sector by an extra $25 billion in next 13 years

More than twenty New Zealand rural industry leaders are about to huddle for a major high-stakes review of where our rural industries are heading.

A week-long 'boot camp' will be held at the acclaimed Stanford University campus in Silicon Valley, California.

The chief executives from New Zealand’s leading and emerging primary sector organisations representing dairy, beef, sheep, seafood, viticulture and horticulture are meeting "to collaborate and align resources" with the goal of significantly growing New Zealand’s primary industries.

A national strategy has been called for, and the Government’s Economic Growth Agenda wants to see a trebling of the real value of food exports to about $60 billion (in real terms in 2011 dollars), or to about 40% of GDP by 2025. This would require a real compound annual growth rate of around 7% over the next 13 years, a daunting task, particularly in the current economic environment.

A recent contribution to this goal has been the release by Massey University's Riddet Institute of their report, A Call to Arms, setting out a comprehensive roadmap on how this goal can be achieved.

This report features four key strategies and four related 'enablers'.

The Stanford boot camp is expected to be a key first step in building a shared vision and the required commitments from the industry heavyweights who can make this happen. It is being held from August 12 to 17, 2012.

It has funding support from Agmardt (a rural industry support trust), the Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Ministry for Primary Industries, and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

The participants include ...

John Brackenridge, NZ Merino Company
George Gould, PGGWrightson
Keith Cooper, Silver Fern Farms
Mark Clarkson, ANZCO Foods
Chris Kelly, Landcorp
David Carter, Minister of Primary Industries
Graham Stuart, Sealord
Andy Borland, Scales Corporation
Jason Ross, Firstlight Foods
Brett Hewlett, Comvita
Wayne McNee, MAF
Peter Chrisp, NZTE
Todd Muller, Fonterra

Zespri is expected to have a senior manager present as well.

A 2011 review of what the future New Zealand agri-food industry might look like by 2025 concluded that some key weaknesses need to be addressed. These were:

  • Distance from markets - both physical and psychological
  • Lack of understanding of and connection to consumers and their changing needs in markets, coupled with a lack of 'consumer intimacy' – particularly in emerging markets
  • Fragmentation within and between sectors and Government, and along the value chain. Government agencies are fragmented too
  • Low levels of investment in R&D by industry
  • Failure to embrace new technologies such as GMO food crops and irradiation of food
  • Need for more capability
  • Lack of capital
  • Low levels of overseas direct investment
  • Dominance of a small number of large firms and an absence of mid-sized firms
  • Few New Zealand businesses involved in international business

The Stanford review will test the 'can do' commitment of the rural industry. As the Riddet Report notes:

A lot is at stake. Growth of almost $40 billion is targeted and only approximately half of that growth will be achieved via business as usual. Action is needed now to meet the growth targets by 2025.

Industry and Government must take note of the urgency and seriousness of the situation.

The largest threat is that not enough will be done to change the sector.


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Yawn..all corporate warriors...nothings going to change.
Put the Brownrigg Talley boys and Peter Yealand in a room together for 5min and you'd be getting somewhere.

I had a friend who didnt get paid by Brownriggs for a very long time in fact they never paid the whole bill, he had to negotiate and got back his costs, it really hurt his business, he's shut his business and moved to Australia . The big ones are the ones we have to watch, they will fall hardest.  There are other large processors and buyers of processed crops in HB who are well l known to be 'up against the wall', but where else can a grower go? I get sick of bullshit and this idea is right up the ' Its nothing personal, we are just better than you' camp.
 The bank have their fingers up the backsides of many large corporates and everthing they do has the blessing of a bank manager, idependence is just an image, control is total. 'Tip em over' and what happens to land prices and confidence? So the banks leave them their with there smart cars and high living, its all B/S. Morons.

Its also strange how somejust got a large grant from Primary industries for from memory $23 mil to lookinto Kohbe beef for the Japaneasy market. The b/s just flows and flows like I said, ' Take it from the bottom and give it to the top.'
 Give them a ring, ask WTF is going on, I dont have a link.
 Subject: New Zealand’s export beef sector gets funding boost
> Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2012 09:15:30 +1200
> 16 July 2012
> New Zealand beef and dairy farmers can now take part in a programme
> to produce high-value marbled beef for premium markets, both
> domestically and offshore.
> Ministry for Primary Industries Director-General Wayne McNee today
> announced approved funding for the new programme through the
> government's Primary Growth Partnership (PGP). Hawke's Bay companies
> Brownrigg Agriculture and Firstlight Foods are running the programme.
> The PGP is committing $11 million over seven years, for a programme
> worth $23.7 million in total.
> "The programme aims to put New Zealand marbled beef 'centre of the
> plate' in much the same way as New Zealand lamb is in key
> international markets," Mr McNee said in announcing the co-investment
> at the Red Meat Sector Conference in Queenstown.
> "We want foodies to actively seek out New Zealand marbled beef
> because it consistently delivers on taste and tenderness and embodies
> consumer beliefs and lifestyles."
> Marbling, the distribution of fat through meat, is the primary
> determinant of quality in table beef in international markets such as
> Japan, China and the United States.
> Internationally, such high quality beef is produced mainly from
> cattle housed in pens and fed grain.
> To produce a comparable meat fed off New Zealand grass, the new PGP
> programme will combine high-marbling cattle genetics with New
> Zealand's strengths in pastoral agriculture.
> Wayne McNee says the programme aligns well with the Red Meat Sector
> Strategy.
> "This programme will produce unique New Zealand high-value beef for
> discerning consumers. It will link specialists in dairy farming,
> cattle breeding, finishing, processing and marketing, and deliver
> market signals effectively right through the value chain," he said.
> David Brownrigg, managing director of Brownrigg Agriculture, said it
> will be a significant opportunity for beef and dairy farmers to lift
> the quality and value of their calves and finished cattle.
> "The New Zealand dairy sector represents an underutilised resource
> for producing quality beef calves. Brownrigg's Wagyu crossed with
> 'Kiwi' dairy cows and Angus beef cows will produce outstanding beef
> and help us lift our game in international markets," Mr Brownrigg
> said.
> Gerard Hickey, managing director of Firstlight Foods believes the
> opportunity will revitalise the beef industry.
> "Instead of being price-takers on the day, a planned marketing
> programme to selected high-end global customers will enable beef
> farmers to build their businesses with confidence," Mr Hickey said.
> ** **
> **More about the companies running the PGP programme**
> Brownrigg Agriculture has built a substantial Wagyu genetics resource
> in New Zealand over the past 15 years, and these genetics will be used
> to produce cross-bred cattle from both the New Zealand dairy and beef
> herds. Wagyu are Japanese cattle renowned for highly marbled beef.
> Firstlight Foods specialises in identifying market niches for
> branded, differentiated meats produced by farmers working
> cooperatively in Producer Groups. The PGP programme will build new
> groups and develop a distinctive brand and direct marketing approach.
> *Media contacts: *
> Ministry for Primary Industries, Jackie Bedford, telephone 04 894
> 0654, mobile 029 894 0654
> Firstlight Foods, Gerard Hickey, Managing Director, telephone 06 878
> 2712
> Brownrigg Agriculture Group, David Brownrigg, Managing Director,
> telephone 06 878 7189

I should add that this event regarding Brownriggs was some time ago and for all I know they now could have returned to complete  health, the squash job can do that to a man. I don't know how  guy's in it survive, its the ultimate rollercoaster ride.

I respect your opinion Aj but theres always two sides to every story.... but you've conveniently missed/dodged my point.
The list of names above are all 'Managers' not Innovators. Managers manage,  they don't innovate.
Managers remain inside the box making sure the sides don't crumble, theres little chance of a manager coming up with an innovative scalable solution.
David Carter is starting to make Jim Anderton look like the best Ag & Fish Minister this century...

The Brownriggs are innovative, whether  profitable or not is another story. Yes I agree all managers, fat cats.

And the reason they had to have it at Stanford is?????

Well it's obvious isn't it, these guys believe in magic.
Having the conferance at the heart of Silicon Valley will transform their thoughts into pure genius. Just like wearing a Nike cap turns you into an Olympic champion.

Well said Kiwi

'Magic' is bang on. 
It's the Cargo Cult school of management, as practised throughout NZ.

Because Harvard is booked out..... with kiwi local government managers doing short executive programs...good for the CV ya know.

And Farm debts are marching foward again

No Problem then? -  they can pay the next interest bill to the bank, but not much else.

Japanese,  economy wont help beef sales
The bellwether economies of Taiwan and Singapore both contracted in the second quarter. Korea’s industrial output fell in June, while Japan’s manufacturing PMI index fell in July to the lowest since the Fukushima disaster, with the export gauge crashing to recession levels.

Well, we could always think about deleveraging...
A halt to nest feathering would be nice...
Call us old fashioned... if you must....

These are the events that give us far more growth than sending a few Hotshots to Stanford....