Global Head of Agribusiness for KPMG, Ian Proudfoot was a keynote speaker at the Platinum Primary Producers conference.

He caught up with The Country's Jamie Mackay to talk about the future of farming and food, from disruptive technology to the affects of trade wars.

Proudfoot says that from an agricultural perspective, disruptive technology is "everything."

"It's bringing all the technologies that we're seeing around the world, in terms of computers and data and applying those to how we grow better food to meet the needs of the consumers."


Another development Proudfoot talked about at the PPP conference was "protein agnostic companies" such as Tyson Foods in the US.

This is where a company looks to supply food to consumers in the format that the consumer wants, rather than the format they have traditionally provided.

As a result, Tyson has invested in plant-based and cell-based technologies as well as ensuring its traditional meat is still a premium product.

"So they're basically saying, 'we want to have a relationship with a consumer, rather than we want to have a relationship with a meat or a poultry consumer."

Also in Part One of Ian Proudfoot's interview: Health dominated strategic thinking and how it helped the rise of A2 milk and how changing retail patterns mean we will buy everything off our smartphones.

In the second half of his interview, Ian Proudfoot discusses trade wars, saying we haven't seen the full effects of Brexit yet, and it will be "important to our sheep farmers."

Mackay asks if New Zealand should be more worried about Donald Trump than Brexit.

Proudfoot says although Trump is "reshaping trade as we know it," it shouldn't affect New Zealand too much.


"I reckon if we're smart about thinking about our markets and we find out niches, we can have access wherever we need because our products are great and people want them."

Finally Proudfoot says he prefers to see changes in food production as opportunities rather than threats.

"From my perspective whether it's cultured meat or printed food, all those things change consumers' expectations [and] will change what people are prepared to pay for naturally farmed food that's got a story behind it."

According to Proudfoot, disruption equals opportunity.

"We've got two choices about how we view all this change happening in the global food system. We can view it as a threat or we can view it as an opportunity. If we view it as a threat, we're dead. If we view it as an opportunity we've got all the potential to evolve and grow what we do."

Listen to Part Two of Ian Proudfoot's interview below: