The Silver Fern Farms plate-to-pasture Conference has wrapped up for 2023 and Silver Fern Farms Chief Supply Chain Officer Dan Boulton was impressed with the turnout.
"We almost had 700 people move through the conference over the last couple of days which is outstanding," Bolton told REX Today host Dominic George.
"We're really excited about the attendance and the energy and the mood across everyone."
He said the attitude across the board was very positive, and the environment at the conference proved their strategy of celebrating their local farmers is resonating with consumers and clients alike.
"We have some language around celebrating our nature-positive producers, that's landing really well in the market.
"At the conference, we had some of our global retailers there, we had a large consumer insight company there and we had a globally recognised chef there and all of them said our messaging is right, it's exactly what our consumers want and we've just got to go harder on it."
The Silver Fern Farms Conference hosted a prestigious economic panel featuring Cameron Bagrie and Sir Bill English which was a point of particular interest to a lot of visitors.
In a highly volatile economy, with the worst on-farm inflation in 40 years, Boulton said while it's not always easy to see, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
"We do see the current economic downturn...the demand is down on red meat proteins because of global inventories at the moment but the demand for our attributes is actually really strong.
"I think it's just persevering and controlling what you can control."
"We're confident that if we keep on investing and partnering well and working with those right end consumers we will come right and we will be able to make those returns that we are all so desperately needing right now."
Internationally recognised Chef Peter Gordon, who Boulton described as a 'fantastic ambassador' for producers in New Zealand, also attended the conference.
Boulton said his reassurance that the meat produced in New Zealand stands out around the globe, was well-received by conference-goers.
"He is absolutely certain we produce nutritional, sustainable, red meat here. We're seeing a downturn in all those other alternative meat options.
"That gave our farmers confidence in the room, in a pretty challenging environment today.
"For us, it's about listening to those consumers and building confidence around our future."
He told George that supply chains, which have been an ongoing topic in the past few years are looking to be moving in a positive direction in recent times.
"Going into this season we are in far better shape.
"Our overall labour settings are far better so better supply chain, better labour settings so hopefully a more normal season for our farmers, which I think we are all desperately hoping for."
Listen to the full chat between Silver Fern Farms Chief Supply Chain Officer Dan Boulton and Dominic George above.