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    Organic Futures Symposium & Organic NZ Awards Celebration

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    Event description

    Join us for a one-day speaker series (9:30 am - 4:30 pm) focused on the evolving landscape of organics in Aotearoa New Zealand. With the challenges of genetic engineering and the demand for outcome-focused evidence for our domestic and international markets, OANZ invites you to join us for a day filled with speakers who will share insights, expertise, and innovative approaches to navigating these complexities. Gain valuable perspectives from industry leaders, researchers, and practitioners as we explore the opportunities and solutions shaping the future of organics.

    The symposium is immediately followed by the OrganicNZ Awards (5:30 pm - 9:00 pm). 

    Ensure you secure both tickets for a day brimming with networking, enriching insights, and jubilation. Purchasers of tickets for both events will automatically enter a drawing to win fabulous prizes, which will be unveiled during the OrganicNZ Awards.


    9:30 am - 10:00 am: Registration and Networking

    10:00 am - 10:15 am: Opening Remarks

    Master of Ceremonies - Scott Lawson, Lawson's True Earth

    10:15 am - 10:30 am: The Current State and Future Trends of Organics

    Overview of the current landscape, challenges, and emerging trends in organics across the globe. Insights into the future of the organic market, opportunities for growth, and potential challenges to overcome.

    Presented by Tiffany Tompkins, CEO, Organics Aotearoa New Zealand

    10:30 am - 12:00 pm: Panel Discussion: Navigating Genetic Engineering

    Jack Heinemann, Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Canterbury, will deliver a comprehensive presentation on the latest tools in genetic engineering (i.e. CRISPR-Cas, etc...), the rhetoric around these tools, and the potential risks associated with their application. This insightful presentation sets the stage for a dynamic panel discussion featuring participants from across organic production.

    The panel discussion centres on the evolving regulatory landscape surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs), how genetic engineering could potentially impact organic farming practices and the ability to sell organic and/or regenerative products and consumer attitudes towards genetically modified products in New Zealand and abroad. 

    Moderator: Brendan Hoare - Buy Pure New Zealand

    Dr Jack Heinemann - University of Canterbury, Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics
    Allan Richardson - Avalon Organics, Organic Sheep and Beef Farmer
    Greg Barclay - Soil Connection, Regenerative Organic Farming Coach 
    Dr Roger Hellens - Kiwifruit Breeding Centre, Chief Technology Officer

    12:00 pm - 12:45 pm: Networking Lunch

    Buffet lunch provided for attendees to network and engage in informal discussions.

    12:45 pm - 2:00 pm: Changing Landscapes - Meeting the Demands for Outcome-based Evidence

    Significant shifts are underway in international trade dynamics, particularly with the recent passage of the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement. Concurrently, the EU is undergoing a series of policy changes as part of the EU Green Deal initiative. These developments necessitate that New Zealand's organic producers gain a clear understanding of the current requirements and anticipate the trajectory of consumer preferences and policy directions.

    Amidst these transformations, there exist numerous avenues for New Zealand's organic producers to seize opportunities. As consumers increasingly demand outcome-based evidence to address pressing global challenges, the organic sector faces the imperative to demonstrate its efficacy. The ability of organics to stack up in this context will depend on their capacity to provide tangible solutions and verifiable benefits aligned with consumer priorities and societal needs.

    12:45 - 1:15: Diane Lacoste Chevalier, Head of Trade, Delegation of the European Union to New Zealand
    The EU-NZ Free Trade Agreement, Organics and the Changing Landscape of EU Consumers

    1:15 - 1:35: Alistair Schorn, Economist, Aotearoa Development Insights
    The EU Green Deal and Opportunities for NZ's Organic Producers 

    1:35 - 2:00: Cleo Te Kiri, Organic Dairy Business Manager, Pāmu
    Measuring and Expanding the Organics Journey

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Workshop Session - Strategies for Providing Outcome-based Evidence

    Measuring and Communicating: overcoming hurdles to make meaningful connections 

    Communicating the benefits of organics remains a persistent challenge. In New Zealand, prevailing perceptions hinder the organic sector's ability to gain government support, establish connections beyond its boundaries, initiate sales dialogues, and persuade fellow farmers to transition. Given limited resources, the pressing question arises: how can we make organics more relatable and accessible? How can we effectively educate, dispel misconceptions, and debunk myths? 

    This interactive workshop aims to empower participants to brainstorm and devise strategies aimed at offering tangible proof of the outcomes associated with organic production. Bringing together media, scientific expertise, brands, and farmers, the workshop seeks to foster discussions on ways to substantiate the advantages of organics and champion the notion that organic farming is a public good.

    Charles Hyland - MPS Soil Science Cornell University, CEO Agriscore Ltd. 
    Exploring Potential Projects and Tests: Pioneering Initiatives for Sector Advancement

    Noel Josephson - Chair & Co-Founder, Ceres Organics
    Conveying the Value of Organics: Effective Communication Strategies 

    3:00 pm - 3:20 pm: Coffee Break

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm: Navigating the Road Ahead

    3:20 - 4:00 pm: Veracity Project
    Professor Markus Luczak-Roesch, Dr Tim White and Brendan Hoare from Victoria University of Wellington will present insights from the Veracity Technology Spearhead Project, a pioneering initiative funded by the SFTI National Science Challenge. This project, operating at the intersection of informatics and organic agriculture, collaborates with various stakeholders within the organic community, with organic wine serving as a prominent use case. Through their research, Professor Luczak-Roesch and his team explore innovative architectural principles and technologies aimed at advancing New Zealand's data infrastructure. Their efforts are geared towards safeguarding the nation's digital assets while fostering a dynamic digital economy, thus positioning Aotearoa New Zealand as a hub for talent attraction and value creation in the digital sphere. As we navigate the complexities of the organic landscape, these forward-thinking endeavours underscore the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and technological innovation in shaping the future trajectory of organics. A demonstration of this work using Organic Market Access Requirements will be shared.

    4:00 - 4:20 pm: Steve Abel, Green Party MP
    Steve Abel is a long-time environment and climate activist with an impressive record of successful advocacy. He takes a particular interest in the protection and restoration of forests, freshwater and oceans; and transformation of agriculture to ecological methods. Steve lives in Rānui in West Auckland and in 2023 was elected to Parliament as a Green Party List Candidate. He sits on the Primary Production and Petitions Select Committees and holds the portfolios of: Agriculture, Minerals and Resources, Crown Māori Relations, Animal Welfare, Racing, and Food Safety.

    4:20 - 4:30 pm: Closing Remarks and Conclusion

    5:30 pm - 9:00 pm: OrganicNZ AWARDS NIGHT

    Join us for the highly anticipated OrganicNZ Awards Night! It is a time for Aotearoa's vibrant organic community to unite and honour the trailblazers, innovators, and champions of the organic sector and beyond. Let's celebrate those who contribute to the progression of the organic movement, from farmers and community organisations to product creators, all dedicated to a better future for people, the planet, and wildlife.

    Don't miss out on this celebratory event for anyone involved in the organic and regenerative sector. Come raise a glass with us, enjoy a light dinner, sip on New Zealand's finest organic wines, and connect with the brightest minds in organics. Tickets are available for $60, promising an evening of inspiration, camaraderie, and organic delights.

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