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Future of Food Forum

Friday, October 28, 2016

Future of Food

The Netherlands and New Zealand have much in common, in both culture and economics, particularly in the areas of agri-food, horticulture and trade. Next month, the Embassy of the Netherlands is hosting a one-day forum, in cooperation with Massey University and FoodHQ, which will take advantage of the many parallels between the two nations with the aim of creating momentum for exploring new opportunities where we can collaborate on the issues of sustainable food commerce in key global markets.

Next month’s Future of Food Forum will be opened by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Netherlands Minister for Economic Affairs Henk Kamp. The Forum includes presentations and discussions between leaders from the private and public sector, including Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings, Zespri chief executive Lain Jager and Massey Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey.

Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, who are visiting New Zealand from 7-9 November for a state visit, will also attend part of the forum, which will be hosted by Mr Kamp.

Massey University and Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands share a longstanding relationship. At the forum, they will renew the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The renewal of the MOU reflects the depth and breadth of the many existing research, staff and student connections. More importantly, it outlines the future strategic orientation of the partnership under the clear shared understanding that the major challenges of the 21st Century are global in scale and that collaborative international research and education are essential to addressing them.

There are regular senior staff exchanges between Massey and WUR. Earlier this year, senior representatives from Massey University and FoodHQ visited WUR, including Mr Maharey, and College of Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Ray Geor. Wageningen is also the primary location of “Food Valley”, regarded as the largest food and nutrition research and development area in the world.

Massey University director of agrifood business Professor Claire Massey says New Zealand and the Netherlands are both economies that are built on the production of high quality food, and our companies, business people and scientists have much to share.

“We have the same ambitions; to realise greater value from our primary production sector, and we have encountered many similar problems as we have sought to accomplish this. The visit from this high-level business delegation provides a fantastic opportunity to hear some of the most innovative stories around food in both countries – and to make new connections with people who are passionate about the same sorts of things as we are. It really is an opportunity not to be missed,” Professor Massey says.

FoodHQ programme director Mark Ward says bringing together ambitious exporting companies from both food nations presents exciting prospects for exchange of insights, market advantage information and supply chain connections.

“Add to this the inspiration that globally recognised thought leaders will bring through the whole day, and you have all of the ingredients for a valuable event. Most importantly, all participants seek to better understand the rapidly changing global food system and the important part that our respective countries must continue to play in terms of premium quality, absolutely safe, sustainably and ethically produced food and beverage,” Mr Ward says.

Following the morning session, guests will reconvene at Sanford’s Auckland Fish Market, where they will be treated to a showcase of New Zealand food and beverages. In addition to hearing further speakers, there will be an opportunity to visit the factory, the seafood school, and learning more about New Zealand’s seafood industry.

Sanford general manager of innovation Andrew Stanley says guests will have an opportunity to tour the site. “They will hear an explanation of the factory process, supply model and key markets from the plant manager, before visiting the seafood school to learn about Greenshell mussel growing, harvesting, processing and technology with a hands-on display and a chance to sample some of our delicious mussels. We will finish the tour with a video presentation on Precision Seafood Harvesting and a quick outline of the auction process.”

Event details:

Future of Food Forum
8.45am – 4.30pm November 9 2016
Hilton Hotel, Auckland

Click here for the programme.


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