Primary Sector Council announced

Wednesday 2 May 2018

A group of visionary agribusiness leaders is set to help our primary sector capture more value from its work, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor says.

Mr O’Connor today announced the membership of the Primary Sector Council, which will provide independent strategic advice to the Government on issues confronting the primary industries – with an immediate focus on developing a sector-wide vision.

“This group of 15 innovative leaders from across the sector will provide fresh thinking at a time when New Zealand’s primary sector is facing unprecedented levels of change.

“Does that vision coalesce around ideas of sustainability, grower to plate storytelling, pasture-fed protein, smarter use of water and appealing to consumers who are prepared to pay more for products that align with their personal values?

“I do not have all the answers myself, which is why I am excited about the work the council will do.

“The council will be chaired by Lain Jager, former Chief Executive of Zespri Group.

“Lain brings solid experience in leadership, value-adding innovation and stakeholder engagement, which are all critical elements of the work I expect the council to deliver. “The council will have its first meeting in late May. Once it has developed a sector- wide vision it will work with each sector to develop individual strategic plans.

“These plans will include elements such as sustainable development, future value creation, technological opportunities and how a focused and thriving primary sector can reinvigorate rural communities.

“We’ve heard a lot recently about alternative proteins and the potential impact on our meat and dairy sectors. We also know some change will be required on environmental sustainability and a shift away from a commodity and volume focus. This move will give the primary sector its social licence to reap the opportunities of changing consumer trends.

“Kiwi growers and farmers have an immense collective knowledge and energy; they know sitting still is not an option and are constantly looking at ways to improve their operations. The Primary Sector Council will help harness that expertise.

“The Young Horticulturist of the Year and the Young Farmer of the Year will also be invited to attend sessions as a development opportunity,” says Damien O’Connor.




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