Value Chain Innovation Programme

Value Chain Innovation Programme Logo

Innovating for our fast-changing value chains.

A recent addition to The New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust, the Value Chain Innovation Programme, delivers a truly immersive experience created to meet a growing need for strategically capable leaders in our food and fibre systems.

The next Value Chain Innovation Programme will run early 2025.

'A-ha' moments

immersion field trip

value chain
innovation case studies

About the Programme.

The Value Chain Innovation Programme develops entrepreneurial leaders for the Food and Fibre Sector, with skills in critical analysis and innovation insight.

Through group work and exposure to leading industry influencers, it develops the knowledge, skills and networks to enable you to operate and be influential at an enterprise level within food and fibre.

Feel free to download the one-pager below. For an introduction to value chains, take a listen to Prof. Hamish Gow’s and James Parsons’ Podcasts below.

Programme objectives.

The Programme aims to:

  • Familiarise you with the attributes of entrepreneurial leadership; how to lead change, build networks, and influence effectively.
  • Increase your critical understanding of the Food and Fibre Sector, strategic drivers, emerging issues and pan-sector collaboration, opportunities, and challenges.
  • Develop a research-based approach enabling you to evaluate value chain systems, including an ability to evaluate research methods, processes, techniques, and judge their applicability for solving complex problems.

Intended learning outcomes.

  • Be able to examine and evaluate the concepts of food and fibre value chains from production and processing, to trade and marketing systems, and consumer behaviour.
  • Critically analyse and evaluate alternative business models for supporting New Zealand’s Food and Fibre Sector.
  • Demonstrate an ability to engage with a diverse range of leaders in pan-sector settings.

Programme summary.

The Programme is designed to maximise personal gains by exploring value chains across New Zealand in a stimulating environment, one in which you’ll discuss, compare and contrast what you experience with like-minded rural entrepreneurs from different industries. 


A typical industry immersion study tour (North Island). 

Facilitated by Professor Hamish Gow and Phil Morrison

A 6-day tour taking the group to multiple locations and businesses throughout the North Island (or South Island). For a North Island tour, a typical broad itinerary could be as follows:

Sunday – Meet, Auckland

Sunday/Monday – Dairy

Tuesday/Wednesday – Kiwifruit

Thursday/Friday – Red Meat

Friday/Saturday – Apples

Saturday – Final dinner/guest speaker, Napier

The Programme provides participants with first-hand experience of multiple value chains and their role in our economy. You could expect to hear presentations on the challenges of building successful value chains and you’ll have the opportunity to talk face-to-face to the people currently making a difference.

A typical day on the immersion study tour.

Tuesday – Day Two.

6:30am – Breakfast.
7:45 – Check out of accommodation (Heartland Hotel).
8:00 – 9:45am – Coach travel – Hamilton to Tauranga.

On the coach you could expect a debrief and critical reflection covering the previous day’s visits.

10:00 – 12:00pm 
– Robotics Plus.
12:15 – 12:45pm – Coach travel and lunch.
1:00 – 4:45pm – Zespri Innovation-Technology.
 Includes 3:15 – 4:45pm – Kiwifruit Growers Inc. (KGI), Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH).
5:00pm onwards – Kiwifruit Innovation and Technology – Panel Discussion.
6:15pm – Check into accommodation (Hotel Armitage Tauranga).
6:45pm – Group dinner.

Our facilitators.

Prof. Hamish Gow

Sir Graeme Harrison Professorial Chair of Global Value Chains and Trade
Lincoln University

Hamish has extensive research and industry experience in agribusiness innovation, entrepreneurship, strategy, and rural finance.

Currently serving as the Sir Graeme Harrison Professorial Chair of Global Value Chains and Trade at Lincoln University, he is uniquely positioned as a global leader and thinker in value chain design, innovation, and entrepreneurship. He was recently the Agribusiness Design Thinker in Residence at Meat and Livestock Australia and previously led the establishment of the Global Food Safety Partnership at the World Bank and Global Markets Programme at GFSI. 

Hamish continues to foster strong connections to industry. He is a member of the MPI Strategic Science Advisory Group for MBovis, Technical Advisory Group for Regenerative Agriculture and Supply Chain Integrity Programme. Previously, he has held faculty and staff positions at Massey University in New Zealand, the University of Illinois, Michigan State University and Cornell University in the USA, KU Leuven in Belgium and the Slovak University of Agriculture in Slovakia.  

Hamish is a 2011 recipient of the Effective Practice Award from the Sloan Consortium. Over the past 20 years he has led market development projects in over 50 countries and consulted to the European Commission, OECD, IFAD, USDA, USAID, UNIDO, FAO, World Bank, and numerous Multinationals, farmers’ organisations, and governments. 

Phil Morrison, ONZM

Phil Morrison, Kellogg and Value Chain Programmes Facilitator

MBA Massey University

Phil Morrison was a Regular Force officer with the New Zealand Army for 25 years, progressing through a variety of command, staff, instructional appointments, and deployments.  

Highlights of his army career include three years as unit commander of an Engineer Regiment, a three-year posting to Canberra as Military Attaché at the NZ High Commission, and a year studying at the Singapore Armed Forces’ Joint Command and Staff College. 

From 2011 Phil worked as a Senior Lecturer and Project Manager for Massey University’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies. In this role he managed the university’s commercial relationship with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, including programme development and delivery of teaching activities.  

In recent years, Phil’s work has included delivery of leadership training, postgraduate business education in strategy and innovation, and facilitation of strategy and innovation workshops.  

Phil is based in Invercargill and is a Councillor with Environment Southland for the Invercargill/Rakiura Constituency.

Phil has been a free-lance consultant since establishing Across Performance Limited in February 2014 – while concluding his MBA research at Massey University. He also co-chairs Southland’s Regional Forum, framing advice on freshwater management for the Regional Council.  

Phil joined as a Facilitator for the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme in 2022, as well as co-facilitating the Value Chain Innovation Programme in late 2022 and in 2023. Phil is also likely to co-facilitate 2025’s programme.

Course dates.

Value Chain Innovation Programme: 2025 – dates tbc.

Participants who have registered their interest in the past, or for 2025’s Programme, will receive news and updates from time to time. 

You can register your interest to receive these updates below.

Participant profile.

The Value Chain Innovation Programme is for those who are passionate about developing their leadership style and capability, growing their networks, and contributing to their business and community.

The course is for those who have:

  • a strong interest in the New Zealand Food and Fibre Sector
  • a desire to learn more about industry and business models
  • a desire to deepen their industry engagement.

A wide cross-section of disciplines and industries will be represented on the course, to promote a stronger base for group dynamics and learning experiences.

Application process.

You are asked to complete a formal application, and will need to meet criteria for eligibility based on:

  • Your academic and/or industry merit
  • Your area of interest
  • 500 words (maximum) on your motivations and learning goals – answering such questions as: What are your reasons for wanting to join the Programme? What work are you engaged in currently, that you believe will benefit from the Programme? What do you hope to gain from the Programme, both personally and professionally?
  • Provision of a CV.

The selection decision will be made by the Programme team based on your written application and a phone interview if required.

Registration of interest.

To start your application or to find out more about the Programme, please register your interest by filling in the form below.

Once submitted, you’ll receive an application form via email. We’ll keep you informed about the Programme and send more information in the weeks that follow. You can unsubscribe at any time.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Programme pricing.

  • In 2023 the Programme was offered at NZ$4,995 +GST.

    Please be aware that the Programme’s fee may be subject to some adjustment to cover the cost of the Programme’s delivery in 2025.
 The fee includes:
  • All curriculum activities, transport and accommodation.
  • Access to the facilitators.

    Transfers to the starting point for the trip and from the finishing point are not covered by the fee.