We all own our agricultural story…..that’s the problem


This post also runs at pasture Harmonies.

The trouble is; we all own New Zealand’s agricultural story.

That is, the huge collective effort that went into figuring out, developing and improving the soil, pasture and plant/animal interaction that is our pastoral method: is part of our collective birthright.

Unfortunately, NZ Inc has never (and as such never could) apply for a worldwide patent for the knowledge. There’s none of it that’s uniquely identifiable. If, perhaps way back in the 1930s when some of the eminent scientists of the day were working up their theories of how to grow grass/clover better, there may have been some form of IP we could’ve called ‘ours’.

That horse has well and truly bolted these days – indeed, there’s mid-Western American universities who would attempt to claim the mantle.

However, no one has ever claimed the STORY.

No one has ever said, ‘well, we work with rather than against nature, seasonally’. If you want a comparison, it is much like the way the Seregenti ‘works’; with animals grazing then moving on to new, fresh pastures in a circular pattern that is probably as old as the time we’ve been walking upright.

To mix metaphors, this method of growing, grazing, resting pasture is a globally unstaked claim.

By that token, we, NZ Inc can and should nab it. What we’d be laying claim to is responsible pastoralism – and for want of a title/name/brand, I’m proposing we call it pasture Harmonies (otherwise we’d spend all our time debating what to call it).

I’m sure there would be a bit of a furore if we did – but so? (The only bad publicity is no publicity).

From a big-picture point of view for NZ Inc, and particularly the companies and farmers with a financial vested interest in agriculture, naming our story would provide the missing glue, the rationale to allow us to work together when it best suits.

Because one of our main challenges, identified in a host of reports over the past 30 years, is there is no NZ Inc strategic vision.

That’s because there is nothing (yet) to consolidate around.

But the moment we named our agriculture’s comparative advantage, and allowed those who wished to participate (including partnering overseas farmers and companies) to use pH as a co-brand, co-story, is the instant we’d give ourselves a non-commodity future.

The moment we said, ‘this is ours’, and named the method, is when we’d change our offer to the world.

We’d also make more money.

Or, is making money something we shouldn’t aspire to?

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About sticknz

sticK is by Peter Kerr, a writer for hire. I have a broad science and technology background and interest, with an original degree in agricultural science. My writing speciality is making the complex understandable. I am available for outside consultancy work, and for general discussions of converting a good idea into something positive
This entry was posted in Development, high tech, Market validation, proprietary, SciBlogs, sustainability, technology, value added food and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to We all own our agricultural story…..that’s the problem

  1. BDB inc says:

    I’ll go against the herd and say no in our vision we should not “aspire” to make more money, that is greed and that is exactly what motivates these commodity traders and middlemen whom are taking money out because we bought their concept of money as a commodity,and have private central banks lending us our money and dictating to us our monitory policy(which strongly effects NZ’s trade and exports)
    I am against Corporations patenting ideas, they have no ownership claim on ideas or concepts.
    Who can prove they own an idea or a gene (or a gene mutation) that has already occurred in nature.
    We can claim to have high quality agricultural produce and we should aspire to fix all the problems we are able to fix. The high end of the world market is not interested in GM or the excessive use of chemicals,(funnily enough monsanto serve GM free food in their staff cafeteria, http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/1999/12/22/gmfood991222.html.)

    • sticknz says:

      I haven’t suggested GM food. What I am suggesting is that owning a story, our story, would provide us with a much more sustainable position beyond commodity – allow us and our children to have much more control over our future. In that sense, for those consumers who care, we could provide a heart and head solution = products.

      Again – it is the story that counts; and we don’t have one.

  2. BDB inc says:

    Being unsustainable we import GM food now. We are not GM free and that coupled with sustainable and responsible practices would have been a good brand/story.
    The controlling agents I mentioned when allowed to “earn more money” prevent our control now and in the future as they control prices, trades and the dollar.

    Its reality that counts. Changing the word greed to innovation does not help our children to set loftier goals(or aspirations) as “making more money” is not an aspiration its merely a desire based on greed.
    And I think focusing on being sustainable right now is better than pure imagination.
    I don’t claim to own NZ agricultural story, and for every farmer its probably been a different. experience.

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