We thought we’d start the New Year with a reflection on 2018, to set the scene for the year ahead.

Last year, KPMG’s 2018 Agribusiness Agenda provided some powerful insights into the current thinking about New Zealand’s Biosecurity.

For the 60 business and farming leaders who were surveyed for the agenda, the top priority among all challenges facing agriculture  was… World Class Biosecurity. It’s the eighth consecutive year as the top priority, and its ranking as the top priority continues to increase.

Page 38 of the Agenda provides some interesting insights into Rethinking our biosecurity protections – “Managing biosecurity risks should be treated in the same way as health and safety or fraud risks, fully integrated into the day to day activities of each and every person in the industry.”

This aligns with Jacson3’s approach to product innovation and design. Because in order to do this, farmers and rural professionals need purpose-built tools for the job – and not least because footwear biosecurity protocols in particular need to be fast and easy to complete, if they are to be adopted with consistency.

We’ve also been talking a lot about the importance of the industry leadership that is required to achieve “full integration” – and this was also reflected in the grassroots observations of those sitting around the table in 2018:

“Farmers are happy to adapt to new operating environments, but we need to be told what we’re expected to do. With the outbreak of MBovis, the regulatory environment seems to be moving even slower than usual. You’d be a very brave farmer to take action or make an investment at the moment without getting written approval from the authorities.”

Farmers also said they don’t want more data – they want useful information to “empower precision decisions”.  We need to listen to this and respond appropriately to bring about changes in behaviour that will help us achieve world class biosecurity.

In addition, 2018  saw the launch of the biosecurity strategy – Ko Tātou This is Us – to mobilise the entire country – 4.7 million New Zealanders – to work together on biosecurity.

That’s a lot of people to get on board! We reckon that in 2019, NZ’s 2,000+ rural professionals could step-up, show leadership and set an example for primary industry businesses and our agri-food producers to demonstrate what world class biosecurity looks and acts like in practice.

You can download the 2018 Agribusiness Agenda from KPMG’s website.