As global food trends evolve and the dairy industry plays a more prominent role, Fonterra's latest results are painting a promising picture for New Zealand's economy.
International keynote speaker and former NZX analyst Julia Jones talked with REX host Dominic George about the economic impact of Fonterra's success, as they released their full year 2023 fiscal report last week.
"Full year reported earnings of 95 cents per share, reported profit after tax of $1.6 billion and a final season farmgate milk price of $8.22. It's extremely positive and there's been a lot of hard work from Fonterra and our farmers to make this happen," Jones said.
This result reflects not only the health of the dairy industry but also the wider economy.
"This is a celebration for New Zealand," she added.
However, the success of Fonterra and the dairy industry does not exist in isolation. They are deeply entwined with the intricate web of global food security. The perplexing farm regulations implemented by the EU and other nations, Jones suggested, pose a significant challenge for New Zealand.
But the challenges aren't limited to global food security and regulations. Jones touched on the rural issues that are often overlooked in a country of five million.
"We've got five million people in a country and they're all different. We need to focus more on issues rather than soundbites."
The debate on rural matters should shift from a negative tone to a more constructive dialogue.
The conversation also highlighted the importance of resilience and forward-thinking in these uncertain times. Despite the struggles, Jones believes there is progress to applaud.
"We acknowledge the difficulty of the past year and the fact that many people are still struggling, while also recognizing that other parts of the world are already making progress."
In an increasingly complex global food market, Jones advocates for a focus on the international regulations that impact New Zealand's exports. She believes that while local regulations may be important, it's the offshore ones that hold the key to our future success.
"New Zealand regulation is backwards. We should be paying more attention to offshore regulation because that's where our food goes.
"If we don't comply with what the offshore regulation needs, we've got nowhere to sell our food," Jones cautioned.
The road ahead may be filled with challenges, but with the right focus on international trends, regulations and a dash of resilience, there's hope for a prosperous future.
Listen to the full chat between Julia Jones and Dominic George above.