Our sectors are rapidly evolving and we as consultants are lucky to be standing alongside their clients at the forefront of these changes. We know our industries will always remain relevant to the New Zealand and global economies, as people around the world need to produce food and fibre.
Data, technology and Innovation as well as balancing environmental and economic outcomes are what’s top of mind and most exciting for our consultants looking into the future.
We discussed these leading concepts with a few of our consultants below:
Data, technology and innovation
Data, technology, and innovation are standout themes that are driving the future of farming.
Agribusiness Consultant Andrew Drysdale said the expanding amount of technology at our disposal to help create profitable, sustainable, and repeatable outcomes for farm business is what is most exciting. Similarly, Louis Batley, Agribusiness consultant, identifies that there is a huge opportunity in the industry and he most looks forward to helping collaborate across sectors of the primary industries and being able to integrate new technology into farm systems.
Hand in hand with technological integration come increased importance and ease for data capture. Many technologies are capturing industry data alongside making day to day operations more efficient. This is exciting because robust, up to date data for the sector allows managers, industry bodies and government to make better informed decisions.
Horticultural consultant Sarah de Bruin mentions she enjoys working on rural intelligence type projects, such as the National Pipfruit Crop Estimate, or the Pipfruit Farm monitoring. These projects require her to engage with growers and packers to collect required data, before analysing it and reporting on findings. This means I get to build relationships with people right throughout the value chain. Meg Becker, also consulting in Horticulture, adds that this rural intelligence is important as it enables us to implement change by identifying areas of focus including opportunities and the greatest limiting factors.
A better future, economically and environmentally
Land use changes and the new legislation around highly productive land has fast become an area of interest for everyone in the industry. It's fantastic to hear the focus on a better future for farming both economically and environmentally is top of mind with many AgFirst consultants.
Farmers have increasing levels of compliance and regulations, and even less available time to focus on what they do best and Environmental & Agribusiness consultant Travis Carter is excited to see that the environment is becoming a critical part of the farming operation across all farmers, whereas before only a select few were incorporating it into their decision making.
Agribusiness Consultant Kendal Buchanan notes her main area of interest is to support farmers to farm better (determined by their goals) in a way that is more profitable, or environmentally friendly or ideally both.