With just one week to go, it’s great to be preparing to attend a 120,000 in-person event! To our followers outside New Zealand, this is the expected attendance at the 4-day National Fieldays 2021 event at Mystery Creek in 7 days time.

Fieldays is the largest agricultural event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It presents New Zealand’s agricultural and primary sectors with an international marketplace to advance agriculture, while honouring its three pillars – innovation, education, globalisation.

The one thing sadly missing this year of course will be the traditional delegations of international attendees. COVID and strict border controls mean that few folk will be traveling to Mystery Creek from overseas, bar a few welcome guests from across the Tasman. It’s therefore a particular honour this year to be directly involved in one of the truly ‘global’ sessions taking place next week.

On Thursday morning, I’ll be joining Laura Clarke, the UK High Commissioner to New Zealand, and a group of international panellists, to talk about Climate, CO26 and the role of Agritech. As co-host of the AgriFoodTech Climate Summit at COP26 in November, this promises to be an interesting session. It will provide a platform to talk about the scheduled event and also provide the opportunity to announce something much closer to home.

Climate, Agritech and Cleantech are three words I expect to hear a lot of next week. With the Climate Change Commission’s final report being published by the government today, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production and the wider agrifood supply chain will become high priorities for farmers and growers alike. Regulation can only do so much. What farmers and growers need is the technology and the tools necessary to enable them to meet new targets.

That will be the key theme of my presentation next Thursday. The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is completely understood. So is the investment into accelerating our research capability to make this happen.