28 Jan 2015

New trade chair funded by meat industry exec

6:18 am on 28 January 2015

Meat industry veteran Sir Graeme Harrison has strong views on what New Zealand businesses need to do to thrive in the international market place.

And he was backing that by funding a new academic post at Lincoln University - a Professorial Chair in Global Value Chains and Trade.

Sir Graeme, who was a founder and chairman of ANZCO Foods, said it was the right time to establish the position which he hoped would provide leadership for the business community on global trade.

"The opportunities have never been so great for land-based products in international trade and that is due to the growing middle-class, especially in Asia. And world markets are actually closer to us now.

"When you look at it in an historical context, New Zealand has been quite distant from its markets in Europe and North America, but now we have these increasing opportunities close to us.

"Of course China leads the way, but Southeast Asia generally is growing fast as well. And to actually take advantage of these opportunities, you need to position yourself beyond the traditional, transactional relationships.

"You need to get into partnerships. And I mean, that's pretty much what ANZCO has done throughout its history."

He said the level of funding he was providing was confidential, but it would cover the full costs of the professorship for a number of years, with the right of renewal.

Lincoln University Vice-Chancellor Dr Andrew West described it as "a visionary and generous act" which will have academic as-well-as commercial significance.