Stories from the year of living precariously
Presented at the Nuffield 2021 Scholarship Awards Ceremony
3rd November 2020, Wellington
The Nuffield NZ 2020 Scholars have had conversations with food and fibre producing leaders about the impact of COVID-19 on the primary sector.
From these conversations our 2020 Scholars (Tracy Brown, Ben McLauchlan, Phil Weir, Edward Pinckney and Shannon Harnett) have worked together to deliver four collective insights around supply chains, innovation, people and strategies.
Watch the 2020 Scholars deliver their insights in the video below.
Our year of living precariously
For the first time, the New Zealand Nuffield Scholars have worked together to deliver collective insights.
The collaborative learning model focused on ‘Critical Reflective Practice’ providing significant insight and a framework for more focused individual efforts in 2021.
Greater opportunity to connect locally has been valuable and should be incorporated into future program delivery.
Insight one: Proven supply chain resilience
The World Trade Organisation forecast that world merchandise trade would be reduced by between 13% and 32% in 2020 (WTO, April 2020).
- NZ has been able to continue to trade goods, despite local and international challenges.
- We have outpaced other export focused countries.
- Our supply chains have been tested and found to be resilient.
- The demand for our food has ensured prioritisation and flow of key imports.
- The primary sector has been a vital lifeline in keeping the NZ economy intact and lessening the economic impact.
Insight two: Growing disparity between the haves and have nots
- Technological innovation has quickened.
- Increasing inequality between the haves and have nots.
- The degree and obviousness of disparity raises significant risks to social license and export markets
Insight three: Challenges around fit for purpose leadership
Risk related to COVID-19 escalated rapidly. Previously it was not high (or even present) on the risk matrix for many businesses. Some leaders were caught out, “frozen with indecision,” unable to make decisions and move forward. Others excelled!
The following are attributes of great leadership in a crisis:
- Communication to create certainty
- Culture of experimentation
- Creativity and agility
- Values based
Insight four: Adding value by moving from value to values
The rise of the ‘Conscious Consumer’ is a growing trend and COVID 19 has accelerated this.
We need to further understand the drivers behind consumers preparedness to buy and consume sustainably grown, values-based produce.