Rewarding Sustainable Practices

Delivering validated new knowledge to agribusiness leaders transforming commodity supply chains to premium value chains

Project Details Ngā taipitopito

Project Status:
Challenge funding:
Research duration:
August 2019 – June 2022

Collaborators Ngā haumi

Foundation for Arable Research | JD Reid Ltd | Lincoln University | Miraka | Scion | Te Hono | Wageningen University | Wakatū Incorporation

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What are we doing?E aha ana mātou?

New Zealand food producers are under pressure to reduce their impact on fresh water and their greenhouse gas emissions. They also need to maintain their income to support their whānau and their employees, pay their mortgage, and continue making their significant contribution to New Zealand’s economy.

One way to support farmers and growers to meet New Zealand’s environmental goals is to reward sustainable practices.

People all over the world value many things about quality New Zealand food, such as its safety and environmental stewardship, and many customers are willing to pay more for these qualities.

This research will help exporters capture more value for their produce and increase returns to food and fibre producers, rewarding the good practices that created the extra value. This will require a ‘value chain’ of businesses, from farmer to retailer, to collaborate to authentically deliver the attributes valued by overseas customers.

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

  • Researchers have tested their approach by working alongside four businesses beginning a ’volume to value’ transition, providing new insights into how enterprises can transform their commodity supply chain to a premium value chain.
  • The research team has identified 9 key characteristics that are common to value chains that successfully reward food producers for sustainable choices.
  • ‘Market orientation’ is one key characteristic common to successful value chains. This research has undertaken choice modelling experiments to understand what attributes overseas customers most value for food and fibre products from New Zealand. (Explore the results of the team’s previous choice modelling experiments: sauvignon blanc in Californiayoghurt in Shanghaikiwifruit in Shanghaibeef in California)
  • The research programme is developing a tool for agribusinesses and exporters, that they can use to help identify and introduce critical success factors associated with successful value chains.
  • The programme will deliver this new knowledge to leaders who are transforming New Zealand’s primary sector to distribute significantly more value to producers from consumers than established supply chains.
  • This programme builds on the work of the Integrating Value Chains programme.

Participation & engagement Te hunga i whai wāhi mai

  • The programme is being supervised by an Advisory Board of 20 representatives from major end-users of the research. The board has an oversight role in this project, meeting twice a year to receive reports on the research and to co-design the next stage.
  • An impact broker will assist with stakeholder engagement and co-design of initiatives to amplify impact to businesses, industry bodies and Māori enterprises.

Research team Te hunga i whai wāhi mai

Implementation Lead/Project Manager
Paul Dalziel
Lincoln University
Te Ao Māori Lead
John Reid
University of Canterbury / Earth Quotient
Science Lead
Peter Tait
Lincoln University
Caroline Saunders
Lincoln Universtiy
Tanira Kingi
John Saunders
Lincoln University
Tiffany McIntyre
Lincoln University
Meike Guenther
Lincoln University

Tools & resources Ngā utauta me ngā rauemi


Towards developing Aotearoa value chains – flyer

One of the most interesting findings from the Rewarding Sustainable Practices research programme was the importance of sets of shared values across the value chain.…
View Guidance

Towards developing Aotearoa value chains – presentation

One of the most interesting findings from the Rewarding Sustainable Practices research programme was the importance of sets of shared values across the value chain.…
View Presentation

Information // The Value Chain Compass

A global value chain from New Zealand producers to overseas consumers can be lengthy, involving several links in the chain and diverse cultures. This means…
View Video

Value Co-Creation // The Value Chain Compass

A feature of food and fibre value chains is that creation of value for consumers requires collaboration among the partners of the chain. There is…
View Video

Risk // The Value Chain Compass

All commercial enterprise involves a degree of risk. In the food and fibre sector, there are specific challenges related to the chain’s continuity of supply.…
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Product Quality // The Value Chain Compass

Consumers pay a premium for a product only if they value it as a quality product. Quality begins with characteristics such as appearance, taste and…
View Video

Academic outputs He whakaputanga ngaio

Journal Article

Survey of New Zealand consumer attitudes to consumption of meat and meat alternatives

This study examined consumers’ consumption, motivations, and concerns regarding meat and meat alternatives by means of an online survey of 1061 New Zealand consumers and…
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Journal Article

Knowledge, mātauranga and science: reflective learning from the interface

This essay offers reflective learning on how researchers in the Western science tradition connect to bodies of knowledge created and held outside that tradition. It…
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Journal Article

How much less? Estimating price discounts for suboptimal food with environmental and social credence attributes

Price discounting strategies for suboptimal food perform an essential part in reducing food waste. This study provides new information empirically estimating discounts for levels of…
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Journal Article

Linking the taniwha and dragon: Māori primary exports into China and culturally aligned value chains

Māori primary producers have focused their export attention to China, with many seeking to turn supply chains into value chains. Little attention is paid to…
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Journal Article

Meat insights: Uruguayan consumers’ mental associations and motives underlying consumption changes

A telephone survey (n = 601) was conducted in Uruguay to explore participants’ mental associations with meat and the underlying reasons changes in the quantity…
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Journal Article

Geography Matters for Small Advanced Economies: Implications for Economic Strategy

New Zealand is a small advanced economy in the South Pacific Ocean. Policy advisors often compare New Zealand’s economic performance with those of other successful…
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