Call for agri- food in­no­va­tion

Weekend Herald - - Fran O’sullivan -

New Zealand must pull ahead of the rest of the world in agri- food in­no­va­tion in or­der to re­tain a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage, speak­ers told the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­try’s food and fi­bre in­no­va­tion con­fer­ence on Thurs­day. “We need to be in a bet­ter po­si­tion to re­spond to chal­lenges like in­creased com­pe­ti­tion, po­ten­tially dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies such as syn­thetic al­ter­na­tives and en­vi­ron­men­tal and cli­matic im­pacts,” said Martyn Dunne, MPI’s di­rec­tor gen­eral. Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Damien O’Con­nor said the sec­tor, which con­trib­utes more than $ 38 bil­lion in an­nual ex­ports, had to “com­pete with oth­ers who are catch­ing up fast”. O’Con­nor said it was crit­i­cal that re­search and devel­op­ment be­came “busi­ness as usual” or the sec­tor risks be­ing over­taken by the Ir­ish, South Amer­i­cans or Euro­peans.

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