A typical day on the Value Chain Innovation Study Tour.

The Value Chain Innovation Programme is made up of three phases spanning six weeks from May 9 to June 19. You can find out more about the programme and its core elements here.

Probably the most involved point of the five-week experience is the industry immersion study tour (Phase Two).

What will a typical day on the tour look like?

A fair description would be “busy”. But here’s more about what to expect.

We should note first that this ‘typical day’ may be subject to pandemic or scheduling related changes. 

Day five. In summary, there will be horticulture, food science and much more on the day. Generally, no one day will be dedicated to a particular value chain, but rather each piece of a value chain will be spread across several days.

You’ll be waking up in Central Hawke’s Bay. It’s an early start with breakfast at 06:30, and on the bus by 08:00.

On this particular day, the first destination is scheduled to be Craigmore’s Springhill Horticulture operation. You’ll arrive by 09:00.

Craigmore Springhill.

Craigmore manages farm and forest investments and was established in 2009 by two New Zealand family farmers, Forbes Elworthy and Mark Cox. Craigmore has an experienced team managing 18,000 hectares of dairy, grazing, forestry, and horticultural properties, that includes Springhill. 

You can preview Craigmore’s Springhill operation in this video

At around 11:00 the bus will depart for Massey University campus in Palmerston North, where you’ll be visiting several units. You should get there by 13:00.

The Riddet Institute.

First stop on campus is the Riddet Institute.

The Riddet Institute aims to build the knowledge and skills to tackle the challenges facing our fast-changing food sector, through discovery-led research at the frontier of food materials science. 

To learn more about Riddet, watch this interview with the Institute’s Deputy Director, Professor Warren McNabb. Scroll to the section beginning 3:15sec and ending 7:40sec for some insight into their work. 

Next is Massey Food Experience and Sensory Testing Laboratory (Feast). 

Feast, Food Pilot, and MAF Digital Lab – Massey University.

To gain a clearer picture about the type of work Feast conduct, look at this short video covering research on the use of a holo-lens. This work was done to determine what impacts mixed-reality technology could have on a consumer’s enjoyment of food. 

Still on the Massey University campus, the next stop is Massey Food Pilot. 

The Food Pilot at Massey includes the largest collection of food processing equipment in the southern hemisphere. They work with innovators and organisations to provide solutions to food-related challenges. 

Food Pilot is part of the New Zealand Food Innovation Network (NZFIN), it provides the facilities and the expertise to develop new products and processes, from idea to commercial success. Services can include evaporating and drying, chopping, mincing, cooking and process control, extrusion and puffing. 

While the this video isn’t on Food Pilot specifically, it does give some indication as to how Food Pilot fits into the FoodHQ ecosystem. There’s also plenty of footage from inside the Food Pilot testing areas. 

The next destination is the Fitzherbert Science Centre, where you will visit the Massey AgriFood Digital Lab

The MAF Digital Lab is a solution focussed research centre developing applications in advanced technology within the primary production, agricultural and food supply chain. MAF leverages Massey University’s wide capability in precision agriculture, primary production science and horticulture supply chains, sensor technology, robotics, AI, and data science.

Massey Univeristy Lab

Later in the afternoon, you are scheduled to visit Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre (FRDC). 

Home to 130 PhDs and 350 dairy patents, innovation is a key part of New Zealand Milk Products’ (NZMP), and ultimately Fonterra’s reason for being. Within NZMP, the FRDC is dedicated to dairy innovation and research. 

This video gives a good introduction to NZMP and the FRDC. 

Wharerata – BBQ dinner.

The next stop is your final destination for the day – Wharerata, where casual drinks and a BBQ dinner will be organised for the group. A quick week one tour review will take place before dinner at this historic homestead.  

By 20:00 you’ll be at your accommodation, where you can enjoy some free time or an early night as you are up at 06:00 the next morning to hit the road again.

The schedule is intense – but it will be worth it!

If you haven’t checked out yet the following podcasts, take the time to listen to Professor Hamish Gow’s Podcast ‘Value chain thinking’, and James Parson’s Podcast ‘When value-add doesn’t add up’. They’re both excellent for further context.  

Contact us with any questions, we’re ready to help. 
If you would like to find out more about the programme, contact Lisa Rogers today. Either call on 021 139 6881, or email at lisarogers@ruralleaders.co.nz.

Ready to register your interest in the Value Chain Innovation Programme?

Our programmes work in partnership with some of New Zealand’s leading agribusiness organisations – click here for more.​