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The State of the Canterbury Food and Fibre Sector, 2020

28 Oct 2020 | Regional development

The Canterbury Mayoral Forum has released a comprehensive report looking into the food and fibre sector, a vital part of Canterbury’s economy.

The State of the Canterbury Food and Fibre Sector, 2020 report makes up part of the Canterbury Food and Fibre Innovations programme, a key aspect of the Canterbury Regional Economic Development Strategy.

More than 9,500 agriculture, forestry and fishing firms contribute over $2.4 billion (7 per cent) to the region’s GDP. Combined with processing industries ($5.5 billion) and indirect effects ($6.3 billion), the food and fibre sector makes up 19 per cent of Canterbury GDP.

The Canterbury Mayoral Forum commissioned AERU (Agribusiness & Economics Research Unit, Lincoln University) to prepare the report. The report contains recommendations on how the sector could transform traditional supply chains into “value-adding chains” to capture and reach premium markets.

Waimate Mayor Craig Rowley says the report outlines the opportunities and challenges of effective communication with consumers on the highly valued attributes in our food and fibre sector, including high standards of environmental stewardship, food safety and animal welfare.

The report introduces A Wellbeing Economics Framework, which provides 12 indicators of current personal and community wellbeing and seven capital stocks. This framework allows for a holistic measurement of the long-term health of the sector and provides a structure for measuring its health into the future.

Mayor Rowley says that an issue picked up early in the development of the programme was the difficulty in gaining a common line of sight across different data sets and existing repositories of data related to the sector.

The report proposes eight statistical indicators for monitoring the long-term health of the Canterbury Food and Fibre sector. These will be available at www.canterburystory.co.nz.

The Canterbury food and fibre sector is supported by a depth of research talent across our CRIs, industry and tertiary organisations and presents an optimistic view for future success in the industry.

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