Agribusiness Agenda 2019

Agribusiness Agenda 2019

Acknowledge, Evaluate, Accelerate. Celebrating 10 years of the KPMG Agribusiness Agenda.

Ian Proudfoot

Global Head of Agribusiness, Partner - Audit

KPMG in New Zealand

Agribusiness Agenda

With change now a constant, organisations need to remain continuously relevant to consumers, develop new capabilities and make bold commitments to thrive in an ever changing environment.

The 10th edition of the KPMG Agribusiness Agenda, Acknowledge, Evaluate, Accelerate, acknowledges the progress that the industry has made over the last decade, evaluates perspectives of industry leaders on where the industry is today and explores changes coming to the sector and what needs to be done to accelerate a more prosperous future for all New Zealanders.

KPMG’s Global Head of Agribusiness, Ian Proudfoot, said “we believe that as we move into the 2020’s, a decade that will be dominated by health and wellness, now is the time to place wellness front and centre in our agri-food story if we really want to secure our share of the value we grow”.


The food people eat is central to preventative healthcare systems

New Zealand’s agri-food sector is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities arising, as governments around the world prioritise investment in preventative healthcare. Over the next decade, food will become integral to how health and wellness is managed, with the role of food as a medicine dominating how organisations develop, produce and distribute their products.

“We have talked a lot over the last decade about the need to make a step change in our primary sector from volume to value, we now believe this will be best achieved by focusing on transitioning from volume to wellness,” said Proudfoot.

A key recommendation made in the report is that the industry needs to take a far more active role in ensuring we feed every New Zealander properly. “New Zealand can’t afford to continue to be home to one of the world’s most unhealthy communities if we want to tell the world about the natural, healthy, nutritionally dense food we grow in New Zealand,” says Proudfoot. “Having a plan to adequately feed all five million kiwis before the first tonne is exported should be a goal for the industry.”

The wellness of our environment, our communities and our economy

The Agenda suggests that wellness extends beyond just health, with the industry clearly understanding the expectations of the wider community and that the license to operate it is granted is a privilege as opposed to a right. “Industry leaders are more prepared than ever to do the right things because they are the right things to do and recognise that they must place greater focus on listening to the wider community,” Proudfoot said.

Ensuring that appropriate penalties are enforced on those that fail to protect their animals ranked in the Top 10 issues for industry leaders in the annual priorities survey for the first time. Proudfoot suggested that this “reflects a recognition that practices that have been acceptable in the past because the end justified the means are no longer ethically and socially acceptable and as a consequence the industry has to evolve its practices or face losing its license to operate”.

The potential impacts of Zero Carbon

The potential impacts of the Zero Carbon legislation were a popular topic in our conversations, which contributors reflected on as the most confronting change to face the sector since subsidies were removed in the 1980s.

“Leaders recognise the industry has a key role to play in transitioning to a zero carbon future but it is fair to say everybody is starting their journey from a different place in respect of personal beliefs and actions already taken. There was recognition that land use and farming systems will in some cases have to change. Rapid change will be best achieved through a mechanism that incentivises progress rather than delivering retribution for past actions” according to Proudfoot.

Biosecurity remains top priority

Biosecurity retained the number one ranking in the annual priorities survey for the ninth consecutive year. As our borders become more open, the likelihood of an incursion from a pest like the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug grows, and leaders highlighted the need to invest ahead of an incursion. “MBovis has demonstrated how quickly an incursion can move from being a national, governmental issue to localised and personal issue for those impacted, which highlights how important it is that every organisation has developed risk management plans for biosecurity,” Proudfoot noted.

Demonstrating that trade with New Zealand is inclusive and beneficial

The importance of market access was stressed by many contributors to the Agenda. “Trade is being seen as a key contributor to inequality around the world. As a small exporting nation, New Zealand requires as much access to markets as possible thus there is a need to focus on trade as being more than transactional. We need to collectively invest in demonstrating trade with New Zealand is inclusive and beneficial so that our market access is not constrained by protectionism,” according to Proudfoot.

The fourth industrial revolution

Investment into technologies that fuse biological, physical and digital capabilities together to deliver disruptive solutions is transforming the agri-food sector globally. The Global Agrarian Revolution is transforming farming systems, the foods available and how we interact with food. “The level of change in the sector is unprecedented and creates major opportunities for New Zealand’s agri-food industry” according to Proudfoot, who adds “the mind-set that organisations approach change with will be critical to determining the outcomes they achieve.”

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