Consumers believe sustainability is a given

High value target consumers generally do not believe a product grown sustainably should attract a price premium – rather, they see it as a pre-requisite of the product being in the market, says Rabobank Sustainability and Animal Proteins Analyst Blake Holgate.
Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Blake Holgate presented to about 65 farmers at this month’s Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Environment Conference in Wellington. His presentation was based on the recently-published Rabobank Agribusiness Report, Sustainable returns: Finding value in environmental sustainability.

Holgate says the challenge, therefore, is to find value elsewhere, such as the long-term future proofing of our industry.

In addition to the concept of future proofing, Holgate saw three other areas of potential strategic value: developing customer intimacy; shared value in the supply chain; and farmers’ social license to operate.

“Consumers do a lot more research. Our world is getting smaller,” Holgate says.

“Sustainability will become more regulated. We need to be involved and influence this – but that means being trusted by the public to do that.”

Holgate’s message was that New Zealand’s greatest opportunity to realise value from sustainability was likely to be through building an international reputation as a source of sustainably-produced agricultural products.