The best way for communities and industries to survive change is through collaboration writes Federated Farmers Arable Chairperson Karen Williams.

No one knows what is coming but given the past we know change is our only constant.

The best way for communities and industries to survive change, both positive and negative, is through collaboration.

If we collaborate we can achieve better social, economic and environmental outcomes, rather than operating in silos and beating each other up in the media when we disagree.


We are a small country with amazing natural attributes and a population that is talented and creative, but challenges with isolation and scale ensure that we cannot afford to go it alone.

Read more from Federated Farmers here.

Rather than thinking inwardly about our individual sector's success, we need to be exploring mutually beneficial partnerships.

Last week, I attended the Foundation for Arable Research's Annual Expo 'CROPS'.

There were several highlights, but the one that struck me the most was that our outcomes can be most effective when we collaborate.

Commonly defined as "the action of working with someone to produce something", Helen Keller simply stated "alone we can do so little; together we can do so much".

And most importantly, collaboration is in no way limited, we can choose to collaborate with whoever we want to, to maximise positive outcomes.

All it takes is attitude and willingness, and at times a bit of tenacity.

The arable industry is small by comparison to our dairy and meat producing cousins, but through research being undertaken by the Foundation for Arable Research and showcased at CROPS, improvements in pasture and cereal production accompanied with reductions in environmental impacts will be of huge value to our livestock industry, our social license to farm, and potentially new international market opportunities.

Let's collectively put some thought into how we better work together to grow and sustain NZ agriculture and then collectively enjoy the rewards.