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  • Leftfield Innovation

What does consumption guilt, purpose, and regenerative agriculture all have in common?

Our take-aways from the E Tipu 2021: The Boma NZ Agri Summit

E Tipu 2021 Boma NZ Agri Summit was a must-attend event for those actively grappling with the environmental and social challenges the world is facing.

This two-day high paced TEDx styled event delivered inspiration across the value chain from the farm, where regenerative agriculture was explored and explained , to influencer consumers and brands that care and require evidence of product veracity. Also on show were to high tech innovations such as cellular seafood, application of UV light to improve plant yields, pest and climate resilience, and a new wool based plastic replacement.

The range of topics pitched and presented had a central theme – purpose.

Purpose as a consumer working with producers to collectively create positive change.

Many of the themes were not new, we have been listening to the talk about moving from volume to value for years. We heard a lot about provenance and traceability and precision ag. And more recently the louder noises made about lab grown cellular meats and regenerative agriculture.

What was compelling is how all of these parts are now merging. By bringing them together in a more connected way we can deliver solutions that are meaningful to adressing both climate and societal challenges.

Rapidly improving capability to make use of richer data is a big driver linking all parts and phases of the value chain and enabling brands with purpose to act on on their values and hence ease the consumption guilt of ethical consumers who want their purchasing power to make a difference.

The impact of data -

  • To inform about trends and market signals; on which we can act.

  • To support evidence-based provenance storytelling to consumers.

  • To improve precision of agri practices, to prove the production impacts and sustainability of a product.

  • To provide evidence of guardianship of a farms natural capital including the health of the soil.

We were inspired to adopt a regenerative mindset. Discerning consumers are asking farmers to do more that just sustain, they want us to improve, to pass our farms on in even better shape. At the same time acknowledging the future is about progress not perfection. It’s about continuous improvement and having the data and science to prove it.

We learned that 27 trillion dollars globally is dedicated to Environmental Sustainability Goals, climate action, green bonds and other environmental and social impact funds. For New Zealand farmers, some of these funds could be leveraged to unlock value through initiatives that see such investors making pledges directly with the farmers.. These types of investors expect to see data to prove the sustainability claims (reduction in GHG emissions, agri chemical use etc) as a priority impact.

New Zealand is a world leader in many aspects of primary production. The Boma NZ Agri Summit pulled together a range of outstanding speakers that made it truly clear that agriculture has a leadership role as we respond to the climate change challenge. We know that New Zealand farmers are the action takers and those best practice hero’s doing the right thing should be celebrated, supported and incentivised..

It was clear to all that regulation is not going to drive success in this country. We need to harness the breadth of solutions at our fingertips and be early to adopt new breakthroughs. It’s about working together to challenge, innovate and problem solve with talent from within and outside of the agri sector, within and outside of New Zealand, using it to take us forward and deliver impact.

Susan Goodfellow - Director, Leftfield Innovation Ltd.

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