New Zealand AgriFood Week will shine the global spotlight on the Manawatu with this year's theme 'Food for Who?'
Work taking place in the Manawatu across agriculture, agritech, food and research will feature in the week from March 11 to 17.
New Zealand AgriFood Week will bring together leaders, decision makers and future leaders across the agrifood chain to drive transformation and shape the future of food production and farming to meet the world's population, estimated to reach nine billion by 2050.
Events focus on the future of food and developing the region and country's wider agriculture and food sectors.
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Central Economic Development Agency's chief executive Linda Stewart says when you look at the breadth and calibre of the organisations and speakers involved in New Zealand AgriFood Week, it's easy to see why New Zealand is a global leader in food production.
"The week is about identifying the opportunities, challenges and future trends for food producers.
"It provides local and central government, producers, growers, researchers and consumers the environment to work together and ensure Manawatu is leading the thinking in product development, innovation and the sustainability of agriculture and food production, for the benefit of New Zealand."
Speakers are at the leading edge of research and development, experts in growing food businesses, consumer insights and global trends and will provide analysis on the collaboration required from central and local government, industry bodies, farmers and growers and food companies who need to work together to navigate current global challenges.
Rob Ward of the Grocery Accelerator is the week's international keynote speaker and will bring his expertise and a UK perspective on how New Zealand can capitalise on its global reputation.
Rob will also uncover the secrets behind high growth food and beverage companies' success and will speak at the AgResearch Future Feeders.
Rob's profile lists him as a 'passionate food business guy' who started his work life on a family farm growing soft fruit.
The business went on to be one of the largest supermarket suppliers in the UK.
He then created, built and sold three food businesses in the last 12 years, ranging from food manufacturing, distribution and retailing.
With his background in the food industry, Rob now specialises in helping food companies to develop their products and find new markets by creating new opportunities to grow their profitability.
March 11 — Plate of Origin; March 12 — opening night invite only; March 13 — ASB Perspective 2025 AgResearch: Future Feeders, AgWomen Global Book Launch; March 14 — Central Districts Field Days: AgTech Hackathon, FoodHQ & Food Innovation Network: Food Business Innovation Masterclass; March 15
Central Districts Field Days; NZTE — session one: exporting to the UK, NZTE — session two: exporting overview; AgTech Hackathon, Feilding Farmers' Market; March 16 — Central Districts Field Days,
AgTech Hackathon; March 17 — Hokowhitu Village Farmers' Market.