Two months on since our virtual launch and a lot of encouraging momentum already for the Future Food Aotearoa movement:
- The Spinoff's Dietary Requirements podcast hosted steerco members Angus Brown (Ārepa Nootropics) and Sophie Gilmour (Delicious Business) for a 30 chat on FFA's aspiration and generational movement goals. For a light listen visit https://play.acast.com/s/dietary-requirements/brainfood or via Dietary Requirements on iTunes and Spotify.
- A ton of outreach and interest from New Zealand and international food-connected government agencies and entrepreneurs working out what FFA is trying to accomplish and how to support. In Aotearoa there are hundreds (if not thousands!) of government salaries loosley connected to agriculture, food and fibre in some way. We are learning to clarify our mission through our principles so potential partners can lean in rather than opt out. Through collaboration and collective voice we are driving a doers-focused, industry-led movement focused on enabling entrepreneurs and their scale-up food and foodtech ambitions from New Zealand. We are keen to match talent and nurture growth mindsets with what's coming out of government strategic policy, accelerators and research institutes and enabling these businesses to be the next Kiwi Zespri or Synlait. We personally know international growth is hard (especially post Covid) - and we can help enable growth through collective, pooled resources. Encouragingly, we've found our principles are hitting a chord with key senior government stakeholders, and even Fonterra has reached out to see how they can collaborate!
- With this mission in mind, our FFA Steering Committee visted Christchurch for two days at NZ Merino (what a world-class design-led headquarter experience) co-creating and aligning our shared purposes working with the Te Hono Steering Committee. We see Te Hono representing and driving 'the edge' thinking on behalf of primary sector leaders in New Zealand. That's why they are the top primary partner for us in Aotearoa - we can only see the future standing on their shoulders and knowing their stories and struggles. It hasn't been all plain sailing for Te Hono we learned, driving change never is, but what an inspiring mindset and collaborative network they've enabled over the past 10 years. Encouragingly, Te Hono views FFA as a new group of edge thinkers and doers that can help enable what the Te Hono movement plans to achieve over coming 10 years. Still lots of work to do over the next three months to align on shared aspiration in tangible why, what, how frameworks but this will ultimately mean we have a clear framework (and budget!) to grow purpose-led actionist food and foodtech brands going forward.
- With Te Hono's buy-in we have pushed ahead with getting our first cohort of entrepreneurs together for Taste Tomorrow at Peter Gordon's Homeland planned for Friday 21 May in Auckland. Peter is a legend and there's no better home to land our first event in (see what we did there). Whilst this is an invite-only launch event for entrepreneurs and emerging food leaders, we hope to capture the sentiment in the room and share more widely following. We've also two seats for high school students or university students wanting to go big in food, so drop a comment in the blog if you want to learn more. We hope to host virtual and wider offline events in the near future, and open to ideas and opportunities to collaborate (e.g high schools, rural farming leadership programmes, taking our entrepreneur stories outside of Aoteaora). We are also looking at an intern sprint programme with some of our food founders to allow students to quickly get a read of what growing a food company looks like, before they plunge into the local law firm or meatworks. Massive thanks to MPI, NZTE, ASB and Auckland Unlimited for the support and looking forward to sharing our stories following Taste Tomorrow #1.