When it comes to nutrition, New Zealand dairy farmers are accidentally selling themselves short, says Julia Jones.
"We oversell things that don't matter and we're underselling things that we're doing really, really well" the Head of Analytics at NZX told The Country's Andy Thompson.
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Jones attended a conference in Singapore recently, where she found the perception of Kiwi dairy "a lot brighter and lighter" than she expected.
However, while an international audience responded well to New Zealand's "open and honest" approach to dairying, Jones said it was a different scenario back home.
"Within farming the feeling is that we're doing bad things and I think we're not focusing on the beautiful nutrition. We're not focusing on the fact that we have our animals outside ... we're actually farming incredibly well, and we're adapting. We have adapted since the beginning of time".
Now consumers were concerned with how their food was produced and New Zealand was missing an opportunity to sell the "attributes and benefits" of its grass-fed practices, said Jones.
It was also important for farmers not to assume consumers knew everything about nutrition, she said.
To illustrate this point, Jones added a pertinent quote she'd heard to the NZ Dairy Outlook 2019 report presented in Singapore.
"People have never cared so much or known so little about how their food is made".
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"We're very humble people right?" she said.
"So we just tend to take things for granted, that people just know it and sometimes you've got to really just point out the obvious".
It wasn't just up to farmers to get the word out, said Jones - the industry also had a huge part to play.
"It is about health. It's really everybody's job to talk about nutrition".
Another big topic at the dairy conference was the potential disruption to the dairy industry from alternative proteins .
Jones said she didn't see alternative meats and plant-based dairy products as "the end of days".
"The reality of it is, over time natural animal proteins will have to live alongside and will be complimentary with alternatives".
Right now, Jones believed alternative protein technology needed more funding and research to make much of an impact.
"It's actually really hard to scale this technology. It's really expensive to scale this technology. And at this point there just actually isn't the science or the funding to take it to the next level".
"There's always two sides to the story and I think often we get the panic and the bravado around it instead of the actual real facts".
NZ Dairy Outlook 2019 has not been released yet, but people interested in seeing a copy can email firstname.lastname@example.org.