The future of New Zealand's food story will be shaped this week as thousands walk through the gates of this year’s New Zealand AgriFood week, in association with ASB.
'Food for Who?' is the theme of this year's event which runs from 11-16 March in Palmerston North, and is delivered by the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA). ASB as the main sponsor is urging visitors to bring their appetite to challenge the status-quo.
ASB general manager of rural banking Richard Hegan says like with other sectors, disruption is the new reality. Simply producing more and more isn’t the way of the future, and that’s why supporting events such as New Zealand AgriFood Week is important.
"At ASB we have a history deeply influenced by innovation and our Rural Banking team is passionate about helping our customers continue to innovate. We’re excited to come to Manawatu and celebrate the work currently being done to keep New Zealand at the top of global agriculture and food production."
"But it's also a vital opportunity to talk with primary industry leaders, future leaders, producers and consumers, about how to evolve even further and deliver the next phase of value for agriculture," says Hegan
“When you look at the breadth and calibre of those involved in New Zealand AgriFood Week, it’s easy to see why our small country is a global leader in food production,” says CEDA chief executive, Linda Stewart.
It's the fourth year ASB has been the main sponsor of New Zealand AgriFood week and organiser CEDA is proud of the landmark event the week has become.
"The week is about identifying the opportunities, challenges and future trends for food producers. It provides local and central government, producers, growers, researchers and consumers the environment to work together and ensure Manawatu is leading the thinking in product development, innovation and the sustainability of agriculture and food production, for the benefit of New Zealand," says Stewart.
First on ASB’s event-card is the headline breakfast ASB Perspective 2025. A round-table discussion where female leaders from across the industry will come together to share their insights.
As Richard Hegan explains, the panel consists of some of the sector’s most influential women, who already understand that it’s not just how we produce our food that matters but the way it is marketed and sold across the world that will deliver real value.
“The sustainable production of high quality food that balances the needs and expectations of consumers, our communities and stakeholders is at a critical stage. To stay at the forefront we need to get our story right so consumers, no matter where in the world they call home, insist on our produce in their stores because they see more value and authenticity in our produce. Getting more for what we produce – not simply producing more, that’s food for thought indeed,” says Hegan.