Tim Hunt will deliver a simple message at the annual New Zealand Horticulture conference today - 'Trust us, we're the food industry'.

The Rabobank GM Food & Agribusiness Research gave The Country's Jamie Mackay a preview of his presentation, which will illustrate what the New Zealand food sector can do to gain trust with consumers.

Hunt admitted it won't be an easy journey "trust in the food sector ... has never been more valuable, but never been harder to achieve".

However, he had three ways in which New Zealand could succeed.


"New Zealand [can] capitalise on it by making sure that it sets standards for itself that aren't too far out of whack from what our communities and consumers expect. We do what we pledge to do in terms of producing and handling food and we capitalise on evolving technology to highlight that the strong provenance and health and welfare story that's already there in the system".

Listen below:

Technology can be a double-edged sword, and the internet is an area which the food sector could "win or lose in" said Hunt.

"It's an incredible age where we'll see more and more technology enable us to trace the standards of food in the supply chain. But it's important that we get on the front foot for that, otherwise other people will be telling our story in this very valuable area".

Also in today's interview: Hunt takes a look at New Zealand's dairy sector.