COMMENT: The inaugural Primary Industries New Zealand Summit has attracted some top minds, writes Federated Farmers Chief Executive Terry Copeland.

Our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will open the first ever Primary Industries New Zealand Summit (PINZ).

She joins a list of top minds from across the globe and our own primary industries brought together to talk to farmers, growers, fishermen, beekeepers, foresters, government policy makers, industry good leaders, suppliers and industry partners to discuss what to expect in the coming decades of primary production.

The summit is about enabling everyone to be part of the response our country needs to take on issues like climate change, biodiversity, trade and market access, biosecurity and the constant pressure on finding and retaining the right people to work with us.

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The conference is an attempt to give all the people who have an interest in the future of New Zealand's primary sectors – everyone from apiarists to winemakers, beekeepers to viticulturists – a chance to join the conversation about how we keep the primary sector moving forward.

More than 100,000 people work in the primary sector in New Zealand, and it is our nation's largest exporter. Events like this one ensure we have the opportunity to listen, learn and grow.

The international key speakers include: OECD's Director of Trade and Agriculture, Ken Ash, Nestle's Corporate Head of Agriculture, Hans Johr, John Deere's Intelligent Solutions Group Senior Staff Engineer, Broughton Boydell, and Professor Colm O'Donnell, a full Professor of Biosystems & Food Engineering and Head of the University College of Dublin's School of Biosystems & Food Engineering in Ireland.

Our own Minister for Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety and Rural Communities, Hon Damien O'Connor, will speak along with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu's Kaiwhakahaere, Lisa Tumahai and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's New Zealand Story Director, Rebecca Smith.

The conference is a joint venture partnership between Federated Farmers and Conferenz.

The event is being held on July 1 & 2 at Te Papa in Wellington.