Release of the Agribusiness Agenda 2017: The Recipe for Action

The success of the agri-food sector is dependent on individuals across the industry placing consumers at the centre of everything they do, according to the 2017 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda: The Recipe for Action.

Based on contributions from more than 100 industry leaders, the Agenda explores what needs to be done to capture more of the quarter of a trillion dollars New Zealand products realise in-market and make a greater contribution to our nation’s prosperity. This relies on the industry collectively shifting its focus towards the consumers of the food and beverage, fibre and timber products it produces.

There is a simple unavoidable truth: no customers means that there is no business.  However, historically, we have placed the majority of our focus on maximising production. When you are focused on the volume that you can produce, the government shapes your future as it sets the rules. However, as organisations pivot towards markets and consumers, the rules that shape the future are no longer determined by the domestic government but by much tougher masters, the consumers to whom they sell.

The government is not responsible for securing the value lift. Although it can be an enabler, creating and capturing value falls on every person and organisation involved in the industry, including farmers, processors and exporters, industry good organisations, councils, Maori trusts, iwi and service providers. Only by the whole industry seeking ways to work collaboratively will the pivot from a producer-focused, volume-based culture to a market-focused, value-based culture be achieved sufficiently quickly to capture the opportunities available to it.

The biggest risk to success is complacency. People don’t recognise the impact that structural changes in the Agri-Food sector globally, driven by innovation and consumer preferences, will have on our traditional markets. Some have the potential to literally vanish overnight, there is no place for any comfort or complacency.  New Zealand is the only developed nation that relies on growing biological products and selling them to the world to pay for schools, roads and hospitals.

The Agenda highlights a significant difference in outlook in the lead up to this year’s election compared to three years ago. Concerns about the impact regulatory changes would have on the sector’s productive capacity dominated conversations in 2014. This year, the election hardly rated a mentioned with conversation centring on the expectations of consumers and the community.

What action do industry leaders want to take?

The Agenda features 110 action items that have been curated from more than 250 ideas provided by industry leaders. The ideas cover the need for a values-led framework for the industry, recruiting and training the best talent, rapidly deploying leading edge technology, exploring new business models, getting closer to customers, leveraging the best ideas in the world and telling authentic stories to all.

To view the agenda, click here

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Release of KPMG Agribusiness Agenda 2016, Volume 2: Foresight to the future

The New Zealand agri-sector has a huge opportunity to reap billions in additional earnings each year – by capitalising on emerging trends disrupting global markets for food, fibre and timber.

The latest KPMG Agribusiness Agenda highlights the huge gap between our export earnings and the end-value of our products. New Zealand exported a total of $37 billion in agri-food products in 2015.  KPMG estimates those same products ultimately generate more than 0.25 trillion dollars in retail sales when sold to consumers around the world. The fundamental question is, how do we capture our fair share of that quarter of a trillion dollars.

The agri-sector is required to forge new pathways to market that close the gap between the producer and the end-consumer. The value is there, the only constraint is that of our history; we don’t currently occupy or control the parts of the value chain that create the most value.

The Agenda identifies a number of emerging, disruptive trends that are re-shaping the global agri-food sector. These include:

  • The emergence of cultured farming, where animal proteins can be grown without the environmental and ethical concerns of growing the whole animal;
  • Consumers seeking personally tailored nutrition to maximise their health and performance, which could be order by app direct from the producer or via food printing vending machine; and
  • The ability that technology provides for any producer, anywhere in the world to become a local food supplier to the world if they have a deeply authentic story underlying the food they produce, although it must be verifiable.

If the New Zealand primary sector can be first to capitalise on these and other emerging trends – and shape our industry in response – we can become the world’s leading agri-food sector within the next 20 years. It is completely achievable; but it will require a concerted, collaborative effort from everybody involved in the industry.  Sector leaders need to set bold targets for 2036. The industry must build a new, transparent partnership with all New Zealander’s starting today.

The improvement in dairy prices indicated as of late, should not be a reason for the industry to become complacent and rest on its laurels.  When the world is on the verge on an agrarian revolution, we cannot afford to believe that the markets we have supplied for decades will still be available to us next year.

In the greater scheme of things, a shift up or down in commodity price is not something we can control. It’s critical the NZ industry stays focused on the bigger picture…and the much, much bigger prize.

To explore these issues in greater depth, download the Agribusiness Agenda 2016, Volume 2: Foresight to the future here.

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To view all previous editions of the KPMG Agribusiness Agenda please visit our page here. At the bottom of the page you will find links to all of our previous publications.