2035 Oceania Summit - building the food future we need, starting now

The clock is ticking when it comes to climate change. Around the world we've had so many one-in-100-year weather events recently that have helped focus our attention on climate change and its impact. Whether you’re a farmer in Canterbury or a market gardener in Auckland, people are much more aware of the changing climate and the consequences on the planet.

We’re just a couple of months out from the 2035 Oceania Summit in Auckland and as we get closer to the event, we’re excited about the potential to generate practical outcomes and workable solutions to climate change. 

The goal of the 2035 Oceania Summit is to identify the tools and technologies that will help farmers and growers reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How can we adapt farming practices to deal with the challenges caused by climate change? It’s as simple and complicated as that.

This summit is not going to be another talkfest. Yes, there will be keynote speakers, discussions and breakout sessions on how to reduce emissions and build more resilient growing systems. There will also be opportunities to engage with Agritech companies, the scientific and research community, farmers and growers, regulators and policymakers. But the core focus of the event is to generate real outcomes. Obviously, we won’t resolve all of the world’s problems over two days but it will be a forum to kickstart long-term initiatives. This is just the beginning.

At the summit we’ll announce a number of follow-up events that will give people attending the summit an opportunity to engage with initiatives where they can add value. We want delegates and attendees to be part of the solution. We don’t want them going home with just a goody bag and some fond memories.

We’re looking at organising follow-up events in Australia, the Pacific Islands, and possibly the U.S. Different voices and perspectives are essential to create the global impact we need to shift the dial. Collaboration and partnership are vital for meaningful change to happen. I’m excited about how we can encourage and facilitate those kinds of conversations during and after the summit.

I’m also a little bit excited about the Festival of Food hosted by Peter Gordon. He’s creating a carbon-neutral menu that will celebrate the amazing fresh produce to be found in the Auckland region and across Aotearoa New Zealand.

We’ve got an incredible line-up of speakers and I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming  Secretary Karen Ross from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and Dennis Donohue, Director of the Western Growers Innovation and Technology Centre.

Western Grower members account for over 50 percent of all North American fresh produce production and they are desperately seeking solutions to the drought that is threatening their livelihood. The size of the prize in the US market is huge and Dennis will provide New Zealand and Australian Agritech start-ups and scale-ups with an opportunity to learn more about the Grower Trial Network. It’s a unique offering that provides global agritech businesses with the opportunity to trial their technology solutions to validate market fit.

There are not too many New Zealand Agritech companies with a specific climate change or sustainability focus but it’s a rapidly emerging sector with global opportunities. The Oceania 2035 summit will connect key stakeholders and build new networks of problem solvers and changemakers. We’d love to see you there.


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