From the CEO

Farmlands is proud to have a strong partnership with the New Zealand National Fieldays Society and on behalf of our co-operative, I congratulate them on 50 years of Fieldays.

Next month’s Fieldays will once again bring technology and innovation from here and around the world to our primary sector. As a small country in competition with others that can farm on a larger scale with lower cost, farming smarter is the reality we must face.

We can’t win on scale and low cost – and, in addition to that, the world is changing. What consumers want is becoming more demanding. We have to be aware of and manage the consequences of what we are doing on the earth. The role of technology is growing exponentially and the role and expectation of food is being redefined. All of these combine to drive us to a need to reset our success model.

In my view, it’s fundamentally about producing less that is worth more. New Zealand can only produce for 30 to 40 million people. Half of a percent of the world’s population. If we target the fussiest half a percent, this is what they are asking:

  1. Where is my food from?
  2. What has gone into my food?
  3. Is my food good for me?

New Zealand is incredibly well placed to positively own the critical answers to these questions.

The reality is most New Zealand landowners look after their land, animals and people very well. We have to modify the behaviours of those who don’t, ensure those who do keep doing it and provide the means to prove it to those fussy consumers of the world. Technology will have a huge part to play in this.

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Peter Reidie
Farmlands CEO