Arable Industry Marketing Initiative (AIMI)
The New Zealand arable industry has suffered from unstable prices and markets in the past few years, but with the help of an Arable Industry Marketing Initiative (AIMI), the arable sector hopes to soon be back on track.
Funded by the MAF Sustainable Farming Fund (MAF SFF) and co funded by the Foundation for Arable Research, Federated Farmers, Arable Food Industry Council (AFIC) and United Wheat Growers, AIMI has been developed with the objective of ensuring future sustainability and improved competitiveness for the industry.
In order for the New Zealand arable industry to improve, it is vital that growers produce high specification products, with a specific end user in mind.
Here in New Zealand we are extremely fortunate to have access to excellent soil and water. This gives New Zealand an advantage in global markets. We are smaller than many other grain growing countries and are able to grow and change production relatively quickly. Arable production is also pivotal to the meat, dairy and horticultural industries, a fact which is often disregarded.
As part of the AIMI initiative, meetings with end users have taken place to ascertain their perception of the industry and their main concerns.
The New Zealand arable industry must ensure that it meets the demands of the end user. It’s all too easy for them to get what they want from Australia; we need to make certain they can do that here. At the moment we have little concrete information about what is grown year, or what’s stored in silos. We need to overcome these, and many other issues, before we can start to deliver what the end user wants.
The lack of up-to-date market information is currently the most critical of a number of key issues confronting the industry. One of the prepared action areas of AIMI is to capture and report on market information that is not currently available. A quarterly survey collects information on the major cereal crops grown in New Zealand including wheat, barley and oats. Maize data isalso be captured. The survey includes areas sown; areas harvested as grain crops and harvest volumes; volumes in storage at the end of each quarter; volumes sold; marketing channels and end users. The results from these surveys are attached below.
We need to ensure that growers, end users, and all market participants, are able to take advantage of world markets and business opportunities that arise. With efficient distribution, better information and appropriate contracts we should be able to do this.