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Join the Hon Damien O’Connor and Arama Kukutai as they talk about the importance of connected global capital at Agritech Unleashed on Thursday 13 June

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

For many early stage New Zealand agritech companies, securing connected global capital is a key ingredient to support scaling and growth.

At Agritech Unleashed, the Hon Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture and Minister for Biosecurity, Food Safety, and Rural Communities and Arama Kukutai, Co-founder & Managing Director of San Diego-based Finistere Ventures will talk about the importance of connected capital and New Zealand’s opportunity to secure it.

Over the past 12 months, several early stage New Zealand agritech companies have secured offshore funding. These include Biolumic, Robotics Plus, Halter and most recently Invert Robotics. Several offshore funds have been active in this space. They include Finistere Ventures, Innovation Endeavor, Rabobank & Canopy Rivers. Directors & partners from all four of these global investors are attending the Agritech Unleashed event at National Fieldays.

‘Connected capital’ is more than just cash. It’s about connecting into a wider ecosystem of potential partners. The Farm2050 model epitomises this. With major global agribusinesses such as Bayer CropScience, Syngenta, Corteva, Nutrien, Mars & PepsiCo on board as partners, the opportunity to engage and grow with these players is real. Just ask Warren at Biolumic.

The panel discussion includes directors from Rabobank’s global agri fund (flying in from the Netherlands) and two major kiwi recipients of connected capital; Biolumic and Zeakal. They will talk about their own story and how connected capital has positively impacted their business.

The New Zealand Connected Agritech Capital session takes place in the Bledisloe Function Centre at Mystery Creek on Thursday 13 June from 10.15am – 11.00am.

Access to this exclusive session is strictly by ticket only. You can register for a (free) ticket by logging onto the Agritech Unleashed ticketing system here:

If you have an interest in this space, perhaps looking to either raise capital or as an existing investor, this is one event you cannot afford to miss.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

Major International Speakers announced for Agritech Unleashed.

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

Agritech New Zealand is delighted to announce its line-up of major international speakers for Agritech Unleashed – the one-day innovation event taking place during National Fieldays 2019.

Created in association with NZ National Fieldays Society and generously sponsored by the Ministry of Primary Industries, Agritech Unleashed is taking place in the Bledisloe Function Centre at Mystery Creek on Thursday 13 June.

The Agritech New Zealand Invitation Special!

On 23 May 2018, Agritech New Zealand was formally launched at the ’10 billion mouths’ conference in Tauranga. To celebrate our first anniversary today, we are offering readers of this post, the opportunity to apply for a free ticket to attend the Agritech Unleashed event.

This is an exceptional opportunity to hear from some of the most influential players in the global agritech & agribusiness sector. There are 5 key sessions during the event. To reserve your seat, please select your chosen session here.  If you have not yet purchased your National Fieldays ticket, please do so here

The Hon Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture and Minister for Biosecurity, Food Safety, and Rural Communities will be speaking at Agritech Unleashed. The Minister will be joined by a number of other high-profile domestic speakers.

This post however is focusing on some of the major international speakers and delegates who have travelled to New Zealand for the event.

Our international speakers include;

Alexey Rostapshov: Head of Digital Innovation, John Deere

Based in San Francisco, as Head of Digital Innovation at John Deere, Alexey has been tasked with building the world’s leading digital platform for precision agriculture. Previously, as co-founder & COO at Mavrx, an aerial imagery & data analytics firm serving the agriculture industry, Alexey built a diverse team that designed and scaled the largest global imaging network dedicated to crop monitoring (covering 250 million acres using light aircraft & UAVs).

Arama Kukutai: Co-founder & Managing Director of Finistere Ventures

Arama is of Ngati Maniapoto, Tainui and Te Aupouri descent on his father’s side and spent his formative years in South Taranaki’s dairy sector. Today, based in San Diego, Arama co-founded Finistere Ventures and has led the creation of Finistere’s global network which includes offices in Tel Aviv, San Diego and Silicon Valley, and Dublin, Ireland. Finistere has invested in several New Zealand agritech companies including Biolumic, Zeakal, CropX and most recently Invert Robotics.

Richard O’Gorman: Director, Rabobank Food & Agriculture Innovation Fund

Based in the Netherlands, Richard joined Rabo Private Equity in 2010 and focuses on Rabobank’s international F&A venture capital and private equity activities. Richard serves on several Investment Committees and Advisory Boards for Rabobank’s portfolio of F&A funds and is closely involved in a range of Rabobank F&A innovation activities currently being carried out.

Michael Levin: Founder & Managing Director, Germin8

Based in Chicago, Michael founded Germin8 Ventures, which is a venture capital fund seeking to improve the global food system and is innovative in its own right, providing both investment and strategic resources to the exceptional founders of transformative food and agritech companies around the world. Michael oversees Germin8’s investing and operations, as well as actively participates on the boards of invested companies.

Sara Ahmed-Holman: Investment Analyst, Innovation Endeavor & Farm2050

Innovation Endeavors was founded in 2010 by Eric Schmidt and Dror Berman.  Innovation Endeavor’s investment and portfolio support teams are located in three major regions of innovation: Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, and New York City. Based in Palo Alto, Sara co-wrote the Farm2050 Nutrient white paper and will be keynoting this session at Agritech Unleashed.

Han Chen: CEO of Zeakal

ZeaKal, Inc. is a next generation trait technology company. Its focus is on increasing the photosynthetic capacity of plants — allowing crops to harvest more sunlight and carbon dioxide and translating it into more grains, seeds and fiber. Originally, much of the science came out of AgResearch in New Zealand. Today, based in San Diego, Han Chen has just signed a major global R&D partnership with Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of Dow DuPont.

Our international speakers are part of a larger delegation of international guests that Agritech New Zealand, in conjunction with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, is hosting. It is providing New Zealand’s agritech sector with the opportunity to build deeper engagement opportunities with key global players.

We hope you can join us at the Bledisloe Function Centre on Thursday 13 June.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

Agritech New Zealand & Callaghan Innovation to lead major agritech delegation to the US next month

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

At the end of next month, Agritech New Zealand & Callaghan Innovation are supporting a major kiwi agritech delegation attend the Forbes Live conference in Salinas, California.

A core focus of the delegation, which reflects its make-up, is on how New Zealand robotic, automation & sensing technologies can assist US growers address their single most important challenge. Labor. Lack of and cost of.

In August last year, Agritech New Zealand signed a partnership agreement with Western Growers, the largest producer of fresh produce in North America. Their members account for over 50% of all fruit and vegetable production. At the time of the signing, we were supporting another delegation of New Zealand agritech delegates as they took part in the 2018 Silicon Valley AgTech Immersion Program. In Central Valley, Northern California, we saw at first hand, on a tomato and water melon farm, the challenge. These farmers were hurting.

Since then, the situation has seriously deteriorated. Whole specialty crops are now at risk of either shutting down or moving out of the US. Mexico and other countries south are the major destination. So the sense of urgency is real and the opportunity for New Zealand agritech experts is now.

The first two days of our week in Salinas will involve meeting key representatives from different major grower associations. This will provide the delegation with a more in-depth understanding of the challenge and the core crops at risk. At the Forbes Live conference, we will be able to meet a number of the growers in person to better understand the challenge on-farm. I attended this event last year. It was one of the most productive US-based agtech-focused conferences I have attended.

It promises to be a hugely valuable week and Agritech New Zealand is delighted once again to be working with Callaghan Innovation to make this happen. When we return to New Zealand, we will sit down with delegation members to attempt to create an all of NZ approach to address the challenge.

Building new commercial pathways for New Zealand’s agritech expertise is a key purpose of Agritech New Zealand. Next month’s Salinas engagement is testament to that.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

Government & industry are working together to build New Zealand’s agritech sector

Monday, April 1st, 2019

This guest post has been written by David Downs, the New Zealand ‘All of Government’ agritech taskforce lead.

Its clear why Agritech is part of New Zealand’s future, as well as our past and present. The first ever innovation in New Zealand related to agritech, with Māori settlers creating a mechanism to elongate the growing day by building small stone walls around the kumara pits, and burying stone chips in the soil to soak up the sun’s rays. The success of our primary production in New Zealand is due in large part of the agricultural and technological innovations which allowed for higher productivity and superior quality. Yes, there is still work to do with ensuring our practices are sustainable and environmentally friendly in some areas, but overall our agritech industry is a source of great comparative advantage for New Zealand.

So it’s no surprise that the government wants to join with industry to super-charge the sector. Ministers have asked officials (bureaucrats like me) to work out ways that we can tune the various levers of government intervention to assist agritech companies to grow bigger, better and faster – not just in New Zealand (assisting with the productivity of our agriculture, horticulture and aquiculture sectors) but also in terms of exports. Somewhat surprisingly, New Zealand exports of agritech have been almost flat for 5 years, which doesn’t accurately demonstrate the potential for the sector.

A couple of weeks ago, representatives from 5 government agencies joined with the industry group Agritech New Zealand, and a number of industry representatives, (pictured above) to plot our joint action plan for government and the sector. Our plan is to work together on initiatives which can accelerate the growth of the sector and the companies within it. We looked at things like skills, management capability and expertise. We looked at science and R&D focus, and how we can line up innovation towards a clear market demand. We looked at the levers of government incentives, funding and policy. At this stage the action plan is still in draft, but significant progress was made and we are on track to draft a national strategy for the sector, along with a clear set of tactics, in the next few months.

With innovation a core part of the kiwi DNA, and the Agritech space a clear opportunity for New Zealand to succeed, it’s good to see government working in partnership with industry on growing New Zealand’s agritech sector.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

Post evokeAG. What next for NZ-Australia agritech collaboration?

Sunday, February 24th, 2019

The applause is over, the bunting and the red carpets have been put in store, and the over 1,200 delegates who attended last week’s evokeAG conference in Melbourne have returned to their day jobs.

Only 358 days then to go until the next evokeAG meetup. Same city. Same venue. 18-19 February 2020. Except that Agritech New Zealand does not plan to wait that long to build a more collaborative bridge with our Tasman neighbours.

What we learnt last week was that both New Zealand and Australia’s agritech sectors share some of the same challenges. Whilst we may occasionally display a competitive spirit, far more unites than divides. We both suffer from the impact of distance to market (Perth is a long way from Sydney) and attracting global capital to our respective sectors has been a challenge. During the NZ delegation’s field trips to several farms last week, we witnessed at first hand the effect of climate change and the impact of extreme weather events. Lack of rain (drought for an extended period) has hit Australian dairy farmers hard, meaning that Australia’s dairy output this year will be 7% down on last year. They are doing it tough out there.

What delegates from both countries agreed on was that technology and innovation has a key role to help farmers and growers address these, and other major global challenges. Issues such as sustainable farming, environmental impact, animal welfare and a license to operate are not restricted to New Zealand. They are commonly shared across borders and across continents.

One of Agritech New Zealand’s immediate challenges is identifying just who actually represents Australia’s agritech ecosystem. Unlike New Zealand, Australia has a federal & state system of government and collaboration does not always appear to be a core part of the DNA. I’m just putting this out there.

There are however some organisations who appear to be working towards building an ‘all-of-Australia’ agritech community and it’s these organisations we are currently reaching out to. The aim is to develop a genuine platform for significant trans-Tasman collaboration. These include the organisers of last week’s evokeAG conference, AgriFutures Australia, as well as two prominent agritech ecosystem builders; Agthentic and the Bridge Hub. Check out Agthentic’s Sarah Nolet post-evokeAG blog post here.

In short, we don’t plan to wait until February next year to continue the conversation. This process will start next month. My hope and genuine expectation is that by the time the next evokeAG conference takes place, so will the first major trans-Tasman collaborative agritech initiative.

It’s a significant challenge. Together, we can deliver.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

NZ agritech the big hit at Melbourne’s EvokeAg event (NZ firm wins pitch competition)

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Melbourne – Almost 100 Kiwi agritech specialists, entrepreneurs, agribusiness leaders and support agencies have joined 1000 delegates at the international EvokeAg food & farm futures conference in Melbourne this week.

Making up almost 10 percent of the attendees at this globally focused conference shows the significance for agritech for New Zealand and its future, AgritechNZ executive director Peter Wren-Hilton said from Melbourne today.

“The exciting thing for New Zealand is our alignment with addressing many of the big global challenges for feeding the world while not destroying the planet.

“The conference has also had a high presence of international investors who all noted that we have to be patient with agritech investments as new agri-technologies such as alternative proteins, on-farm robotics, vertical farming and nutrient management systems all take time to build.

“Several investors said the New Zealand agritech market is coming of age. It is a great test market for addressing global farming challenges such as nutrient management and cleaning water ways, dealing with labour shortages and producing healthier food. Yet more needs to be done to help Kiwi agritech companies go global faster.”

There is a wealth of potential solutions for global markets locked up in NZ crown research institutes (CRIs) and universities, Wren-Hilton says. Potentially, with better incentive structures and better connections with smart global capital, New Zealand can accelerate the conversion of this IP into value for the New Zealand economy.

“Among the many Kiwi attendees at the event were Kiwi agritech firms looking to raise funding. Wine Grenade, CertusBIO and Hot Lime Labs have all made the Pitch Tent Finals competing against the best in the world to raise funds by pitching to the VC firms at the conference.

“CertusBio is another great NZTech story. Their chief executive Matthew Jones this week won the pitch tent investment ready pitch competition at EvokeAg against agritech firms from around the world.

“Bringing together our globally successful agri sector with our fast-growing tech and innovation sector is opening up a global agritech investment market worth more than $US7.1 billion. New Zealand’s future can be about not only feeding 40 million people around the world, but also selling the systems that help feed 10 billion people.,” Wren-Hilton says.

AgritechNZ is helping build a world class agritech ecosystem but New Zealand needs to integrate agriculture and technology faster to strengthen its primary export sector.

As the world’s demand for food increases with its ever-growing population, New Zealand can expand its primary sector further by focusing on producing higher value produce and agri-systems for the world.

For further information contact Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

New Zealand prepares to take large delegation of agritech companies to evokeAG

Friday, February 1st, 2019

Updated 17 February: With less than 24 hours to go, almost 90 kiwis have now registered to attend the evokeAG conference. This is the largest single delegation of kiwi agritech delegates headed offshore for a major conference.

In less than two weeks, 60+ representatives from New Zealand’s agritech sector will have arrived in Melbourne for the inaugural evokeAG conference.

The conference has been organised by AgriFutures Australia, yet it has a strong trans-Tasman flavour. When John Harvey, AgriFutures Managing Director visited New Zealand in the middle of last year, the benefits of broadening the conference’s appeal became apparent. Today, the conference features several New Zealand speakers, with three early stage kiwi agritech companies pitching for investment capital from a number of global venture firms in the aptly named ‘Pitch Tent’ session.

The good news is that NZ Inc. will also be in town.

The New Zealand delegation is being supported by Callaghan Innovation, NZTE & MBIE. It’s great to see government agencies coming together to add real weight to the opportunity. Representatives from both MPI and NZVIF are also participating in the programme.

As part of the delegation’s preparation, Callaghan Innovation is hosting a one-day workshop next Tuesday. It will provide delegates with insights and thinking from some of New Zealand’s agritech business leaders who have already made the journey across the Tasman. A similar one-day workshop held last August prior to the 2018 Silicon Valley AgTech Immersion Program proved to be an invaluable opportunity to prepare the delegation for their time in the US.

To provide more value to the kiwis traveling to Melbourne, a new Agritech Immersion Program has been established with the support of Invest Victoria. This will see NZ delegates taking part in farm visits as well as meeting different local agritech players in the two days around the conference. Special mention and thanks to Simon Yarrow at Callaghan Innovation and Angela Traill from NZTE who have coordinated this programme.

I am fortunate to have sat on the evokeAG conference steering committee since the middle of last year. Working with the event organisers & other steering committee members has provided me with a personal insight into some of the real opportunity that increased collaboration with the Australian agritech ecosystem can bring.

Agritech New Zealand is proud to be associated with the evokeAG conference. You will be able to find us in the NZ Corporate Lounge, adjacent to main conference hall at the Royal Exhibition Building. During the two-day event (19 & 20 February), we will be posting regular updates via this website and on our social media platforms. It’s going to be a fascinating week and one which will lift the profile of some of New Zealand’s most exciting and promising agritech companies.

Building bridges and helping scale our emerging agritech ecosystem in international markets is a core part of Agritech New Zealand’s DNA. evokeAG is the first major highlight of an exciting program of events for New Zealand’s agritech sector in 2019. We hope to meet you there.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

New Zealand to take ownership of the global ‘Disruptive Nutrient Technology’ initiative

Monday, January 28th, 2019

I have just returned from the US where I spent valuable time with a number of Agritech New Zealand’s key partners in Farm2050. The major purpose of the visit was to discuss our preparation for the 3-year initiative based on identifying disruptive technologies around nutrients.

For context, fertilisers, (nutrients such as N, P, K or Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash and compounds thereof) are one of the single largest input spends in pastoral farming systems. It is estimated less than 50 percent of the immense volume of fertiliser applied in New Zealand and around the world is utilised by the targeted planted crops and fields to which they are applied.  The balance is volatilised or is transmitted into the water table and often from there into steam /river/ estuary systems with negative environmental impacts.

Last week, I sat down with innovation leaders from a number of the world’s largest agribusinesses; Bayer CropScience, Corteva, Syngenta, and Nutrien. We discussed the impact of nutrient application and measurement from two perspectives; plant absorption efficiency and environmental impact. For farmers and growers in New Zealand, both are key metrics. My question and the question raised by others was whether existing practice is fit for purpose. What opportunities are there to test emerging technologies, as well as develop new technologies to address these two critical issues? These questions have become the main drivers for this global initiative.

As Farm2050’s first country partner, New Zealand has a pivotal role to play. We have advanced farming systems and deep domain knowledge. We produce some of the finest agricultural product in the world. Yet our farmers and growers are well aware of the regulatory environment in which they now operate. Consumer concerns about environmental impact, negative media comment and government regulation are all affecting sentiment within the primary sector.

Farm2050’s global nutrient initiative is designed to map talk with action to support our farmers and growers.

What does this mean in practise? As a first step, Farm2050, in conjunction with Agritech New Zealand, will work with New Zealand farmers, leading ag co-operatives and government to establish field trials to test select, emerging nutrient technologies. We plan to engage with New Zealand’s major existing players in this space, as well as early stage agritech companies seeking to address these issues.

There is also great science, often locked up in our universities and crown research institutes. Leveraging these combined assets can help New Zealand’s agritech sector take a global lead in improving both plant absorption efficiency, as well as reducing environmental impact, through the smarter use of nutrients. That was the commitment I made last week to Farm2050’s global agribusiness and venture partners in the US. It was a commitment they agreed to support.

Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing a detailed white paper that will outline now only the key objectives of the initiative but also the steps by which the process will be managed. I am also looking forward to announcing some of the globally recognised team members that will be working with Agritech New Zealand to help scale this initiative in New Zealand.

As New Zealand’s government sets out its targets for reducing carbon emissions and improving water quality, this Farm2050 initiative will go a long way to supporting that ambition. For Agritech New Zealand and its members, it’s a very exciting way to kick off 2019.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

Building a collaborative New Zealand agritech framework with the UK

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

24 hours ago, the UK Parliament rejected Theresa May’s Brexit ‘deal’ with the European Union. A few hours later, I sat down with Laura Clarke, the British High CommissionertoNew Zealand and her team at the British Consulate in Auckland. The business of business goes on.

Whatever the final outcome of the Brexit story, the need to produce more nutritious food sustainably is as important in Britain as it is in New Zealand. Sustainability in this instance has two meanings. Sustainability for the environment and sustainability for producers’ incomes to continue farming.

In March, a delegation from Innovate UK will be visiting the country to learn more about ruminant livestock and some aspects of our horticulture sector. The delegation will be visiting Central District Fieldays in Palmerston North and will be using their time here to speak to industry representatives and NZ government agencies.

In June, the UK DIT (Department of International Trade) is planning to bring a large delegation of agritech-related businesses over to National Fieldays at Mystery Creek. Yesterday, we discussed areas of common interest to help identify New Zealand farmer & growers needs. Could some of these inbound companies provide solutions to address these? It is clear that the UK has undertaken some significant research into our sector. Identifying potential synergies was a key theme for the meeting.

One underlying challenge facing UK farmers is the future of subsidies. For a number of years, the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has supported farming sectors across Europe with subsidies. CAP is no small potatoes (pardon the pun). It accounts for about 38% of the entire EU budget. Given New Zealand’s decision to abolish all farming subsidies back in 1984, the UK is keen to learn from some of the hard lessons learnt here. This discussion provides on-going and future opportunities for New Zealand’s agritech sector; these can be significant.

For some context here, last month I attended the Agtech Nexus Europe conference in Dublin. There, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, provided an insight into some future thinking of such funding. It was clear that whether the UK is inside or outside the EU, the level of CAP subsidies, going forward, is going to drop. This will therefore remain an underlying challenge for UK (and EU) farmers and an opportunity for some of the innovation, technology & IP that New Zealand’s agritech sector has developed.

The discussions with the team at UK DIT are ongoing. We are looking at ways in which we can build a collaborative framework that will not only support our respective agritech sectors, but also provide NZ & UK farmers and growers with the tools necessary to produce more nutritious food sustainably.

The key takeaway I took away from yesterday’s meeting is that the UK is still open for business. Whilst politicians in Westminster will no doubt prove to be a distraction over the coming weeks, and perhaps months, the needs of UK farmers will not change.

A bilateral approach can help address these and the time to act is now. Yesterday’s meeting was just one step in that process. The business of business goes on.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

Global Investors look to NZ agritech to develop Disruptive Technologies in Nutrients

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

On 31 August, Farm2050, the global collective of leading agritech venture funds and corporate agribusinesses, selected New Zealand as its first country partner as a first step towards creating an ecosystem that will allow Kiwi agritech companies to scale in a non-linear way.

Since then, Agritech New Zealand has been working closely with the Farm2050 collective to identify strategies to address some of the really big challenges facing both New Zealand and worldwide agriculture. Following recent discussions, we are therefore delighted to advise that Innovation Endeavors and Finistere Ventures have decided to collaborate on leading the first major Farm2050 project focused on disruptive technologies in nutrients, both from a standpoint of application, measurement and efficiency, as well as novel nutrient technologies such as microbiome/soil health technologies. This will include accelerating trials around nutrient measurement, new products and methods of delivery as well as approaches to managing and mitigating environmental impacts such as runoff.

From Agritech New Zealand’s perspective, this initiative addresses some of the key issues facing the country’s primary sector. Over the coming weeks we will be sharing further detail around this first project and invite New Zealand research organisations, government agencies and the private sector to engage in shaping its scope and focus, as well as participating in its execution. Working directly with globally connected capital and some of the largest international agritech businesses will enable New Zealand’s agritech community to accelerate this activity in ways not seen before.

As part of our wider Farm2050 strategy, Agritech New Zealand will be organising field trials and partnering with industry stakeholders to work on specific areas of need, initially focusing on nutrients, automation and the creation of a “digital academy”.

On a recent conference call with the collective, I spoke to the innovation leads of many of the world’s largest agritech firms. These included Bayer CropScience, Syngenta & Corteva. Scaling New Zealand’s agritech sector with connected capital and access to these multinational partners is critical if we are going to not only contribute to feeding 10 billion mouths by 2050, but in ways that are sustainable and friendly to the environment.

Identifying New Zealand disruptive technologies in nutrients is a great place to start.

Imaged sourced: Chesapeake Bay Program

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

Huge potential identified for Kiwi AgriTech

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Innovative AgriTech offers enormous potential for the New Zealand economy says, NZTech CEO and Agritech New Zealand Chair, Graeme Muller. 

Graeme was one of 30 New Zealand delegates attending the Silicon Valley Forum AgriTech immersion programme in San Jose, California.    

Speaking to RNZ’s Midday Rural News last week from California, he said AgriTech is potentially New Zealand’s biggest opportunity for the future. 
He explains why

Historically, the global agricultural industry has been slow in its uptake of technology, but this is changing as it looks to innovate and solve significant problems.  These include rising labour shortages, environmental pressures, adverse weather events and feeding a global 10 billion population by 2050.On return to New Zealand, Muller said closer Californian ties are crucial to help produce a thriving economy. 

Want to know more?  Subscribe to receive updates from Agritech New Zealand. It’s free and will take you less than a minute.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News

The importance of sharing New Zealand’s compelling agritech story offshore

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Since I returned from San Jose last week, there has been quite a bit of talk about the impact that New Zealand’s delegation made during this year’s Silicon Valley AgTech Immersion Program.

Some of it came from partners in NZ. This year however, I’ve received emails and invitations to connect from a wide range of countries including Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Brazil, the US and Canada. It’s clear from the content of those messages that the New Zealand delegation delivered.

Where to next? As those of you who might have read these blog posts before will know, Agritech New Zealand signed two important Strategic Partnership Agreements last week; one with North America’s largest growers of fresh produce, Western Growers and one with Farm2050, the global consortium of leading agri-focused venture firms and major agribusinesses.

Presenting the New Zealand agritech story in a compelling and coherent way was an important backdrop to those discussions. As a country renowned for its high quality agricultural produce and wide-ranging and sophisticated farming systems, it’s important that we understand how to tell and share our agritech story.

As New Zealand’s agritech sector continues to reach out to international markets, it’s therefore great to acknowledge that this work has been recognised by government. Right now, NZTech is working with the team at NZTE and New Zealand Story to help curate the message. Agritech New Zealand is aligning itself to this work and we are encouraging others in the sector to do the same.

In San Jose, the theme of the New Zealand panel presentation at last Thursday’s conference was ‘How can NZ agritech help feed the world’. So much of our domestic focus is on producing high quality food to feed 40 million people around the world, we sometimes forget that this accounts for only around 0.5% of the global population. Our tech however can help other nations increase the production of their food needs in much more sustainable ways. By doing so, not only do we increase New Zealand’s agritech export sales, we also help the world feed the remaining 99.5%.

This was the message that resonated at the conference. By focusing on the really big picture, the delegates from many countries recognised our point of difference. Nicky Molloy from Callaghan Innovation talked about Kaitiaki, ‘we are guardians of people, place & planet’. The kiwi panel talked about Ingenuity, ‘Challenging the status quo with original and bold solutions’ and Integrity, ‘We come from a good place. We say what we do’. New Zealand’s delegation stood tall and proud in San Jose. The world saw and understood. It’s now time to press ahead with Āwhina ki te whangai i te ao.  

It’s time for our tech to ‘help feed the world’.

Posted in AgriTechNZ News