Industry representatives gathered to hear updates on trends and opportunities as part of the ANZ Food, Beverage and Agribusiness Seminar, co-hosted by ANZCCJ. ANZCCJ was pleased to welcome a delegation from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and the Honourable Ken Vowles, Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industries and Resources.
The afternoon began with opening remarks from ANZCCJ’s Executive Council member and Chair of the Food, Agriculture and Hospitality Committee, Tim Barnstable, Patrick Vizzone, ANZ International’s Head of Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, and Hiroyuki Yamaguchi, from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. All three spoke to the importance of investment and trade ties between Australia, New Zealand and Japan, highlighting the central role of the food, beverage, and agriculture sectors.
In the first session, Michael Whitehead, Head of Agri Insights at ANZ, spoke about Australian Agri supply chains as a world leading industry. Michael reminded attendees of the longevity of the now over 150-year relationship between Japan and Australia. He gave an in-depth overview of movement in activity sectors, including beef, grain, sheep, dairy, cotton, horticulture, fisheries, craft beer and banking and tech. Michael identified consolidation within the industries, innovation, differentiation and increased investment as key opportunities.
In session two, Con Williams, NZ Agri Economist at ANZ, gave a detailed presentation on the dynamics of and forecasts for major agri sectors in NZ. Con emphasised his key message of the alignment of Japanese demand and what NZ produces and highlighted NZ’s strength in unique trade-marked IP product, identifying particular growth areas as viticulture, avocados, kiwi fruit, pit fruits and forestry. Con also provided thorough analysis of traditional strong performers, the livestock and dairy sectors.
Session three was a panel discussion moderated by Patrick Vizzone featuring ANZCCJ Executive Council members Brett Cooper and Tracy Whiriskey along with Ian Hanrahan Executive Director, Consumer & Agribusiness, Institutional Banking at ANZ. Thanks to Patrick’s sharp questioning, the panel addressed Japanese investment in Australia and NZ in terms of free trade agreements, the regulatory regime and the evolution of investment structures. The take away was that Australia and NZ are well and truly open for business to Japanese investors, who are held in high regard by both the public and private sectors.
The final session focussed on how Japanese corporates can outsmart the competition to take advantage of M&A opportunities in Australia and NZ. Martin Hanrahan, Head of Corporate Advisory at ANZ, gave a full assessment of the strengths of Japanese investors and offered frank advice on areas for continued improvement, as well as an overview of recent M&A activity.
Following closing remarks from Patrick Vizzone, participants took the opportunity to network whilst enjoying a fitting spread of refreshments, including exclusive craft beers not yet available for purchase in Japan, along with NZ lamb chops and kangaroo wraps and sakura lamingtons for dessert.