From the CEO

Welcome to the July issue of The Farmlander magazine. This month we discuss export and how it factors into the changing face of our sector.

New Zealand’s economic success has always hinged on our ability to send our produce offshore. The balance between volume and price has always been the biggest question and as a country, we are maturing when it comes to our view on production.

Our small land mass means we will never be able to feed the world – we can only feed a small pocket of it. The numbers say only 0.5 percent of the world’s population. Given this small number, it makes sense to target the ‘fussy’ 0.5 percent – the ones prepared to pay a premium for the wholesome, high-quality, natural and precious food we know we create.

New Zealand already does this remarkably well – but the reality is we need to do it better. Harnessing our positives, eliminating our negatives and becoming the natural provider to that fussy 0.5 percent is an opportunity we can own, build on and prosper from.

We are in a unique position where our country itself is a brand. Think Swiss chocolate or watches – but instead it is an entire primary sector that can tap into the knowledge our produce is not only ‘exotic’ to consumers on the other side of the world but also quality.

It is up to us as a producing nation to streamline how we want to be perceived, how we want to farm and how we want to tell our story. A collective approach will produce collective results – much like a co-operative.

Finally, I would like to finish with a note to acknowledge the decision of Lachie Johnstone to stand down as Chairman of Farmlands Co-operative Society Limited. As a merged entity that united two like-minded co-operatives, Lachie is the only Chairman this business has ever known and, both as a staff member and a shareholder, I am grateful for his guidance and assistance in steering Farmlands through this period of great change.

You can read more about Lachie’s announcement on page 6. On behalf of all Farmlanders – thank you, Lachie.