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Agribusiness Finds FAME on Road to the Future

17 March 2005

Agribusiness Finds FAME on Road to the Future

Preparing tomorrow’s leaders for tomorrow’s global marketplace through first hand experience is the aim of a major new education initiative sponsored by The Agricultural Marketing and Research Development Trust, AGMARDT. Launched by Minister of Agriculture and Trade Negotiations, Jim Sutton, in Christchurch today (Thursday, March 17), the Food and Agribusiness Market Experience programme - or FAME - is an executive immersion course aimed at developing the next generation of sector leaders. It will take participants into key export markets to experience world-class production, delivery and marketing systems and open doors to important business networks.

A joint venture consortium between Otago, Massey and Lincoln Universities, the programme will be offered every two years. “AGMARDT wants to support market leadership now - and in the future,” said Chairman of the Trust, Sam Robinson. “Our sole agenda is to develop and encourage leadership capability and skills, and market, business and technological innovation.” AGMARDT provides around $2.5 million annually to support people and ideas that have the greatest potential to add value from business, education, research, farming and government sectors. Programmes and grants range from postdoctoral research fellowships to on farm innovation project support and the new FAME programme.

“It is an economic fact that New Zealand’s land-based industries continue to be vital to the wealth and wellbeing of our country,” Mr Robinson said. “But by their very nature there are some unique challenges to face up to including the reality of being seasonal producers of perishable products that are exported to far away overseas markets and the reality that there is fierce competition for customers who have many choices and many demands.

“So for New Zealand to win competitive advantage and to continue to be a success we have to think smart and act fast to seize the opportunities out there in the market and develop, build and deliver world-class products, services and systems that customers demand.”

The FAME programme was a passion of former AGMARDT Chairman and agribusiness leader, Alistair Betts, who died after a short illness at the end of last year. “AGMARDT will keep that passion burning through our ongoing commitment to do all we can to get our people - and their ideas - ready for the future,” Mr Robinson said.

ENDS

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