Agriculture Minister Visits the Institute

Hon Damien O'Connor visits the Riddet Institute
Friday 1st March 2019

The Riddet Institute was proud to host the Minister for Agriculture, Hon Damien O’Connor on his visit to the Manawatū this week. The Minister for Agriculture, Food Safety and Trade and Export Growth, visited the region to hear from the Director of the Institute Professor Harjinder Singh, to meet with New Zealand’s food science thought leaders, and key research partners for the primary industries.

The Riddet Institute is a world-best research centre in food and related sciences, providing fundamental scientific understanding and training a new generation of science leaders. The Institute integrates partner organisations and disciplines, leading a “NZ Inc.” approach to food research, and generates knowledge and capability that transforms the New Zealand food industry. Director of the Riddet Institute and Massey University Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh says the visit was a good chance to reflect on the Institutes recent research highlights and discuss the strategy to support the primary industries in the future.

“We enjoyed hosting this visit from the Minister to the Riddet Institute, and shared with him our thoughts on how we are going to feed a growing world population by adding value to New Zealand’s food industry. Our leadership in this area is underpinned by our world class science and training the future leaders for the industry, to build the nations capability in order for us to compete on the world stage” says Professor Singh.

The Minister is well aware of the challenges faced by the primary and food industry moving forward into this century. “We need to reduce agricultural emissions, while maintaining strong economies and productive and resilient sectors capable of meeting the food demand of an exponentially growing world population. Another 2.3 billion people will join the global population by 2050, and the increasing food demand means we will need to produce more food in the next 50 years, than in the past 500” says Minister O’Connor in a speech to the International Conference on Agricultural GHG Emissions and Food Security in Berlin in September last year.

The Riddet Institute supports the primary industries in New Zealand, as it lends a critical mass in food science and related disciplines. It brings together New Zealand’s leading scientists in food and nutrition in a collaborative, multidisciplinary national network. The Riddet Institute CoRE is a partnership between Massey University (host institution), the University of Otago, The University of Auckland, AgResearch and Plant & Food Research. The Institute unites leading scientists and key elements of New Zealand's resources in food and related sciences and is a catalyst for innovation to create sustained competitive advantage for New Zealand's food industry.