Aotearoa has the capacity to supply much more milling wheat to New Zealand eaters, but growing a local grain economy requires fundamental investment or support of infrastructure at the small to medium scale.
On-farm mills are an example of supply chain disruption, handing agency back to farmers, allowing them to be price setters rather than price takers. This means they can solve issues around food security in Aotearoa and expand options for land use. This market behaviour is mirrored by businesses using micro-abattoirs (meat), on-farm pasteurisation (milk), and community fishing hubs (fish).
Collectively they imagine thriving local food systems beyond just fruit and vegetables. Increasing the small-scale processing of arable crops creates more opportunities for differentiated arable products for bakers and retailers looking for more specialised products for their businesses.
This report extrapolates those ideas to model potential local food systems for Aotearoa, which consider food waste and local procurement.
Rural Professionals Fund final report, 2023