3 May 2012

Primary sector bosses off to boot camp

9:48 am on 3 May 2012

New Zealand primary industry bosses will be heading off to boot camp at Stanford University in California in August.

The aim is to bring them together so they can explore ways of getting the sector to collaborate more.

More than 20 senior executives from the dairy, meat, seafood, wine and horticulture sectors will be among those attending the week-long camp.

New Zealand Merino Company chief executive John Brackenridge is one of those behind the initiative.

Mr Brackenridge says he wants to see New Zealand companies break out of their silo mentality and work together more, in the way that his company and Silver Fern Farms meat co-operative are doing with wool and lamb marketing.

He said Italy's success in the textile industry has been due a process referred to in that country as 'coopetition'. "The Italians know when to co-operate and when to compete," he says.

The Agriculture and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT) is sponsoring the Primary Sector Boot Camp with a grant of $100,000.

Trust chairman Jeff Grant says it fits the trust's new strategy for funding projects as it wants more commercial involvement.

He says this particular leadership programme shows the potential to see some collaboration between companies and the off shore markets.