Integrating Value Chains

Providing knowledge on how to construct global value chains that share increased value with New Zealand farmers and growers, and meet environmental expectations of consumers and citizens

Project Details Ngā taipitopito

Project Status:
Challenge funding:
Research duration:
January 2017 – June 2019

Collaborators Ngā haumi

AgFirst | ANZCO Foods | AsureQuality | Beef + Lamb NZ | Export NZ | Fonterra | Foundation for Arable Research | GNS Science | Horticulture NZ | Lincoln University | Massey University | MBIE | MFAT | MPI | NZTE | PwC New Zealand | RMIT University | Scion | Taupō Beef and Lamb | Te Hono | The AgriBusiness Group | Thought Strategy | University Of Auckland | University Of Canterbury | Wageningen University | Wakatū Incorporation | Zespri

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What are we doing?E aha ana mātou?

The customer decides the final value of New Zealand’s agricultural exports. To increase this value, the ‘value chain’ of businesses, from producer to retailer, can collaborate to align their strategies and processes with what customers value most highly, and make clear this ‘story’ of production.

Integrating Value Chains tested whether New Zealand’s world-renowned reputation for food and fibre would allow our producers and processors to capture higher returns for agri-food exports. This research delivered new knowledge about how international consumers value New Zealand food exports, especially from Māori enterprises. It also looked into new technologies for authenticating food trust.

Five case studies of successful New Zealand value chains were researched, so learning from their success can be used by other businesses.

Our goal is for New Zealand to produce high-value products across all sectors, and share more of this value from consumers to producers in a way that rewards good environmental, social and cultural practices.

How can the research be used? Ka pēhea e whai take ai te rangahau?

  • The major output of this research was a report synthesising the learnings from the 5 case studies. This includes a framework of key elements of a global agri-food value chain that creates, captures and shares value. This can be used by enterprises wanting to create value from the sustainability and other attributes of New Zealand agri-food exports.
  • Beef + Lamb NZ commissioned tailored research, using the methodology developed in this programme, to help develop its New Zealand ‘red meat story’ for international markets, Taste Pure Nature. That initiative was supported by an increase in Beef and Lamb levies of $4.1 million. The potential in the US market is extra revenue (20% premium) of $238 million in export returns. Our research supports Beef+Lamb NZ’s environment strategy to ensure the claims from this $7 billion industry are met.
  • Incentives for Change researchers were engaged by the Primary Sector Council (set up to advise the Minister of Agriculture) to produce a situational analysis of the New Zealand food and fibre sector. Their report drew heavily on the Integrated Value Chains research programme. This report is being used to develop a strategy for the New Zealand Government.
  • Government initiatives Trade For AllJust Transitions and AsureQuality have used work from this programme.
  • Industry bodies and companies have engaged with Integrated Value Chains researchers to increase value from export market, including Wakatū Incorporation , Ngāi Tahu Pounamu, Zespri, Taupō Beef and Lamb, Fonterra and ANZCO.
  • Research from this programme has been shared with participants in Te Hono, the association for influential primary sector leaders.
  • The AERU has created a dedicated website,, where anyone can download the 7 research reports generated in the first phase of research, including 4 reports on choice experiments in 4 different export markets (kiwifruit and yoghurt in Shanghai, and beef and wine in California).
  • The AERU has also created the AERU Data Portal, a free, interactive platform to access results from the AERU international consumer surveys.

Participation & engagement Te hunga i whai wāhi mai

  • The programme is being supervised by an Advisory Board of representatives from major end-users of the research. The research team meets regularly with industry end-users.
  • A meeting with key Beef + Lamb NZ designers of the New Zealand Red Meat Story took place at Lincoln University in August 2017. Over 1000 farmers voted to increase their levy to progress Beef + Lamb NZ’s work to develop what later became the Taste Pure Nature campaign.
  • Professor Caroline Saunders was appointed President of the Agricultural Economics Society in the UK. Her Presidential address to an international audience at the Agricultural Economics Society annual conference in 2019 drew directly on this programme’s science.
  • A PhD researcher associated with the programme, Tiffany McIntyre, was selected to be a member of a New Zealand team in the students’ case study competition of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association. Her team was placed second against strong competition.
  • The AERU had a stand at the Export New Zealand Go Global Expos in Auckland in 2017, 2018 and 2019, each attended by about 300 people.
  • Researchers in this programme are also connected to the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge.

Research team Te hunga i whai wāhi mai

Caroline Saunders
Lincoln Universtiy
Research Lead
Paul Dalziel
Lincoln University
Peter Tait
Lincoln University
John Saunders
Lincoln University
Tim Driver
Lincoln Universtiy
Mark Wilson
Lincoln University
Tiffany McIntyre
Lincoln University
Bill Kaye-Blake
Tanira Kingi
John Reid
University of Canterbury / Earth Quotient
Alistair Mowat
Thought Strategy
Tava Olsen
University of Auckland
Paul Childerhouse
Massey University
Karyne Rogers
GNS Science

Tools & resources Ngā utauta me ngā rauemi

Interactive Tool

Consumer Data Portal

The AERU, as part of our Integrating Value Chains and Rewarding Sustainable Practices research (plus research for other funders) has developed online tools to access…
View Interactive Tool

Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Sustainability and Other Attributes

Evidence gathered by four separate Our Land and Water research programmes has found that food shoppers in New Zealand’s key export markets do value attributes…
View Summary

What is a value chain?

This infographic, produced by Our Land and Water for Angus magazine, shows information from producers moving along the value chain to consumers, and vice versa.
View Infographic

Wellbeing Economics: The Capabilities Approach to Prosperity

This free (open-access PDF) book sets out a wellbeing economics framework that directly addresses fundamental issues affecting wellbeing outcomes. The book examines national public policy,…
View Guidance

Measuring What Counts: Revenue and Reputation

High Value Nutrition NZ Conference, September 2017
View Presentation
Interactive Tool

Beef in California, USA

Online tool to access and analyse results of a survey of beef consumers in California about their consumer behaviour, preferences, technology use, understanding of Māori…
View Interactive Tool

Academic outputs He whakaputanga ngaio

Journal Article

Wellbeing Economics in Public Policy: A Distinctive Australasian Contribution?

The ‘Wellbeing Budget’ presented to the New Zealand Parliament in 2019 was widely described as a world-first. This article explores the possibility of a distinctive…
View Journal Article
Journal Article

Estimating Wine Consumer Preferences for Sustainability Attributes: A Discrete Choice Experiment of Californian Sauvignon Blanc Purchasers

In an increasingly saturated global market, winegrowers and wineries have an opportunity for product differentiation born out of environmental and social pressures coupled with growing…
View Journal Article
Journal Article

Comparing generational preferences for individual components of sustainability schemes in the Californian wine market

Millennials are the largest demographic segment in the USA and have gained market share of high-frequency wine drinkers while Baby Boomers and Gen-X generations share…
View Journal Article
Journal Article

Sustainable Agriculture – Life beyond Subsidies: Lessons from New Zealand

This paper explores the importance for agricultural sustainability of different types of capital assets, especially knowledge capital, drawing on recent research in New Zealand that…
View Journal Article
Technical Report

Governing Value Creation and Capture in NZ Agribusiness Value Chains: A Case Study

This research investigates five case studies of New Zealand global value chains to identify those value chain attributes important to return value to the producer.…
View Technical Report

In the media Mai i te ao pāpaho

Irrigation NZ News, Winter 2019
“We need to figure out how to capture value that is then shared with the producer — we must transform our supply chains into value chains.”
Radio New Zealand, 2 July 2018
A public panel discussion at Waikato University chaired by Kim Hill in association with the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre
NZ Geographic, March–April 2018
“The way we produce now is generating premiums we don’t always receive,” says Caroline Saunders. “We need to figure out how we can capture value that actually trickles down to the producer—stop thinking about supply chains and start thinking about value chains”

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