Agribusiness Agenda 2014, Volume 1 - Facilitating growth in an uncertain world

Agribusiness Agenda 2014, Volume 1

Primary sector leaders are viewing the potential outcome of the 2014 election with “some degree of trepidation”. That is one of the key themes delivered in Volume 1 of the 2014 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda.

Ian Proudfoot

Global Head of Agribusiness, Partner - Audit

KPMG in New Zealand

empty plate with knife and fork on either side

Titled “Facilitating Growth in an Uncertain World”, this is the first of two volumes in the 2014 Agribusiness Agenda series.

Some of the key findings and recommendations from Agribusiness Agenda: Facilitating Growth in an Uncertain World

  • Industry leaders are approaching the upcoming September elections with “some degree of trepidation”. The possibility of any alternative coalition government, and its likely policy position towards the primary sector, was top-of-mind during the Agenda discussions.
  • Maintaining world-class biosecurity was ranked as the number one priority by industry leaders, for the fourth consecutive year; followed by food safety as the next most critical issue. The importance of food safety was highlighted by the fall-out from Fonterra’s botulism scare in August 2013.
  • Securing market access for New Zealand products via high-quality trade agreements became an increasingly important issue for leaders in 2014. At the same time, the likelihood of securing a high-quality Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) had faded during the year.
  • New Zealand’s foreign direct investment (‘FDI’) regime is not sufficiently stable. Policy should be designed to attract foreign investors who are willing to work constructively with New Zealand companies – with potential investors being assessed on their merits.
  • New Zealand should aspire to become ‘Asia’s delicatessen’; delivering a wide variety of premium products, including new products that are developed and targeted at niche Asian markets.
  • The implementation of the Environment Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan was one of the most highly-discussed developments of 2013. It was considered by one leader to be the most significant change to New Zealand agriculture since the 1980s.
  • The urban population of New Zealand is increasingly concerned about the stewardship the primary sector is exercising over the country’s natural environment. To avoid tightened regulation, the sector urgently needs to communicate the positive progress that is being made.
  • Many farmers have lost confidence in the red meat sector – and the industry needs to explore fresh commercial proposals that could deliver improved value to stakeholders. One idea floated was to consolidate processing assets to create an open access toll processing entity.

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