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Cheer Agri-business as we cheer the All Blacks

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health,
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education,
Minister Responsible for Public Trust

Progressive Leader

07 June 2006 Press release

Cheer Agri-business as we cheer the All Blacks

Minister of Agriculture, Jim Anderton, spoke last night to the influential New Zealand Institute of Primary Industries Management Fellows and Life Members Dinner about building on our primary industries success to develop and maintain a prosperous and sustainable future for New Zealand.

“We are all reliant on our primary industries succeeding. New Zealand needs to do a better job of recognising success in all our businesses. We need to cheer business success as we cheer the All Blacks. We need to get better at celebrating achievements. Tomorrow's success will be harvested from the seeds we plant today,” Jim Anderton said.

“My message to all the primary industry sectors is the same: I would love to offer a magic bullet that would restore export returns and insulate the industry against future challenges. No politician, and no government, can insulate their country against global markets and nor should we try.

“The best role government can play is not to protect producers from the inevitable, but to play a constructive role in helping them make the necessary adjustments. Its role is to work alongside the industry in partnership to make steady improvements that lift productivity, and respond to global consumer demand. We have to get a lot of things right: Investment in skills, infrastructure; Innovation, driven by science and superior business processes to differentiate our products and improve yields.

Global marketing networks are an essential ingredient and we must ensure we are responsive to the demands of consumers. Consumer demands are changing. Our lifestyles are changing. Health awareness is high and rising. Consumers are more environmentally aware and want to be reassured their food is produced in a way that respects our natural environment and leaves something for the future. We have a good story to tell on all these fronts. But we need to be aware that these issues are real.

"We are better placed than just about any nation on earth to give overseas consumers assurances that they are purchasing socially and environmentally responsible goods. But we need to ensure we have world leading practice to stay ahead of the challenges coming on this front. We should celebrate and build on these advantages we have, and make a virtue of necessity. So we can only continue to compete by moving up the value chain," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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