For anyone in agriculture, forestry and fishing keen to make sense of all the changes and pressures buffeting their sectors, the Primary Industries NZ Summit is an event to get answers – and even strategies to use in their own businesses.
This year’s summit and associated PINZ Awards happen at The Cordis, Auckland, on 6-7 July. It’s the fourth time the event has been held.
Three Primary Industries NZ Award finalists in each of eight categories have already been named (see page 15), and the span of their fields of experience and achievements also speaks to the importance of New Zealand’s primary industries to employment, our economy and trade prospects.
“While there is plenty of uncertainty all around us, what we can be certain of is that the world is heaving through the early stages of multiple major transitions and shifts,” says Mel Poulton, one of the keynote speakers at this year’s summit.
“New Zealand is feeling the pressure of transition and shifts as well.”
Mel, a food and fibre producer running a sheep and beef farm in the Tararua District, is also New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy. She brings a farmer’s perspective to international trade in food and fibre products, and is tasked with building NZ’s relationships with farming organisations and companies offshore.
She told FedsNews that despite the challenges and headwinds we face, “our food and fibres sector is relatively well placed to navigate the challenges and position ourselves well internationally to capture the many opportunities that exist and are still to emerge”.
The summit’s other keynote speaker is American Diana Rodgers, dietician, author, film-maker and executive director of the Global Food Justice Alliance (USA).
Diana is a “real food” nutritionist and sustainability advocate. She runs a clinical nutrition practice in Boston, Massachusetts, has written three books and hosts the Sustainable Dish Podcast. She’s an advisory board member of Whole30, Animal Welfare Approved and Savory Institute and speaks internationally about the intersection of optimal human nutrition and regenerative agriculture.
Diana is co-author of Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat, published in July 2020 and was the director, producer of the companion film, Sacred Cow.
More recently her work has focused on shifting the anti-meat narrative.
In a recent blog, she mused on the fact that many Americans – indeed people in the Western World in general – are obese, yet don’t get all the nutrition and trace elements they need for their health.
Researchers for a national nutritional survey in 2017 found that 31% of the U.S. population is at risk for at least one vitamin deficiency or anemia, 32% have an insufficient vitamin B6 intake. 61 % of adults and 90% of teens don’t get enough magnesium, and 95% of adults have an inadequate vitamin D intake.
“Do we really believe that the ultra-processed junk we’re being served at chain restaurants and in plastic packages at grocery stores and gas stations is doing a good job of providing the nutrition we need to maintain life and growth (well, cancer growth maybe)? Considering we consume more than half of our daily calories from ultra-processed products made with nutrient-bereft refined flours and industrial seed oils, you don’t exactly have to be a Registered Dietitian to understand why so many of us are undernourished,” Diana wrote.
At the Auckland summit we’re likely to hear her stress again the value of animal-source vitamins, minerals and proteins in diets but she’s may also have messages about synthetic fertilisers and GMO.
Other speakers at the summit in Auckland include Alison Stewart, the CEO for the Foundation for Arable Research, Rabobank NZ CEO Todd Charteris, Miraka’s boss Karl Gradon and the 2021 Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer of the Year, Quinn Morgan.
There will be two days of panel discussions and expert speakers on everything from understanding the future of global shipping and other supply chain disruption to managing water security.
- Go to primaryindustries.co.nz for ticket information.
Future profit pathways
The PINZ Summit in Auckland next month offers a range of ‘Innovation Showcases’. The schedule includes:
- Finding new uses for wool
- Delivering value over volume in dairy
- How data interoperability and data ownership can make farmers’ lives easier, more secure and more productive
- Clarospec – Capturing the value of red meat in real time to meet consumer expectations
- Arable farming’s future in diversifying cropping and increasing resilience
- Innovations in forestry – a focus on genomics
- Innovations in the blue economy