It will take someone with expansive governance experience and industry knowledge to capture and lead a stimulating public round table discussion about the future of our Agrifood industry.
We have just the woman.
Director and agricultural economist Carla Muller will be leading us in Manawatū as our ASB Perspective 2025 Chair. She will facilitate a unique ‘boardroom’ style discussion, giving the audience a first-hand glimpse into the purposeful conversation between seven female leaders, nationally and globally renowned for their work and contribution to the primary industries and food value chain.
Together, these leaders, alongside the audience, will address how we can continue to build pride, excitement and awareness of what’s happening within New Zealand to our own communities, government and investors.
With the event just around the corner, Carla took some time to answer a few quick questions.
Carla, thank you so much for joining us! What are you excited about for ASB Perspective 2025 this year?
What stuck out for me about previous events is the breadth and depth of knowledge, backgrounds and experiences, yet everyone was linked by a common passion for the New Zealand agrifood industry. What an opportunity!
The thing about this type of event is that you don’t know exactly where the conversation will go but with the strategic thinking and quality of people in the room, you know that attendees are bound to leave feeling challenged and encouraged to continue to take our industries to the next level.
You’re so right. We appreciate the fact that you will be leading the conversation along the way. What are you most proud of for the Primary Industries?
For our Primary Industries to continue to thrive we need to be proud of the work we do right across the sector, but I think we can start by being proud of our farmers and growers. I do genuinely think that the farmers and growers in Aotearoa want to do the best they can for our country, the consumer, their animals and land. We have smart, innovative, talented people right across the industry who can help and support them, but we need to work better together to move forward. Collaboration is key.
To make that collaboration a reality, who inspires you in our industry?
Anyone who can manage their bias and tries to truly understand others with the aim of genuine collaboration.
We know talking about collaboration is easy, but it is tougher to do. Events and conversations like this are such a great start. What are you hoping attendees will walk away from ASB Perspective 2025 challenged to do next?
I want people to walk away inspired about how awesome our sector is and can be. Our potential is immense and with the quality group of women around the table, I think it will be evident.
I want attendees to meet and connect with people different from themselves and challenge themselves to see things from a new perspective. I want them to walk away thinking ‘How we can work better together? And what am I personally going to do now to help?’
We know you are a busy woman with all your governance roles: President of the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management, a director for PrimaryITO and a board advisor for CyclingNZ – all in addition to your day job! So, what does a typical day in the life of Carla look like?
As with many roles in agriculture – I am not sure there is a typical day!
Generally, I would spend most of the day working on client projects in my role with Perrin Ag. This is often followed by some time outside on the farm with my partner. Finally, in the evening, I get to spend a bit of time on my board roles.
I’m lucky that my board roles and project work are all varied, as it allows me to dip in and out of industries across the agrifood ecosystem and keeps my work interesting and stimulating.
Carla is an Agricultural Economist at Perrin Ag Consultants, where she works on a range of projects for agribusinesses, iwi, industry groups and regional councils; President of the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management, an industry organisation for rural professionals; a director for PrimaryITO and a board advisor for CyclingNZ. In the past, Carla’s won the Institute of Directors Emerging Director Award in the Waikato, which saw her spend over a year with the Waikato Institute of Technology board, she was a finalist in the Westpac Women of Influence Awards, and has completed the Agri-Women’s Development Trust Escalator Programme.
Carla spends most of her time on the farm her partner manages at the top of the East Cape and is incredibly passionate about the Aotearoa food and fibre sector and the contribution it can, and does, make to the economy, environment and communities.
Have you got your ticket yet? Join us on March 18 in Manawatū, the epicentre of agrifood innovation for ASB Perspective 2025.