Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Ground Effect: COVID-19 & Drought Recovery Webinar


The double whammy of drought (for much of the country) and the arrival of a pandemic has been particularly challenging for farmers in recent times.

To explore these issues, Ravensdown hosted the webinar below with leaders from across the primary industries to discuss how they think we might best recover and adapt.



The Panel

​Andrew Hoggard - President of Federated Farmers

An update on Federated Farmers approach to securing support and funding during adverse events, as well as longer-term solutions (water storage etc), through its local and national lobbying efforts are all relevant to enabling New Zealand farmers to put the economy back on its feet.

Neil Bateup - Chairman of Rural Support National Council

During a drought or any adverse event, the effect on farmers, their families and their teams can be quite profound. The RST can provide support and tips on how to keep yourselves safe and functioning well during these times and access to help when it is required. It is important to look to the future with hope.

Susan Kilsby - Agriculture Economist ANZ

The impact of COVID-19 on farmgate returns: How have global markets reacted to the COVID-19 crisis and how has this impacted international market prices, exchange rates and interest rates?

Mike Chapman - CEO Horticulture NZ

What applied in the pre-COVID world is no longer relevant. As a nation, we are going to have to trade our way out of our financial crisis, and there are three key areas for action for New Zealand to recover from COVID: trade infrastructure; and labour. The world needs food, but to get our food to the world's consumers, we need market access. Linked to this, is enabling competition with the safe importation of new plant varieties so we can keep up. Significant water storage schemes are also urgently required to accommodate previously unknown drought conditions. Availability of labour and suitable land is also vital requirements. Many New Zealanders now need to develop new skills and take on different jobs thanks to COVID.

Sirma Karapeeva  - CEO Meat Industry Association

The resilience and agility of the meat processing and exporting companies to continue to operate as an essential service during the COVID-19 lockdown, while complying with strict operating protocols to keep workers safe and prevent the spread of the disease, has taught us many valuable lessons we can carry on. Looking forward, the meat industry can play a vital role in New Zealand’s economic recovery by maintaining and creating jobs in the regions and bringing in much-needed export revenue.

Malcolm Bailey - Chairman Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand

COVID-19 puts a spotlight on the importance of open trade to ensure the supply of essential goods and support economic recovery. It is more important than ever that the agenda for agricultural trade liberalisation be reinvigorated and the various statements made by global leaders on the importance of removing barriers and distortions from markets are converted into meaningful outcomes. A diversified set of markets, products, and sales channels has been a strength for New Zealand dairy as it has navigated COVID-19 related disruption during the first half of 2020. For New Zealand’s economic recovery, it is important that these trade opportunities be maintained and grown.