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June was a busy month with New Zealand’s National Fieldays returning to its full glory and E-Tipu/IFAMA events driving thought leadership and inspiration. The Hort Connection tradeshow was also a hive of activity in Australia. So, it’s timely to now shine light on the Northern Hemisphere where many of our Members have a market strategy or customer base.

In September, we are partnering with AgTech Ireland to host the second New Zealand Ireland Agritech Summit: Shared Ground to connect researchers, innovators, investors and farmers with their peers in each country. This precedes an immersion trip later in the month, coinciding with the Irish National Ploughing Championships and World Agritech Innovation Summit in London.

At the same time, there will be another cohort of New Zealand agritech interests attending the FIRA USA autonomous farming and robotics event in California.

These valuable in-market visits provide a unique opportunity to establish personal connections, understand local market dynamics, and identify potential business partners. If ‘experience is the best teacher’, then the shared experience of immersion is even more powerful, enabling a group of people to create a common reference point as we strive to grow our industry’s impact. A key value of these visits lies in their ability to bridge our geographic isolation, facilitate networking and unlock the full potential of New Zealand’s agritech impact, globally.

I’m looking forward to seeing some of you at our next event and sharing our stories. So, please contact us if any of these missions interest you.

Brendan O’Connell
Chief Executive, AgriTechNZ

Welcome to our new Members

At AgriTechNZ we have a wide and growing Membership base that spans the entire ecosystem. We’d like to send a warm welcome to the latest organisations to join our community.

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Award winning celebrations for our Members

We believe New Zealand is a leader in agritech solutions and encourage all our Members to enter national and international technology awards. It’s a great promotion for your business and our industry, especially if you are exhibiting at the same event.

It’s been a great month for many of our Members and we want to congratulate you on your success!

Hi-Tech Awards (NZ)

This year five of our Members were finalists in the Hi-Tech Awards including:

  • Microsoft (Best Contribution to the NZ Tech Sector)
  • MACSO (Most Innovative Deep Tech Solution)
  • Hectre and Levno (Most Innovative HI-Tech Agritech Solution)
  • Halter (Most Innovative HI-Tech Agritech Solution/Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year)

Congratulations to Halter for winning the Most Innovative Hi-Tech Agritech Solution category and gaining a Highly Commended in the Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year category.

Horticulture Awards for Excellence (Australia)

Congratulations to Hectre for winning the UPL Tech Innovation Award at the 2023 Hort Connections Horticulture Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, held recently in Adelaide. Three of our Members were finalists in this category (Hectre, CropX and Onside) so the odds were great that Kiwi talent could take the top prize.

Other awards to consider entering:

Agritech industry gets $29.9m injection for horticultural technologies

In May we celebrated the Wellbeing Budget 2023 announcement of a $29.9m commitment to integrating technology into the horticulture sector. The Horticulture Technology Catalyst initiative emerged from the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan and its goal to grow the size and impact of agritech businesses in and from New Zealand.

At AgriTechNZ, we’re delighted to see the Government recognise the importance our industry can have on the country’s economic value as we see massive potential across multiple areas. Taking a globally focussed approach to the development and proof of horticultural technologies in New Zealand justifies the levels of investment required to solve some of the biggest challenges faced by the sector. New Zealand can be both an originator and first adopter of great technologies, but unless they are focussed on global application they will not be competitive.

Stay tuned for further updates on how the catalyst programme will get formed and read our full article here.

Editing the topic of genetic technologies

In June we cautiously welcomed the shift from discussion to active debate on the right regulatory oversight and risk assessment approaches for genetic technologies. At BioTechNZ’s Life Sciences conference in March it became apparent that regulations on genetic technologies were not going to change just based on conversation, it would take political debate to drive change. So having the topic introduced during an election cycle is a positive development. However, we appreciate the issues to be resolved will require a deeper exploration than will be achieved during a campaign period.

Systems that address concerns surrounding the safety and cultural appropriateness of how genetic technologies are applied will require a unique New Zealand approach. We can learn from the regulatory frameworks established in other countries, recognising that our approach may be more nuanced than either blanket bans or unfettered access.


A busy June with more ahead

This year, June turned out to be our busiest month, so far, with multiple events we support running throughout the month. We would also like to acknowledge the work that agencies like the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Callaghan Innovation do in supporting the agritech industry.

As an independent Member-funded organisation, AgriTechNZ plays a crucial role ensuring the voices of businesses and our Members are heard and, working with Government agencies on mutual projects, is part of the role we play.

We also acknowledge all the organisations who have participated in various activities during the past 12 months and gained the benefit of connecting with each other.

The year ahead will be just as exciting for the agritech industry in New Zealand and we look forward to seeing more of you.

Check out all the upcoming events – national and international – on our Events Calendar.