Marketing expert calls for farming industry shake-up

Rural Exchange 18/08/2018

New Zealand’s primary sector needs a value chain overhaul of everything between the “from farm to fork”, a brand strategist argues.

That’s just one of the suggestions made by marketing guru Brian Richards in his keynote speech at the Federated Farmers Conference on June 22.

The man behind brands like Zespri and Cervena wanted challenge the farming industry, so he created 19 “provocations” to present to Federated Farmers and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

Mr Richards has called for a reorganisation of the value chain, maximising co-products, and for industry to learn how to “sell less for more” to worldwide consumers.

“When you go into these [farming] organisations and start to look – they’re all doers and they all do good things. But they lack the strategist international viewpoints that are necessary to drive the business forward.”

Telling New Zealand’s food story to the world is critical for future success, says Mr Richard, but it something that industry leaders have failed to do.

His 19 provocations are:

  1. There are no route maps for change
  2. Mypoic siloed leadership caught in time warps
  3. We have no over-arching New Zealand agribusiness story or umbrella brand
  4. The primary sector does not know how to sell less for more
  5. The primary sector currently has no clear strategy on genetic modification
  6. As yet we have not recognised the positioning of food as a health product
  7. As yet we are still not using sufficient consumer insights to drive food strategies
  8. Why is it we have no New Zealand-owned distribution hubs across the world in key markets?
  9. Collaboration seems a no-brainer, yet we don’t get it
  10.  Growing products in market
  11. The growing divide between urban and rural
  12.  At present there is no universal farm certification system
  13. Farming practices which will save the planet
  14.  Can we make our farmers better businessmen?
  15. Collaboration versus clobberation
  16.  Why is New Zealand’s research & development spend so low compared to other countries?
  17.  Attracting and building strong capability in the primary sector
  18.  Data versus folklore and intuition
  19.  It seems we innovate around the edges avoiding the big issues

Read more on Brian's provocations here.

Watch the full interview with Brian Richards above. 

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