Value Chain Innovation Programme

Apply now for the 2022 Value Chain Innovation Programme.
Applications close midnight 20 March 2022.

Innovating for our fast-changing value chains.

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

intensive learning

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 your knowledge, skills and networks to enable you to operate and be influential at an enterprise level within the food and fibre sector.

What are the 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, and techniques and judge their applicability for solving complex problems.

The programme enables you to develop a professional standard of communications skills, including: written, public speaking and media awareness, listening, questioning and peer to peer coaching.


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 people in pan-sector settings.
  • Apply verbal, written and visual communication skills and work effectively, both individually and within a team.

Course content summary.

Phase 1

New Dates: 9-14 May 2022

You will be provided a reading list to complete before attending a two-hour virtual masterclass led by Prof. Hamish Gow and Phil Morrison.

This will introduce you to value chain theory, the current landscape within New Zealand’s value chains and what is likely to emerge in the future.

As part of this initial engagement you will create a short proposal on your own value chain, or one you want to explore.

Phase 2

New dates: 15-27 May 2022

During the second phase, you will undertake two weeks of facilitated field research with your fellow participants. The trip will take you through the North and South Islands, where you will meet and talk with innovative business leaders.

The research will cover 10+ value chains, concluding with participants presenting their own group reports covering the opportunities and challenges for innovation in selected industry-level value chains.

Phase 3

New dates: 30 May – 19 June 2022

The third phase of the programme is allocated to self-directed learning. At the end of this three-week period you are asked to submit an individual report on an innovative value chain you are involved or interested in. You will have the opportunity to take your learning from general concepts and strategic industry analysis to specific challenges and opportunities in your own field of endeavour.

Note – There will be frequent meetings with the group throughout the duration of the course.

All phases are facilitated by Prof. Hamish Gow and Phil Morrison, who will be available to provide mentoring and support at various stages of the programme.

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 Program 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

MBA Massey University

Phil is currently based in Invercargill and has been a free-lance consultant since February 2014. At that time, he established Across Performance Limited while concluding his MBA research at Massey University.  
In recent years, Phil’s work has included delivery of leadership development training, postgraduate business education in strategy and innovation, and facilitation of strategy and co-innovation workshops in a variety of contexts. Phil currently co-chairs Southland’s Regional Forum, framing advice on freshwater management for the Regional Council. 
From 2011 Phil worked for three years as a Senior Lecturer and Project Manager for Massey University’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies. In this capacity he managed the university’s commercial relationship with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), including programme development, coordination, and delivery of teaching activities in Brunei. Phil’s teaching activities also extended to delivery of postgraduate education to the New Zealand Defence Force’s Joint Command and Staff Course. 
Previously, Phil enjoyed a 25-year career as a Regular Force officer with the New Zealand Army, progressing through a variety of command, staff, instructional appointments, and deployments. Highlights included 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.

Course dates.

Value Chain Innovation Programme: 9 may – 19 June 2022.

This programme will go ahead at Covid Level One. The programme will be postponed at Covid Level Two or greater. Enrolled participants will be notified of any changes to the scheduled dates.

Phase 1 (virtual)

Monday 9 May – Saturday 14 May 2022

Reading list, value chain report and masterclass.

Phase 2 (facilitated two-week industry immersion)

Sunday 15 May – Friday 27 May 2022

Travel through the North and South Islands.

Phase 3 (extramural)

Monday 30 May – Sunday 19 June 2022.

Complete a high-level value chain innovation report.

Final reports are due on 19 June 2022.

Applications close Sunday, 20 March 2022.

Please be aware that the programme covers just over five weeks in total, including phase three. This represents a minimum time commitment of 150 hours.

Participant profile.

The value Chain Innovation Programme is for those who are passionate about developing their leadership style, 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 about industry and business models
  • Can show examples of industry engagement
  • Can show evidence of academic industry or merit.

We are looking to have a wide cross-section of disciplines represented on the course, to promote a stronger base for group work, 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.
  • 1000 words (maximum) on your motivations and learning goals – answering such questions as: What are your reasons for wanting to join the programme? What work have you been engaged in 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 will receive an application form via email. We will keep you informed about the programme and send more information in the weeks to follow. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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

Programme pricing.

  • In 2022 the programme is offered for NZ$ 5,500+GST.
 This is includes:
  • All curriculum activities
  • Access to the facilitators
  • Transportation costs for the 12-day field research trip across New Zealand
  • Accommodation for the research trip, on a twin share basis. Upgrade to a single room is available at additional cost
  • Catering for the duration of the filed trip.

Transfers to Auckland (starting point for the research trip) and from Christchurch (finishing point) are not covered by the fee.