2017 - Keeping in front of the pack

Well that all went quite quickly! How have we come near to the end of January already?

I thought I would struggle to slow down and enjoy some time off - and I did for a few days there, once I got in the groove and realised I didn't have to write, chase emails and create content. It was a strange but welcome feeling after an especially hectic 2016!

In global news, by some miracle (and 28,000 security personnel) Trump survived his inauguration and because of it, feminists are protesting and marching the streets around the globe then sharing their selfies and signs all over Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I'm not sure what the year will bring for America and I don't dare try to predict it - let's just hope there is more peace than there is right now.

I love that here in New Zealand the only real complaint we have right now is the weather and complete lack of a summer! I'm pleased to see that even the shock of John Key’s resignation has worn off and it seems as though most have warmed to Bill English and Paula Bennett quite quickly. I'm also glad to see Minister Bennett taking an interest in the agricultural side and visiting Kaikoura in the last week! I'm feeling hopeful!

Late last year I spoke to 2016 blog contributors Georgie Cox, Julia Jones and Nadine Porter and posed the question - 'What do you think will be a game changer for the industry in 2017?'

Julia, who works at KPMG thought that having the producers and Consumers genuinely connecting, not just internationally but domestically and better understanding each other’s viewpoints is going to be a big focus for the sector this year.

Nadine said that - Undoubtedly our ability to grasp what is happening in terms of technology overseas and looking at how we can embrace it here will be the continuing game-changer into 2017. We cannot ignore synthetics or plant based proteins or the GM debate and must find a way to disrupt those that seek to disrupt us and that may mean embracing a conventional and technological form of food production.

I find what Nadine said to be especially poignant and know that Julia thinks along the same lines. The world is moving forward faster than ever and taking twists and turns that would have been impossible to predict two, five or ten years ago. How can we disrupt the disruptors?

Funnily enough, without any of these ladies talking to each other before being asked, Georgie was on a similar wave-length. 'I think the change in consumer demands along with advancements in technology may continue to affect the way agribusinesses operate. Businesses may be able to then mould their practices to what best suits their particular market meaning they can become more efficient.'

So as you can clearly see - New Zealand must find ways to keep adapting and improving their agritechnology both around current and future practices and ensure we are working hard at securing niche market or key points of difference to ensure we stay innovative, entrepreneurial and most importantly - at the front of the pack

Taken from the ‘Beef + Lamb New Season Outlook 2016-17' :
In 2017, global economic growth is expected to be subdued, with annual growth in New Zealand’s trading partners at just over three per cent for 2017 and 2018. Globally, weaker commodity prices have had an impact on all economies—positively and negatively. Inflation remains low globally, and that is presenting challenges for central banks using monetary policy.

Chanelle O’Sullivan is Grass Roots Media's Social Media Specialist. She originally studied agriculture, before moving south onto a Station, followed by a stint dairy farming. After three years vet nursing, she is now a Mum to two kids and creator of Farming Mums NZ and ‘Just a Farmers Wife’ while also working part-time for the NZ Landcare Trust and Grass Roots Media.

Follow her on Instagram