Thursday, 23 April 2020
The prize within sight
After a month of lockdown, it’s heartening to see how the ‘team of five million’ has come together to try and achieve what very few countries in the world have been able to even attempt. There’s certainly never been more interest in the process of creating food for livestock and for people both here and overseas.
The nutritious food created by our horticulture, viticulture, arable, dairy and sheep and beef sectors reassures the population that they won’t go hungry or thirsty! For as long as overseas demand holds up, there are also vital export dollars to be earned.
If we can control COVID-19, this will be of huge significance for the health of the nation and will represent a massive accomplishment for all of us. It will also add to the story behind farmers’ and growers’ premium-commanding produce as New Zealand competes with others in a recovering world market.
Operating as an essential service, it’s been a busy month for Ravensdown. The initial response from employees was excellent, and the ongoing response in supporting farmers has been even better. They are in no doubt about the importance of their role in keeping the ag sector moving.
Employees in manufacturing, stores, logistics, shipping and spreading have done an amazing job to keep the nutrient supply flowing across the world to the soils and plants of New Zealand.
You won’t notice much of a change from us as the government moves the country from Level 4 to Level 3. The teams will ensure fertiliser and other essential inputs remain available. Offices will stay closed, movements will only be essential and working safely at our sites will be the key focus.
We’ve been doing what we can to keep in touch because we know, as a co-operative, it’s our role to support farming in all kinds of ways – while ‘sticking to the knitting’ of essential inputs and advice. Our purpose is to enable smarter farming, and smarter farming’s role in creating a better New Zealand is more important than ever. The environmental expertise of our trained advisors remains a vital part of this smarter farming philosophy.
They say resilience isn’t just about surviving stress. It’s about coming out the other side stronger. As New Zealand’s solidarity is tested by the largest social and economic upheaval since the Second World War, the opportunity for the ag sector and Ravensdown is to emerge stronger than before. This prize will be a great outcome for New Zealand as it starts its road to recovery.
There are sure to be bumps along the way but, with the support of all our stakeholders, I believe this prize can be achieved.