Te Whanganui-a-Tara – It will surprise nobody that for the 12th year in a row, world-class biosecurity has taken the overall #1 spot in the annual KPMG agribusiness industry leader’s priority survey, BiotechNZ executive director Dr Zahra Champion says.
The Ministry for Primary Industries suggest total exports of food and fibre products for the year to the end of June 2022 will reach a record $52.2 billion, up 9 percent on 2021.
“The growth comes from the dairy, horticulture, red meat, and forestry sectors, all delivering improved export returns.
“For others, the starting point was the disconnect between prices, profitability, and the green fields across most of New Zealand along with the uncertainty many farmers are feeling.
“This uncertainty is evident in Rabobank’s most recent farmer confidence survey, which showed that 24 percent of farmers expected the agricultural economy to improve in the next year, 27 percent expected conditions to worsen, and 46 percent expected it to remain largely the same.
“We are seeing so many issues on uncontrollable phenomena, such as climate change, wars, and pandemics, which will not immediately go away.
“This impact seen is an increase in the cost of grains used for stockfeed, making the supply of animal proteins will be materially reduced, further increasing food prices, and making novel protein products through the use of biotechnology more cost-competitive and more viable .”
Ukraine was a major supplier to the UN world food programme, which supplies food to the world’s most vulnerable people. The loss of this supply can’t be easily replaced, potentially leaving more than one billion people facing greater food insecurity than they did last year.
The KPMG agribusiness report says Kiwis need to think deeply about what a sustainable competitive advantage could be in the future for New Zealand based value chains.
Champion says traditionally, competitive advantage has been viewed through a production lens, but as one contributor suggested, we should be thinking much more about what we can do in Aotearoa that is distinct, unique, and sustainable in the eyes of our consumers.
Our food and fibre sector continues to lead New Zealand’s economic recovery from covid. This demonstrates the sector’s ongoing resilience and commitment to providing vital food and fibre to consumers and businesses in Aotearoa and around the world.
“Biotechnology can make a massive difference to helping people’s lives . Environmentally, the way New Zealanders live and make a living is having a serious impact on the natural surroundings.
“Environmental concerns include polluted waterways, native ecosystems under threat, the way the ocean is fished, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change effects.
“There is no argument that New Zealand, along with the rest of the world, faces extraordinary global environmental and health challenges. In almost all cases, biotechnology will be used to solve these problems.”
For further information contact Dr Zahra Champion on 021 899 732 or NZTech’s media specialist, Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188