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Do it for the love

A sum up of BOMA Grow Agri Summit 2021.

A must attend event every year for me is the BOMA Grow Agri Summit – E Tipu (Tipu meaning to grow, prosper and begin). It is the place where I get inspired, challenged, connected. It encourages me to continue pushing the boundaries and working to help businesses become more inclusive, humanized and equally sustainable, both economically, socially and environmentally.

Some highlights for me, to name a few, was seeing Logan Williams’s boat made from wool. Here is a solution to our plastic problem right here. Logan has replaced the plastic making process with course wool and then used that to make a boat You can check it out on One News if you don’t believe me! An absolute game changer.

Then there was Geoff Ross, Hawea Station owner and marketing guru who made household brands such as Ecoya, 42 Below and Essano successful by identifying trends and creating tail winds from them. He is using this approach with our climate crisis, in creating a tailwind (market) for carbon positive produce.

“Climate change is the biggest change to come to us and we have the competitive advantage. The tailwind is the rest of the world will want more of our food and fibre.”

It’s this solution mindset that I love because it turns challenge in to opportunity. Think of it this way, if you are a part of the solution rather than the problem how can that be bad for business?

As Geoff said, it has to feel good. If it feels good for you it will feel good for the people you serve, which retains your relevance and preference.

If we’re talking about feelings, Melissa Clark-Reynolds and Lindy Nelson nailed it in addressing how human nature is a critical part of adapting to change. It is this approach that ensures we are earning and maintaining our social licence, because we are humans at the end of the day not robots, and if we don’t humanise our approach to problems or general day to day business we lose.

I also got the ‘feels’ when the chef, Dan Shanks, for the event got up and talked about how he has changed his approach to catering events form the previous BOMA event and now sources around 80% of his ingredients locally, when previously it had been around 30%. He (or someone else) called it ‘creating regional legacies’ that not only felt good to do but also made good business sense too. This local approach is also becoming a tailwind in itself and lends well to my belief that anything that approaches a challenge ‘from the ground up’ will be a truly valuable and lasting e.g. legacy.

We can’t forget we are nothing without the people that feel deeply enough to challenge the status quo and that includes activists who disagree with us. Like the required diversity of thought needed in the boardroom, Dave Maslen rightly celebrates the activists that have pushed our industry to greater heights. But there are two parts to the equation and without people to respond with a solutions focused mindset we can’t grow/evolve (E Tipu).

So cheers to the doers and cheers to another fantastic thought provoking BOMA Grow Agri Summit.

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