While a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report for New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) points towards growing New Zealand agribusiness globally, Craig Hickson, of Hawke’s Bay based Progressive Meats, proves there is opportunity left in our traditional markets.
“While we must maximise the potential of New Zealand’s land resource, there is an inescapable logic about taking our intellectual property and skills globally,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.
“If we take a leaf from the automotive industry, Toyota now makes most of its vehicles outside Japan.
“The challenge is in having capital markets which can help us seize these opportunities.
“We also need to be mindful there is still a lot of life left in our ‘old’ markets.
“This is proved by what Craig Hickson, Federated Farmers Agribusiness Person of the Year, is doing overseas. His purchase of Welsh processor, Cig Calon Cymru, has just made the UK farming press.
“This is but one example of a progressive New Zealand meat company investing offshore.
There are others and they are not intended to simply be a meatpacker for our red meat, but to work in-market with local farmers to build their businesses and the overall market.
“This is an expression of what PwC/NZTE are seemingly calling for and that is to get inside key markets. It is not dissimilar to how Fonterra works globally, or how Brazilian meat processors have become strong through global logistics and supply chain management.
“As New Zealand is a leading global exporter of red meat, we start to match that by becoming a leading global processor and marketer as well.
“It is positive because it maximises opportunities, maximises markets and above all, maximises returns.
“In the meantime, we need the focus of farmers but especially our policy makers, to be on ensuring New Zealand farms to its full potential,” Mrs Maxwell concluded.
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