A recent global study on the future of meat found traditional sheep and beef farmers in the Gisborne region face a major threat from meat alternatives including plant protein and cultured meat already growing in labs around the world. Beef farmer and Nuffield Scholar Richard Fowler believes New Zealand meat farmers will have a real problem competing with these cheaper, healthier, cleaner, more environmentally sustainable alternatives.
Such challenges and opportunities are the subject of a major conference being held in Gisborne next month for Māori land owners, farmers and entrepreneurs in the Tairāwhiti region.
Some of the leading food futurists and agritech innovators in New Zealand will present along with nearly 40 inspirational presenters sharing their insights and experience at the first Māori agritech-foodtech conference in Tairāwhiti to be held in Gisborne 22-24 November.
‘Inā te Ora’ is the third event in a series of conferences organised by Hikurangi Enterprises with support from Massey University, Eastland Community Trust and the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment. The three day event to be held at Muriwai Marae and the Emerald Hotel has also received support from AgResearch, Callaghan Innovation, Plant & Food Research, AUT, University of Waikato and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Organisers hope to identify opportunities that food-tech and agri-tech developments can contribute accelerating food production and exports from Tairāwhiti, and, through a range of local and visiting speakers, to increase Māori participation and leadership in agritech and food technology innovation.
The event has three main goals: sharing recent technology innovations and research in the food and agricultural sectors; facilitating new connections between local Māori and research organisations; identifying opportunities for new research collaborations.
Organisers expect to attract at least 100 local participants from Māori communities between Mohaka to the south and Potaka to the north including Māori business and land owners as well as local businesses in the food and agricultural sectors, local educators (especially science teachers), technologists, Māori researchers and entrepreneurs.
Presenters include representatives from Wakatu Incorporation, Plus Group, Plant & Food Research, AgResearch, Callaghan Innovation, Massey University, University of Waikato, AUT, Ngati Pahauwera Development Trust and many more.
Participants can get more information on the event page or register online here and are encouraged to identify visiting researchers and innovators on the programme that they would like to book for a 1:1 session on Day 3.