Innovation bearing fruit
Lessons from Israeli Agritech
Growing opportunities for Australia and New Zealand
In May 2018, a delegation from Australia and New Zealand visited Israel, ‘the start-up nation’, to learn about how the country promotes growth in their tech sector, and in Agritech in particular.
The group was organised and managed by the Trans-Tasman Business Circle and led by Miles Hurrell, COO of Fonterra. It included delegates from over 25 different organisations from Australia and New Zealand. Representing producers, farmers, service providers, consultancies, government, academia and banking, the participants came from various points in the large agribusiness value chain.
Israel provides a case study in nation-wide innovation. Despite significant political, historical and environmental challenges, it continues to successfully leverage its people and their cultural traits into meaningful business success through innovation.
Our challenge as a delegation was how to distil learnings from the Israeli experience and apply them in the context of our own relatively benign social and business landscapes in Australia and New Zealand.
Agritech is vital to the future of both our countries. Collectively, our efforts to date have focused mainly on excellence of execution in agricultural volume plays. But the game is changing, and the demands of the globe are rapidly shifting value to more innovative products that better meet consumer needs. Since both Australia and New Zealand are dependent on primary production, it is a strategic imperative for us to capture emerging opportunities. We are certain Agritech is one lever in achieving this goal.