The Prime Minister’s announcement in October 2019 that New Zealand’s FoodHQ has entered into an international partnership with the globally renowned Foodvalley in the Netherlands, is a testament to New Zealand and Manawatū’s leadership, capabilities and expertise in the food industry, says Central Economic Development Agency’s (CEDA) Chief Executive Linda Stewart.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement on in early October, alongside the visiting Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte.
“I want to congratulate FoodHQ on this partnership with Foodvalley,” says Ms Stewart. “This announcement signifies the leadership from FoodHQ and the role it is playing in strengthening the country’s food industries in a time where food producers and consumers around the world must seriously consider how food is being produced and how it can be improved.”
FoodHQ is a national collaboration, headquartered in Manawatū, that involves the majority of New Zealand’s publicly funded food science and innovation capability. Many of FoodHQ’s partner organisations have food related R&D activities based in Palmerston North and local partners include research and educational institutions such as AgResearch, Massey University, Plant and Food Research, the Riddet Institute and others, commercial food companies such as Fonterra, and supporting organisations including CEDA.
FoodHQ’s Chief Executive Abby Thompson says under the partnership, FoodHQ and Foodvalley will embark on several joint initiatives.
The first will include a collaborative programme that will collate and share insights across New Zealand and the Netherlands and use these to identify joint projects involving food businesses and research communities from both countries. These projects will aim to accelerate the generation and application of knowledge to support the development of high value food products that deliver against both the needs of consumers and the requirements for environmental sustainability. The first focus area for this programme is sustainable protein-rich foods.
As part of the partnership, FoodHQ’s Business Development Manager Amos Palfreyman will be based at Foodvalley for three months, returning early 2020.
“This partnership reflects the power of today’s sharing economy and the appetite of FoodHQ and Foodvalley to work collaboratively in the interest of enhancing the world’s food industries.
“Having Amos based in Foodvalley will be invaluable to New Zealand and Manawatū in terms of the knowledge and insights he will gain and bring back to share with food businesses, producers and entrepreneurs.”
CEDA’s vision is for Manawatū to be New Zealand’s most progressive region by 2025. One of the indicators that signifies the region is on its way to achieving this is that Manawatū is recognised as one of the world’s top three agrihubs.
“This announcement is a major step towards the region achieving this vision and we are proud to work alongside and in close partnership with FoodHQ. To achieve success and growth in a local, national and global market, partnerships are crucial to leveraging opportunities and delivering results for the region and its community.”
To read FoodHQ’s media release, click here.
To learn more about Manawatū’s journey to becoming a top global agrihub, click here.