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A snapshot of the work we're doing to boost sector innovation, development, and productivity.

Hands holding fresh wool

Food and fibre investment

Encouraging private investment allows capital expansion, technological innovation and product development.

Work includes

  • the Capital & Funding programme
  • MPI’s Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures (SFF).

As at March 2022, SFFF has approved 215 projects with a total funding of $521.7m ($236.9m MPI funding and $284.8m industry funding).

NZTE has identified a potential direct economic impact of $2.5b focusing on pet food, aquaculture, and value-added dairy. There have been 75 deals to date, comprising $2.66b of PDEI.

Child on adult's shoulders, pointing in the distance

Industry transformation plans

Industry transformation plans (ITPs) provide an opportunity to develop the primary sector. FFBW has 4 core industry transformation plans – Fisheries/Aquaculture, Forestry, Food & Beverage, and Agritech.


MPI released the Accelerate the Aquaculture Strategy investment roadmap in December 2021.

A whitebait pilot facility project began in December 2021, with SFFF contributing $988K. The project will build a pilot production facility to serve domestic whitebait demand.

NZFOA is working on a 10-year programme to reduce methyl bromide use in the forestry export, and to evaluate alternative phytosanitary treatments to meet market access requirements.

Hands holding lettuce seedling

Māori agribusiness

Whenua Māori has great potential for sustainable growth and development. The Māori agribusiness programme is designed to help realising this potential. 


MPI is supporting Māori agribusinesses in focused capability development and has signed 11 projects with active contracts. There are also 4 projects where contract drafting is in progress, and 8 projects assessed and approved for funding.

In partnership with MPI and 6 farm trusts in the eastern Bay of Plenty, DairyNZ presents a series of wānanga to support on-farm capability and self-reliant governance.

Beef + Lamb NZ is celebrating business excellence in New Zealand's pastoral and horticultural sectors with the Ahuwhenua Trophy.

Beef + Lamb NZ is supporting the Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA) to work towards sustainable, economic prosperity for whānau, communities and Aotearoa. Environment policy and extension activities to both inform and get Māori farmer input on key policy issues is underway.

Aquaculture in calm water

Regulatory barriers

The food and fibre sector interacts with a wide range of regulatory systems. These systems need to be fit for purpose, efficient, and allow businesses to innovate.

Work programmes to review regulations include

  • MPI’s Flexible Regulatory Systems
  • MFE led Climate Change Adaptation Act.

Beef + Lamb NZ is developing farm plans in conjunction with New Zealand Farm Assurance Incorporated (NZFAI) and New Zealand Farm Assurance Programme (NZFAP). They deliver environmental module of Farm Plans through workshops and catchment groups.

MPI is preparing for public consultation on the Biosecurity Act Review.

Two workers checking trees for pest

Research and development

Science, research, innovation and Mātauranga Māori all support the food and fibre sector. MPI lined out 8 research priorities:

  • biological emissions
  • dairy-beef integration
  • aquaculture
  • horticulture
  • renewable and decarbonised sector
  • landscape scale decision making
  • social science for change, and
  • diversifying protein.

The Frontier Farms initiative by DairyNZ is researching and developing metrics to push the boundaries of farm performance. Competitive analysis and first farm system designs are underway.

DairyNZ is working with farmers in the Tararua catchment to trial plantain across the farm system. This research is developing evidence for plantain's role in the reduction of nitrogen leaching. 

Beef + Lamb NZ is working on investment strategies for Facial Eczema eradication, and for better internal parasite management to avoid resistance.

Beef + Lamb NZ is initiating an on-farm research programme to drive productivity and profitability while reducing methane emissions.

NZFOA and MBIE are working together in a 6-year partnership to improve the efficiency of tissue culture plant production.

Cargo ship in harbour

Trade and market access

An open and export-focused economy, international market access, and strong relationships with our trading partners play a large role in the economic performance of our food and fibre sector.


Beef + Lamb NZ is relaunching the Taste Pure Nature origin brand in China and the United States.

NZTE has published new insights and suggestions on myNZTE, to help food and beverage companies achieve market premiums. This increases visibility for the results of the consumer purchase behaviour research that was completed in 2021.

Drops on water surface

Water availability and security

Both government and industry are working to improve water availability and security for the food and fibre sector and rural communities.


DairyNZ’s Dairy Tomorrow Strategy is working to improve the health of rivers and streams, including a goal of reporting on nutrient use for all dairy farms by 2025.

NZ Wine is engaging with regional councils including Hawkes Bay, Tasman and Marlborough on using SWNZ as a vehicle for fresh water farm planning.

NZFOA is undergoing initial scoping investigation for further water quality and sedimentation data from a paired catchment as part of their Pakuratahi Land Use study.

MPI and MFE are developing systems to introduce freshwater farm plans in 2022.