How New Zealand can meet the challenge of feeding some of the predicted global population of 10 billion by 2050, will be a major focus at a Techweek event in Tauranga in May.
World-leading meat, dairy and horticultural industries have established New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of food.
But NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says the country’s collaborative agricultural ecosystem is shifting its efforts to developing sustainable ways to feed the world.
“Will the future of food production rely on robots and data, or a global consumer shift toward alternative proteins? These are just some of the agritech issues that are so important for New Zealand’s economy that will be discussed in Tauranga on May 23.”
Techweek, which is being run by NZTech, is a major nationwide festival of tech and innovation events held in many towns and cities around the country.
Muller says exploding populations, sustainability and increasingly unpredictable climates are some of the problems agriculture is facing globally which require urgent answers.
“Alternatives to traditional food sources and farming methods are revolutionising the way we think about feeding the world,” he says.
“New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of high-quality meat and dairy products affords us opportunities as the world’s boutique farmer, which New Zealand agritech companies are leveraging in all sorts of imaginative and inspiring ways.
“New Zealand’s agritech sector which adds billions of dollars annually to the gross domestic product will be showcased on May 23 as part of the massive national Techweek festival this year.”
He says New Zealand’s primary industries are the backbone of the country’s economy and integrating them with technology is the future for a prosperous nation.
“New Zealand agritech, such as herd improvement software, pasture mapping and management are being merged into on-farm practices, maximising increases in productivity and profitability for the benefit of all Kiwis.
“Technology has major potential to support higher productivity and more sustainable use of natural resources in farming. It’s great that government has a technical advisory group to advise the Ministry of Primary Industries on how to accelerate the use of smart agriculture technology.
“Reigniting primary productivity in the rural sector is critical for both farmer profitability and New Zealand’s global competitiveness. Digital agriculture, in the form of precision farming, big data, sensor technology, robotics and drones, delivers a new potential for productivity gains across rural New Zealand,” Muller says.
Techweek includes nearly 300 events in more than 30 centres all over New Zealand from Northland to Otago, including tech and innovation ecosystem events, conferences, school activities and business events. Techweek promotes New Zealand tech and innovation to the world and supports the growth of our fastest growing and third biggest industry in New Zealand.
Feb 22, 2018 - New Zealand’s agritech community will be joined by some of the country’s best young leaders at MobileTECH 2018. One of the key highlights at the upcoming agritech event is the ‘Meet the future leaders’ panel. “In addition to unveiling the very latest agritech innovations, we have lined up three emerging leaders to share their visions on just where the technology is heading, what areas they see as the most beneficial to their businesses and how it will impact on the sector’s future,” says Ken Wilson, programme manager for the MobileTECH 2018 event.
Feb 21, 2018 - Over two days, the Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) is hosting two events for the fresh produce and floral industry in Auckland, New Zealand. The first event is the PMA A-NZ Fresh Forum & Networking Drinks to take place at La Cigale, The French Market on 28 February. This forum is open to all industry members and is an opportunity to tackle big industry topics through robust discussion between members, guests and the PMA A-NZ board.
Feb 20, 2018 - The Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards is delighted to announce an extended judging panel for its second annual awards. Following the 2017 inaugural awards, the organisers are calling for more entries for this year. Entries close on Friday 2 March 2018, with product to be judged at the Fresh Factory in Auckland on Wednesday 21 March 2018.
Co-organiser Kathie Bartley of Marvellous Marketing said they looked for learnings from last year’s event where more than 150 New Zealand’s top products were assessed. To streamline assessment, they are introducing specialist panels to judge each of the four major categories; paddock, dairy, water, earth. Products will again be scored out of 100 points with the best awarded Gold and Silver medals. All Gold medallists will be in the running to be the Champion for their category. The most outstanding product as assessed by the judges will be named Supreme Champion 2018.
In addition to this, there is a specialist team judging non-alcoholic drinks. Specialists will also judge the NZ Life & Leisure Spirt of New Zealand Award, FMCG Business Outstanding New Product, Label & Litho Outstanding Design and Marvellous Marketing Outstanding Drink.
The judging panel is led by Lauraine Jacobs, a well-known champion of New Zealand artisan food producers. Lauraine Jacobs is pleased to again be leading the search for New Zealand’s finest products and says: “The inaugural Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards judging last year introduced me to some really exciting products from clever food artisans, and smart larger food producers. These Awards have become a showcase to not only introduce the new, but to remind us of some of the consistently fine products and produce that display Kiwi ingenuity.”
“The judging panel are keen to see and taste the results of the consistent hard and admirable work of farmers and innovators who send wonderful foods to the local and international market. I’m really looking forward to seeing an even wider reach in the 2018 Awards.”
The Dairy Panel is Sam Mannering, chef and owner of Pah Homestead Café; Trudi Nelson, media personality and co-owner of Fresh, and Aaron Pooch, Marketing Manager for Tetra-Pak NZ. The Paddock and Water categories will be assessed by; Enzo Bettio, owner Vin Alto restaurant; Mat McLean, chef and owner Palate Restaurant in Hamilton and Kathy Paterson, contributor for Bite magazine and cook book author. The Earth Panel is led by Lucy Cory, contributor to NZ Life & Leisure and stuff.co.nz with Julie Moore, co-owner of Moore Wilson; Allyson Gofton, food writer and author and Coast ambassador; Tamara Rubanowski, FMCG editor; Pip Duncan of vegetables.co.nz, Roscoe Johnason of Ara Wines, a regular restaurant judge and Niki Bezzant, Editor at Large of Healthy Food Guide. Emily King will again judge the sustainability section. Judges from a wine show background, Cameron Douglas MS and Jane Boyle will be judging the Marvellous Marketing Outstanding Drink.
Roman Jewell co-founder of Fix and Fogg, which won the Fresh.co.nz Outstanding Producer Earth Crafted for its Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and the People’s Choice Award says the awards are a great initiative for New Zealand producers. “The Awards are just one night, but winning has a much longer, wider reach. Getting our name out there in the producer community was incredible for the Fix and Fogg brand. The Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards brings together the food community. New Zealand is relatively small and we aren’t in a big industry and it was nice to get together. There is a true community aspect to it. It was a very big honour to take out the People’s Choice Award. It gives us credibility and shows the quality we aim to provide. That is so important to us – the commitment to quality and great ingredients.”
New Zealand producers harvesting, growing and making food which is available for sale are encouraged to enter the awards online at outstandingfoodproducer.nz by Friday 2 March 2018. All entries receive feedback from the judging panel and each entry receives a pass to a complimentary food marketing workshops being held in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.
| A Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards release || February 20, 2018 |||
Feb 19, 2018 - Brake, the road safety charity has announced the details of its fourth annual Australasian Fleet Safety Awards. The charity is inviting awards entries from fleet operators and suppliers working to reduce the number of road crashes involving at-work drivers. The deadline for entering is Friday 15 June 2018 and the winners will be announced on Thursday 11 October at a reception in Auckland.
Feb 19, 2018 -The need for countries to embrace and successfully transition to fully digital economies is undeniable and pressing. Callaghan Innovation executives will be driving the conversation at the Digital Nations 2030 conference, where local and international leaders will challenge current thinking about what our digital future looks like and how we get there.
Feb 13, 2018 - The Napier City Council Business Breakfast Series events take place quarterly. They encourage businesses large and small to attend and to learn from the range of inspiring business leaders who speak and lead discussion on a variety of topics.
Feb 09, 2018 - Entries are now open to the Air New Zealand Cargo ExportNZ Awards 2018 - Auckland and Waikato. Export business operations based in Northland, Auckland and/or the Waikato regions are eligible to enter.