Value Chain Innovation Programme

Apply now for the 2022 Value Chain Innovation Programme.
Applications close midnight 18 September 2022.

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.

'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 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.

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.

Virtual Masterclass and pre-reading (Phase One).
New dates: early November 2022.

To start you’ll receive a list of reading materials to help you prepare for the two-hour virtual masterclass led by our facilitators – Professor Hamish Gow and Phil Morrison. This phase will introduce you to value chain theory, comparative analysis, and the drivers of change. At this stage you’ll also choose the value chain you wish to explore during the weeks that follow.

This phase will culminate with the production of an individual value chain analysis report. It’s an opportunity to start applying the concepts, tools, and methods introduced by the facilitators to the value chain you’re interested in.

Industry immersion study tour (Phase Two).
New dates: Sunday, 13 November – Friday, 25 November 2022

The second phase will start on 13 November in Auckland and will finish on 25 November in Christchurch. The 12-day immersion study tour will take the whole group to multiple locations and businesses throughout New Zealand.

The tour will provide participants with first-hand experience of multiple value chains and their role in our economy. There will be 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.

During this phase you’ll also work with a group of fellow participants on a comparative analysis report. You’ll apply the principles of collaborative leadership and critical inquiry and make recommendations for innovation and change in an industry-level value chain (e.g., horticulture, aquaculture, forestry, livestock, and arable). Your team will produce the report and share its findings with everyone on the programme in a presentation.

Improvement report (Phase Three, optional).
New due date: tba.

The last three weeks of the programme are dedicated to an in-depth analysis of the value chain you chose in phase one. This is an individual report.

In this report you’ll apply the learnings from the first two phases to the redesign of a specific value chain and how your chosen value chain could be improved. You’ll also create actionable plans to deliver better outcomes.

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

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.

As an ongoing exercise, we recommend keeping a critical reflections journal. In other programmes we run, we’ve found that a reflections journal is an effective tool to maximise your learning experience and promote robust discussions with your peers.

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

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: November 2022.

Enrolled participants will be notified of any changes to the scheduled dates.

Phase One (virtual)

Early November 2022.

Reading list, value chain report topic and masterclass (approx. two hours).

Phase Two (facilitated two-week industry immersion)

Sunday 13 November – Friday 25 November 2022.

Travel through the North and South Islands.

Phase Three (extramural, optional)

Complete a high-level value chain innovation report.

Final reports are due – tba.

Applications close Sunday, 18 September 2022.

Please be aware that the programme spans 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 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 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 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 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 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. Upgrades to a single room are available at additional cost
  • Catering for the duration of the field trip.

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