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Agritech New Zealand

AgriTechNZ News: Harnessing shared aspirations

This year has been like no other and, without trivialising the seriousness of the pandemic, it is equally true for the agritech ecosystem of which we are all a part.

The Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) was launched and work has since commenced.  We have a new elected Executive Council, and new Practitioner Working Group and Industry Reference Group structures.  And central to the work of AgriTechNZ we now have a confirmed permanent CEO.  At December’s meeting, Brendan O’Connell was voted unanimously by the Executive Council to permanent CEO. We have a new sense of energy and immediacy to deploy all the resources we have in the agritech sector, firstly to generate greater value in the primary sector, and second, to see global growth in the agritech sector itself.

As we enjoy some rest and relaxation over summer and prepare to come back reinvigorated, let’s not underestimate the competition to win a greater share of global markets.  From Adelaide to Abu Dhabi, from Illinois to Ireland, from Silicon Valley to Stockholm, people are seeing the same opportunities, drawing up the same strategies, staking a claim on  areas of expertise,  assembling financial and other resources, to win a greater share of global markets for food, fibre and agtech products and services.   Many have far greater budgets than we do.  So, as Ernest Rutherford famously said (and as is lesser known, about working on his family farm) “we haven’t the money, so we’ve got to think.”

See you in 2021, ready to turn thought into action and action into outcomes for New Zealand to be fit for a better world.
 

Kenneth Irons
Chairman
AgriTech New Zealand
 


Tis the season for reflection, and it’s a strange year to reflect on… 2020 hindsight surely tells us some plans never stood a chance and others have truly found their day.  I’m stepping into this role very hopeful for what can be achieved through developing our collaborative fitness across the agritech sector.
 
Last month, we began our latest circuit of the country sharing updates on the work behind the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan. You’ll note it is not an Incrementation Plan, so the shared work with our Government Agency partners is beginning to create forums that previously didn’t exist to address unresolved issues. The stand out work must be developing a Horticultural Robotics Catalyst and addressing some of the common ground that will enable data interoperability (funnily enough the main conversations revolve around the human interoperability challenge).  If you would like to learn more, or better still, lean in, then please keep an eye out for our sessions in Napier, Tauranga, Hamilton, Blenheim/Nelson, Palmerston North and Dunedin during February. Otherwise, please just drop us a line.
 
We recently had many of our Major Corporate Member CEOs and Senior Executives join us for a dinner hosted with the Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Damien O’Connor.  It was an engaging and productive opportunity to connect and advance shared issues and aspirations. We are looking forward to creating more similar opportunities in 2021.
 
The first few months of every year see a spike in new gym memberships with the main advantage being access to a wide variety of exercise equipment.  At AgriTechNZ, we continue to develop new programmes for connecting, promoting and advancing our ecosystem. The core capability is the development of our collaborative fitness – a capacity to achieve more by recognising and addressing the common issues that can make the fleet go faster.  Just like a gym membership, you may gain some benefit from a loose association, but the real gain comes from engaging more completely.  In 2021, we will continue developing the ‘equipment,’ so please step up and help make a difference.
 
Until then, rest well, enjoy the holiday season and be grateful for those you have around you at this time of year.

Ngā mihi

Brendan
CEO
AgriTech New Zealand


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Agritech New Zealand Agritech New Zealand is an association of organisations and individuals that have come together to lead a programme of work, taking a key role in growing our country’s capability to maximise the opportunities enabled by agritech and address any challenges.