I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated and tireless volunteer Executive Council. They guide me and the team and put in considerable effort on behalf of the member groups they represent. They are accomplished, connected and motivated, so it’s not surprising they have achieved quite a few notable results themselves this year.
Our Chair, Kenneth Irons, was selected as the New Zealand representative on the International Standards Organisation’s advisory group on Smart Farming.
Bridgit Hawkins, Chief Sustainability Officer at CropX, launched Fields Of Change to begin an important and long overdue conversation about women’s leadership in agriculture.
Maria Jose (MJ) Alvarez, Investment Manager at WNT Ventures, was selected as a finalist for the Westpac and Stuff Women of Influence NZ 2021 for her work increasing diversity in tech and venture capital. MJ was also recognised as one of the Top Diverse Board-Ready Directors by the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business and Ministry for Ethnic Communities in New Zealand.
Kylie Horomia, Head of Industry Transformation at WayBeyond, was the driving force behind the recent Global Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Census. The purpose of the Census is to understand the CEA landscape and provide growers’ insights into how their industry is tracking. Dr Haydn Reid and Te Whanau-a-Apanui are developing a spat Hatchery and working with other Iwi in the aquaculture space on the Eastern Bay of Plenty. It’s an emerging story, but one where Agritech will be super valuable, in a place where people need jobs and talent can be developed to support a new developing industry.
Finally, I’d like to thank our members who support this community and enable the development of our shared ecosystem. Through your support we are continuing to promote and advocate for the development of the sector – a collective effort with strong support from our Government partners. That support comes from the justified aspirations for the sector, but also because we continue to collaborate as a sector together.