Leaders from the food industry in the Netherlands and New Zealand gathered together yesterday in Auckland, to discuss the Future of Food. Organised by the Dutch Embassy in collaboration with Massey University and FoodHQ, the one-day event focused on new trade opportunities, product innovation and emerging consumer trends. The forum was also honoured by the presence of the Dutch royal couple, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima.
The morning opened with an inspiring speech from Henk Kamp, Minister for Economic Affairs from the Netherlands, who encouraged both nations to work together and complement each other’s expertise, as we share the same mission of improving agrifood innovation, safety and sustainability.
NZ’s Minister for Economic Development, Steven Joyce, echoed this sentiment. “I believe together we can shape the development of the industry in coming years,” he said. According to Joyce, we are now faced with the challenge of feeding a growing and increasingly demanding population, interested in high quality and traceability.
“Our two countries cannot feed the world alone, but we can work together and develop technologies that would help the world feed itself.”
The line-up of speakers also included Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings, Hans De Boer (President, Confederation of Netherlands Business and Employers), and Hon. Steve Maharey (vice/chancellor of Massey University), who said New Zealand needs to focus on value food, rather than volume. “Constant innovation is what our countries are looking to do, because if you eat well, you live well. And that’s our story.”
Earlier this week, Foodstuffs North Island hosted a delegation of twenty Dutch companies from horticultural and agricultural sectors, also part of the same trade mission.
“As New Zealand’s largest grocery distributor, by serving over 1.3 million New Zealanders every week, we are an integral part of many communities. We are pleased to have an opportunity to host the Netherlands delegation to share knowledge on how to provide the best service to our customers,” said Vaughan Grant, general manager supply chain, Foodstuffs North Island.