Focus on consumers of food critical to the success of NZ economy
The success of the agri-food sector is dependent on individuals across the industry placing consumers at the center of everything they do, according to the 2017 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda: The Recipe for Action.
Based on contributions from more than 100 industry leaders, the Agenda explores what needs to be done to capture more of the quarter of a trillion dollars New Zealand products realise in-market and make a greater contribution to our nation’s prosperity. This relies on the industry collectively shifting its focus towards the consumers of the food and beverage, fibre and timber products it produces.
“There is a simple unavoidable truth: no customers means that there is no business,” says Ian Proudfoot, Global Head of Agribusiness at KPMG. “However, historically, we have placed the majority of our focus on maximising production.”
“When you are focused on the volume that you can produce, the government shapes your future as it sets the rules. However, as organisations pivot towards markets and consumers, the rules that shape the future are no longer determined by the domestic government but by much tougher masters, the consumers to whom they sell”.
The government is not responsible for securing the value lift. Although it can be an enabler, Proudfoot suggests that creating and capturing value falls on every person and organisation involved in the industry, including farmers, processors and exporters, industry good organisations, councils, Maori trusts, iwi and service providers.
“Only by the whole industry seeking ways to work collaboratively will the pivot from a producer-focused, volume-based culture to a market-focused, value-based culture be achieved sufficiently quickly to capture the opportunities available to it.”
Proudfoot adds the biggest risk to success is complacency. “People don’t recognise the impact that structural changes in the Agri-Food sector globally, driven by innovation and consumer preferences, will have on our traditional markets. Some have the potential to literally vanish overnight, there is no place for any comfort or complacency.” Proudfoot notes that New Zealand is the only developed nation that relies on growing biological products and selling them to the world to pay for schools, roads and hospitals.
The Agenda highlights a significant difference in outlook in the lead up to this year’s election compared to three years ago. Concerns about the impact regulatory changes would have on the sector’s productive capacity dominated conversations in 2014. This year, the election hardly rated a mentioned with conversation centring on the expectations of consumers and the community.
The Agenda features 110 action items that have been curated from more than 250 ideas provided by industry leaders. The ideas cover the need for a values-led framework for the industry, recruiting and training the best talent, rapidly deploying leading edge technology, exploring new business models, getting closer to customers, leveraging the best ideas in the world and telling authentic stories to all.
While maintaining world-class biosecurity remains the highest priority for industry leaders in the 2017 KPMG Agri Leaders Survey, there were a number of notable movements in the survey results and themes from conversations with industry leaders:
Download your copy of the Agenda here.