We delved into and debated some of the big questions around the future of the food and fibre sector in Aotearoa. Here are my top learnings:
In Aotearoa we have a unique opportunity learn from Te Ao Māori, a Maori worldview.
The manaaki by Ngāpuhi at Waitangi, from the pōwhiri to the kapa haka performance to the whakawātea was felt by all across the week. We have the opportunity to learn from Maori, to understand manaakitanga and to understand whakapapa. If we can do this in the right way we will have our own unique blueprint for sustainability and best business practice. We will have a leading edge on the world stage and an authentic story worth sharing.
Climate change is the biggest threat to our generation.
Unless we make radical changes, it will have severe consequences for the generations to come. Dr Rod Carr the Chair of the Climate Change Commission and Johan Rockström Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research talked through what some of these changes might look like. The impacts of climate change on market behaviour will affect all of the New Zealand food and fibre sector. Mark Kennedy of Kantar discussed how leadership on climate change plays into consumer demands. Taking leadership on sustainability and in particular climate change is not only the right thing to do for the planet; but a core driver of business growth today and in the future. Mariana Mazzucato took this narrative one layer deeper in her session ‘ a Moonshot Guide to Sustainable Growth’ where we discussed mission-oriented research and innovation. We discussed the importance of using new strategies to tackle global issues like climate change through choosing the best public and private partners possible, welcoming uncertainty and placing public value at the heart of innovation.
New Zealand has an opportunity to succeed in sustainable meat production.
Hannah Tucker of Disruption Dinners and former co-worker of S. Vice President Al Gore at Generation Investment Management led us through the future of the meat sector globally which is set to diverge on two distinct paths: regenerative meats, purchased at a premium; and artificial meats made in a lab or from plants. New Zealand has the opportunity to succeed in the former, and if we play our cards right, the latter too. They are not mutually exclusive. As market trends shift towards more sustainable options we will see growth in sources of protein that are less intensive on the environment. New Zealand has the opportunity to become a genuine and authentic leader in regenerative, low-carbon, and sustainable farming and can and should be open to partnering and learning from the plant protein sector too.