I am sitting here at my keyboard, just like last year, and the year before, writing a blog entry. It is spring in New Zealand. The evergreen Azaleas are coming to the end of their flowering cycle, the first columbines and larkspurs are ready to add their colour, and the snowball tree and roses are about to delight us as well. The birds are singing and an election is in full swing, with politicians going hammer and tongs at each other, here in Aotearoa – New Zealand, as well as in the land of the Stars and Stripes.
Business as usual therefore.
Well, nothing could be further from the truth.
Metaphorically speaking, Covid-19 has not just left its tyre marks in the virgin snow, but has severely gouged our strategic landscape wherever it has been allowed to settle for any length of time – and we are collectively still trying to come to terms with the consequences of Covid’s emergence on the scene.
So what are we to do? I do not know about you, but sitting around and waiting for fried duck to fly into my mouth is not my style. Relying on periods of reflection, followed by rapid action, on the other hand, is closer to where I am at.
Covid therefore triggered me into an intense reflective period – and the outcome is my new book on the produce industry. The book aims to tackle one of the key questions that exercises our collective minds, which is :
What constitutes a fair and sustainable price for our fruits and vegetables?
Covid has changed everything and that makes it even more important than ever, that we do not shy away from asking the difficult questions. I have written this book to help us, as an industry, in our reflective process of finding a way to lift the value consumer place on fruits and vegetables, achieve fair and sustainable produce pricing, and confront the issues relating to urban creep, generational change on the farms and technology centred solutions.
Do I give you all the answers? No!
Can I stimulate your mind to start thinking outside the box and work on the industry rather than in the industry? I think so.
As I said above, Covid has changed everything, and even once we have this virus under control (I hope), what will remain is the lingering and sobering realization that we are more vulnerable as individuals, communities, nations, and as a species, than we had been prepared to acknowledge pre-Covid.
Different times call for different measures. My new book is therefore not available for sale, but it is being distributed free of charge by pdf e-book download from The AgriChain Centre website.
You can find it here.
As always your feedback is welcome.