Future focus at Farmlands

 

Farmlands has recently pulled together key experts into a new Growth and Innovation team tasked with identifying the trends and industry innovation required to help our shareholders grow their success.

Technical leadership is a key component of the new team. “We have plenty of technical expertise in our business – including industry leaders in their respective fields. Pulling these experts into one team allows us to harness the full capability of our collective knowledge to benefit our shareholders,” Andrew Horsbrugh – Director of Growth and
Innovation says.

The team is tasked with helping solve the problems our shareholders face in the future, by staying abreast of relevant sector and product strategies, and developing expertise and educational material to upskill our organisation.

The Growth and Innovation team will introduce to Farmlands staff and shareholders what best practice looks like now through to what is needed in 5 years time.

There are six key areas of focus:

  • Agronomy and Farm Systems
    which champions arable and pastural, through our offer and extension services in seed, fertiliser and chemical. Sam Lucas leads the in-house expertise of farm planning, agronomy, regenerative agriculture, and integrated
    pest management.
  • Horticulture
    is an important facet of the portfolio we deliver to our shareholder base. Mark Daniels leads our horticulture technical leaders, the future strategies and introduction of new innovations for our grower shareholders.
  • Sustainability and Land Use
    is a sizeable area of growth for us. Katie Vickers leads our knowledge and solutions for new legislation, compliance, sustainability and optimal land use. Katie will provide clear direction on evolving freshwater legislation, productive land, emissions, carbon management, and riparian planting, ultimately delivering effective solutions to our shareholders. Researching everything from forestry solutions to alternative proteins, Sustainability and Land Use champions meat, fibre, and forestry.
  • The Future of Land and Food
    led by Gaz Ingram focuses on new and alternative ways to current traditional practices. This consumer focused role challenges the norm and leads behaviour change regarding whole food, healthy food and Taiao product offers. Future of Land and Food champions the consumer, Te Ao Maori, lifestyle, organics, regenerative agriculture, biologicals, and soil health.
  • Nutrition & Animal Health
    leads our offer and extension services in nutrition and animal health. Dr Rob Derrick, as Head of Nutrition & Animal Health, provides considerable technical expertise which is invaluable in helping shareholders make informed decisions. Rob continues his work in developing new products that improve stock performance. The Growth and Innovation Nutrition team also champions dairy, goat, and sheep milking.
  • Enabling Technology
    encompasses our offer in onfarm technology. Leading this, John Arrell helps develop how we use FarmIQ, SafeFarm, SafeVisit, oversight of the “Internet of Things”, innovative tools, and farmer/grower software. With focus on traceability, block chain, farm data integration with our GrowGuide, Enabling Technology puts us at the forefront of precision farming and evolving digital platforms. Shareholders will be kept regularly updated on the activity and solutions from the Growth and Innovation Team.

 

 Further updates on these projects are being provided at field days throughout the season and on the
Innovation Vineyard website.

Article provided by Mart Verstappen, Technical Leader – Viticulture, Farmlands Co-operative.