Maximising the value chain

23 Jun 2017


"Equipping producers to maximise their roles in the value chain" is just one of the 110 recommendations made in the recently released 2017 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda: The Recipe for Action.

Robots doing production tasks, technology advancing, and new growing methods are rapidly changing how we grow and pack. These changes are not 10 years away, they are happening now. The challenge: do we have the leaders and skilled staff to get the best out of these changes?

The KPMG agenda concludes by stating that farmers and growers need to have the knowledge that enables them to think more widely about the options for their businesses. This is because, to retain competitive advantage and maintain acceptable profit levels, these changes will need to be assessed and integrated into production and packing. New skills are needed.

Horticulture New Zealand is currently reviewing its leadership programme to ensure that the curriculum is developing the required skills for the industry’s future leaders to embrace and capitalise on these changes. It is critical for our future leaders to be able to utilise robots, technology, and new growing methods to maintain our competitive advantage.

But it is not only our leaders that need new skills and tools; these changes will require new skills to further build on our current requirements from everyone working in horticulture. The challenge for our training providers is to identify how they can teach people to have these skills to support the changing face of horticulture.  This is also a point of focus for Horticulture New Zealand.

What we need to be doing right now is developing new career paths and training opportunities for the new face of horticulture that is already here. If we do not meet this challenge, we will lose our competitive advantage.  

-       Mike Chapman, CEO