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Empowering
a resilient future

Annual Report 2021/22

About AGMARDT

AGMARDT makes targeted investments that accelerate positive change for the benefit of the sector as a whole and for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Since 1987 when AGMARDT was established, it has invested over $100M across 1,921 grants and given out nearly $1.7M in loans, while growing its funding base.

AGMARDT is committed to a unified and aligned food and fibres sector and works to catalyse greater industry collaboration and partnership. It seeks to partner with those who have a shared vision on identified industry issues.

Our trustees bring diversity and a balance of skills and experience across the primary sector to the decision making table.

AGMARDT offers a range of funding options focused on the food and fibres sector that seek to:

Support innovation through seed funding research and technology development;

Develop leadership, management and governance capability within the sector;

Help businesses understand their customers and identify opportunities ;

Support the transfer of knowledge and international expertise via conferences, hui, summits & forums;

Provide short-term capital to accelerate business growth.

A word from our Chair and General Manager

The theme of our report is Empowering a resilient future. What does this mean for AGMARDT, for our role in New Zealand’s food and fibres sector, and for the sector at large? How do our past behaviours influence us going forward, and what needs to shift so that we’re better prepared for a quickly changing world?

These are questions we’ve been asking of ourselves – questions that have helped shape our thinking, both as we reflect on the past financial year and embed our strategy over the long-term.

It certainly would be easy to focus on the instability over the past year, on events around the world that we had very little control over but that have impacted our lives and the sector.

Nick Pyke

Chair

Lee-Ann Marsh

General Manager

Our Trustees

Nick Pyke
Chair
Justine Gilliland
Trustee
Richard Green
Trustee
Miriana Stephens
Trustee
Trish Rankin
Associate Trustee

Highlights

Double tap each highlight for more info

$100m

$100m

AGMARDT has funded over $100 million in grants since the Trust started in 1987

$88m

$88m

The value of the AGMARDT Trust funds was $88 million at 30 June 2022

$5m

$5m

AGMARDT approved $5 million in grants for the year ending 30 June 2022 compared to $4.35 million in 2021

87

87

AGMARDT approved 87 grant applications for the year ending 30 June 2022 compared to 81 in the previous year

1921

1921

AGMARDT has approved 1921 grants since the Trust was established in 1987

51%

51%

AGMARDT received 170 applications and approved over half of the applications received for the year ending 30 June 2022

10%

10%

The total amount of grant funding awarded to the Food & Fibres Aotearoa Challenge made up 10% of the total grants approved in the year ended 30 June 2022

27%

27%

Funding approved to Strategic Partners for the year ended 30 June 2022 made up 27% of the total approved funding compared to 10% in 2021

63%

63%

Agribusiness Innovation Grants made up 63% of the total grants approved for the year ended 30 June 2022

55%

55%

The number of approved Capability Development Grants increased by 55% from 2021

12

12

AGMARDT approved 12 Scholarships in 2022 compared to 0 in the 2021 financial year

17%

17%

Total value of grants approved for the year ended 30 June 2022 increased by 17% from 2021

Total Grants Approved

$ 2000000
2022

$4,350,006

2021

$3,622,996

2020

$3,112,594

2019

Grants Approved

by funding programme during 2022

2022 – $3,185,410

2021 – $3,144,638

2020 – $1,999,691

2019 – $1,337,135

2022 – $1,057,678

2021 – $188,552

2020 – $1,006,571

2019 – $500,407

2022 – $498,020

2021 – $673,291

2020 – n/a

2019 – n/a

2022 – $210,000

2021 – $250,000

2020 – $281,836

2019 – $342,768

2022 – $117,370

2021 – $93,525

2020 – $133,123

2019 – $209,144

2022 – $0

2021 – $0

2020 – $132,445

2019 – $628,000

by regional spread during 2022

Tap the regions for more info

Hawke's Bay
$470,560

Bay of Plenty
$73,500

Waikato
$756,763

Northland
$72,250

Auckland
$622,245

Taranaki
$219,672

Manawatu-Wanganui
$445,258

Wellington
$438,000

Marlborough
$82,500

Nelson/
Tasman
$100,140

Canterbury
$686,448

Otago
$559,288

Southland
$528,020

Our Strategic Priorities

IGNITING A BETTER FUTURE
FOR FOOD AND FIBRES IN AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND

Investment
Principles
Clearly defining and calling for interest in priority areas where change is needed, to develop people, build sustainable systems and add value
FUTURE
FOCUSED
Growing our understanding of food and fibres future trends to ensure we can focus on the ‘big things’ that count
STRATEGIC
LEADERSHIP
Accelerate change by working at the ‘edges’ by investing in higher risk initiatives than other funding sources would support
PARTNERING AND COLLABORATING
Build strategic relationships with funders, thought leaders and innovators
BEING CLEAR
Telling our story as a future shaper for the food and fibres sector and connecting with the right change makers

Investment
Principles

Clearly defining and calling for interest in priority areas where change is needed, to develop people, build sustainable systems and add value

FUTURE FOCUSED

Growing our understanding of food and fibres future trends to ensure we can focus on the ‘big things’ that count

STRATEGIC
LEADERSHIP

Accelerate change by working at the ‘edges’ by investing in higher risk initiatives than other funding sources would support

PARTNERING AND
COLLABORATING

Build strategic relationships with funders, thought leaders and innovators

BEING CLEAR

Telling our story as a future shaper for the food and fibres sector and connecting with the right change makers

Our Values

CONNECTED / COURAGEOUS / COLLABORATIVE / ACTIVE

Strategic Priority:

Investment Principles

Clearly defining and calling for interest in priority areas where change is needed, to develop people, build sustainable systems and add value.

In 2020-2021, AGMARDT partnered with Ākina to help us understand, measure and grow our impact. Over the past year, we built on our impact model (see below) to finalise our grant approach and the way we assess applications, aligning to the outcomes we are seeking to achieve.
These outcomes will inform our approach to funding, as well as partnership and collaboration. They are outcomes that sit in line with our strategy, and outcomes that we believe will ultimately shape a better future for the food and fibres sector as a whole.

These outcomes will inform our approach to funding, as well as partnership and collaboration. They are outcomes that sit in line with our strategy, and outcomes that we believe will ultimately shape a better future for the food and fibres sector as a whole.

  • Rolling out new reporting templates to better capture the outcomes from AGMARDT grants
  • Working with others in the sector to measure and report on impact
  • Exploring investment opportunities to contribute towards AGMARDT’s sustainability

Impact Model

Strategic Priority:

Future Focus

Growing our understanding of food and fibres future trends to ensure we can focus on the ‘big things’ that count

For AGMARDT, being future-focused is about listening and learning, cutting through the noise, and seeing both challenges and opportunities ahead of the food and fibres sector. It’s about being proactive, and understanding markets, consumer behaviour and global trends, so that we have a fresh perspective – and can use this perspective to help shape the future.

Over the past year, we connected with forward-thinking leaders through one-to-one conversations and a KANTAR survey with 229 past, current and potential AGMARDT applicants to gain their perspectives.

Overall, key themes emerged from both the conversations with leaders and through the survey. They reveal 3 opportunities ahead of the sector, all closely related:

  • The need to be globally focused: seeing beyond what is locally in front of us, and understanding trends, as well as the values driving consumers. By being proactive instead of reactive, there is a shared belief that everyone involved in the food and fibres sector – from farmers, producers, and researchers to manufacturers, exporters and marketers -- can innovate and lead on a global scale.
  • The need for growth in the New Zealand knowledge- based economy, with a focus on scaleable agrifoodtech innovation to solve food system challenges in New Zealand and international markets.
  • The need to ensure our people are future-fit, with the right skills and knowledge for a quickly changing environment.

These conversations helped us hone in on what’s important and the role for AGMARDT. We can specifically address these broader areas by:

  • Enabling people to travel overseas and supporting future focussed study tours in order to gain a global understanding of where our existing markets are headed, how consumer behaviour is changing, as well as exploring new markets that will become strategically important in years to come.
  • Supporting agrifoodtech innovation through continued R&D support that helps to de-risk projects by backing innovators in early stage development – with the goal of creating a stronger innovation pipeline for commercialisation and scaling.
  • Encouraging and supporting more systems thinkers and strengthening sector leadership to navigate the future through our capability development funding, leadership scholarships, and governance collaboration work.

“It was surprising to see how strongly the issue of mindset came through the KANTAR survey as a critical challenge - it indicates that people recognise the need to think beyond the here and now to ensure the sector is well positioned for the future.”

Strategic Priority:

Strategic Leadership

Accelerate change by working at the ‘edge’ by investing in higher-risk initiatives than other funding sources would support

We know from talking to past and potential applicants, as well as industry leaders, that initial funding can be one of the biggest barriers for getting an idea off the ground. So, for AGMARDT, “working at the edge” means supporting people who need seed-funding to pursue transformational ideas by helping to de-risk it for future funders and investors.

It’s about working upstream from other funding models, embracing calculated risks with the expectation that people will accelerate innovation, ultimately creating products, developing systems, or increasing capability in a way that impacts the sector as a whole.

Over the last year, it’s been exciting to support and celebrate projects that have taken off after receiving early funding through our Agribusiness Innovation Grants (AIGs).

  • Agri-business NZ Zero created the first ‘fossil-free’ cherry harvest by converting all day-to-day options to the latest electric technology and creating an industry-first fossil fuel certification in partnership with AssureQuality. They’re set to export internationally in 2022-2023.
  • Venture Taranaki – a collaborative pilot project made up of farmers, energy companies, suppliers and council which is trailblazing intiatives to help farmers improve on-farm energy efficiency and resilience, while reducing on-farm emissions.
  • BioLigna, a forestry company, was able to achieve proof of concept (POC) for Wood to Food, a unique approach to producing a high-value food grade ingredient by using wood residue converted to sugars as a feedstock.
  • After receiving initial funding from AGMARDT in 2020, agri-tech innovator Cropsy completed its first capital raise to the tune of $1.5 million, in an oversubscribed round – positioning them to commercialise their world-first AI-enabled crop vision system.
  • A full review of our funding programmes including our Food and Fibres Aotearoa Challenge to ensure our offering is aligned with the outcomes AGMARDT is seeking.
  • Identify ways to strategically strengthen our grant pipeline and improve the quality of applications we receive through targeted networking and communications initiatives.

15 AGMARDT grantees have gone on to raise a minimum combined

$19 million

in funding toward their ventures

(based on reporting from companies, Sprout estimates and R&D grants)

49

AIGs approved for the 12 months
ending 30 June 2022

$3.2 million

in AIGs were approved
during 2021/22

Strategic Priority:

Partnering and Collaborating

Build strategic relationships with funders, thought leaders and innovators

Through both the Ākina impact work and the KANTAR survey, it is clear that AGMARDT is uniquely positioned as an influencer and funder – independent, neutral and agile in how we make decisions. It’s also clear that in order for the food and fibres sector to truly thrive, we need to be strategically partnering and collaborating with other stakeholders, thought leaders and innovators.

It’s focused on the big picture, through funding Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Aotearoa Circle’s initiative to develop a national food roadmap, one that has brought together public and private sector leaders and engaged with a wide range of stakeholders and community groups. The key output is the Mana Kai framework which identifies actions to initiate food system transformation.

It’s connecting the right people and inspiring them through thought leadership, by sponsoring E Tipu: The BOMA Agri Summit 2022, a gathering of more than 750 attendees from 242 organisations, all who are passionate about shaping the future of the sector.

It’s capability building, by funding Nuffield and Kellogg Scholarships through the Rural Leadership Trust; and by awarding 12 AGMARDT Leadership Scholarships during the year to individuals across the value chain and industries.

It’s about helping to attract, develop and retain talent, through three critical partnerships. Growing Future Farmers, an employer-led group; Agribusiness in Schools; and the development of the Generation Change Programme through Agri Women’s Development Trust. Each of these organisations is dedicated to attracting, educating and equipping young people who are interested in learning about and working in the food and fibres sector.

And it’s technology and innovation-focused, through our partnership with Sprout Agritech, which supports capability building and the path to commercialisation.

In every partnership, every collaborative relationship, AGMARDT is focused on the long term, playing a key role in bringing people together to plan and act on what’s most important.

  • Working collaboratively to address at scale, gaps in governance including skills development and
    the creation of pathways for emerging directors, to ultimately lift the performance of and future-proof our sector.
  • Looking at ways we can provide additional value beyond funding to our partners including advisory and governance support.

“With the second stage of the Agribusiness in Schools initiative close to completion, I want to personally thank you and the leadership of AGMARDT for the unstinting support that you have given to this ambitious project since the start of your involvement in 2014. We have really valued the huge confidence and commitment that you all have made to getting this exciting new subject into the New Zealand school curriculum.”

Impact by Numbers

84

companies have participated in the Sprout Accelerator programme since its establishment in 2015

Over

$50m

raised in follow-on funding

(based on reporting from companies, Sprout estimates and R&D grants)

47

Companies have participated in the Sprout Accelerator programme since AGMARDT partnership started in 2020

107

schools delivering Year 12 and 13 Agribusiness Standards

49,000

senior students exposed or offered an opportunity to study the Agribusiness curriculum since 2018

675

teachers have been successfully retrained to deliver the curriculum since 2018

3,216

senior students completed the programme in 2021

25

Nuffield Scholars since 2017 when AGMARDT Partnership began

178

Nuffield Scholars since programme started in 1950

233

Kellogg Scholars since AGMARDT partnership began in 2017

Just under

1000

Kellogg Scholars since programme started in 1979

135

women have graduated from AWDT’s Escalator programme

55

young women from outside the sector participated in the Generation Change pilot programme, developed by AWDT and supported by AGMARDT.

Strategic Priority:

Being Clear

Telling our story as a future shaper for the food and fibres sector and connecting with the right change makers

Over the past year, the work in this area has taken shape in two ways: optimising our grant application process and collaborating to tell the AGMARDT story.

In undertaking the KANTAR survey work, we wanted to understand applicants’ experience with AGMARDT, what worked for them, what was difficult and how we could improve the overall process. The work identified ways AGMARDT can support funding knowledge and capability building for applicants, both through interactions with us and the projects we fund.

As a result of the feedback, we partnered with Strategic Grants to review our application forms, guidelines, and reporting templates to make them clear for applicants, while also ensuring they line up with our impact model.

Telling the AGMARDT story, and that of our grant recipients, goes hand-in-hand with collaborative initiatives (specifically the AGMARDT Young Farmers Agri- business Breakfast and the NZ Grassland Association: Resilient Pastures Symposium both held in 2021). These were wide-scale events and learning opportunities that gave us the chance to talk about funding support available through AGMARDT, as well as our vision for the future.

We have work to do in sharing this vision, in amplifying the voices and successes of our grantees and in working with the right partners to do so. And we’re excited about what’s coming up!

  • Rolling out our new grant application process, including guidelines, applications and reporting, in 2023.
  • A refresh of our comms and engagement strategy, focused on communicating our priority investment areas, and highlighting our successes and what they mean for New Zealand’s food and fibres sector.

“We have had AGMARDT funding for a number of projects and have also been declined funding, and in all situations they have always been clear and supportive communicators. We seriously consider AGMARDT to be a valuable partner in our business journey.”

Our Impact Stories

"The leadership skills and the innovation are what helps AGMARDT deliver value to the Food and Fibres industry of Aotearoa."

National Food Roadmap

The Aotearoa Circle is a unique partnership of private and public sector leaders, unified and committed to the pursuit of sustainable prosperity and reversing the decline of New Zealand’s natural resources. 

Food and Fibre Foresight Essentials Programme

IFTF Foresight Essentials is a one-of-a-kind course designed to help individuals and organisations develop their skills in the art and science of foresight.

Taiao Ora, Tangata Ora - Creating a Transformative Pathways

Taiao Ora, Tangata Ora is a four-year programme of work to create transformative pathways for Aotearoa New Zealand’s food and fibres sector, based on genuine partnership

Essential Farm Skills Programme

Growing Future Farmers (GFF) aims to help address the significant shortfall of well-trained people entering the agricultural sector. It provides a scaleable opportunity for zero-fees structured programmes 

Thriving Southland

2022 AGMARDT Food & Fibres
Aotearoa Challenge

Thriving Southland, a new project that will support farmers to use scientific landscape data to meet carbon and water quality goals, was awarded the 2022 AGMARDT Aotearoa New Zealand Food & Fibres Challenge.

Boma NZ

E Tipu 2022 – Boma NZ Agri Summit

E Tipu is New Zealand’s biggest food and fibre cross-sector event, headlining current industry challenges and opportunities directly aligned to AGMARDT’s focus area.

NZ Zero (NZO)

Emission Free Farming

Innovative agribusiness company NZ Zero (NZ0) plans to export the world’s first certified zero emissions produced cherries during the 2022/23 season, following start-up support from AGMARDT.

Kinda Ltd

Proof of Concept and Validation of Cauliflower-Based Ice Cream Product

Anyone for cauliflower ice-cream? It’s a creamy and delicious new indulgence created from ‘cosmetically imperfect’ vegetables – by Kiwi food-tech start-up Kinda who are out to transform New Zealand’s agri-food value chain.

Venture Taranaki

Taranaki Rural Energy Project Pilot

A pilot project in Taranaki is trailblazing initiatives to help farmers improve on farm energy efficiency, energy resilience and reduce on-farm emissions.

BioLigna

Wood to Food

AGMARDT provided Agribusiness Innovation Grant (AIG) funds to BioLigna to kick-start testing to identify the potential of food ingredient production, via fermentable sugars derived from wood residue.

Rivershot

Using Satellite Science to Measure River Water Quality

AGMARDT funding supported testing for the innovative Rivershot programme, which uses a combination of satellite-based spectral analysis and direct water sampling to monitor changes in river water quality and to identify nitrogen and e-coli levels.

Marlborough Research Centre Trust

Upscaling Organic Waste Streams

AGMARDT provided funding that enabled the Marlborough Research Centre Trust to undertake a comprehensive waste-mapping study across Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island. This will support strategies for upscaling organic waste streams.

Leadership Scholarships Awarded

The Leadership Scholarship programme provides outstanding individuals with the financial support they need to develop their ideas and skills and will help ensure that our regions and communities remain vibrant and economically sustainable.
Darryl Stretton
Sarah Perriam
James Kuperus
Sandra Matthews
Braydon Schroder
Caroline Miriama Batley
Deborah Rhodes
Alex Worker
Cole Groves
Posy Moody

Fund Management

"With constraints and strengths however, comes opportunities and AGMARDT is well positioned to continue to work with those businesses or collaborations that are taking action now to maximise values and value for the communities that we serve, both here in Aotearoa and the world."

Key Highlights

It was an extremely challenging year for active investing due to a combination of factors including unexpected inflation, rising interest rates and geopolitical tensions and as a result AGMARDT’s Trust Fund underperformed for the financial year ending June 2022. Some key highlights for the year were…
0 .0%
Since its inception AGMARDT’s Trust Fund has returned 7.0% p.a. and has outperformed its strategic benchmark of 6.9% p.a.
$ 0 m
The AGMARDT Trust fund totalled $88 million as at 30 June 2022, down from $96.8 million at the end of June 2021.
$ 0 m
The Trust Fund remains well ahead of the Real Capital Level of $72.0 million (2021: $59 million) but below the Upper Investment Reserve level of $90.0 million (2021: 84 million).

AGMARDT Real Capital Level and Trust Funds

(June 1994 to June 2022)

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Funding Allocation

"AGMARDT is investing heavily in the business leaders who are creating new business models for the future. We are unashamedly trying to pick winners. No longer can we continue to sit back and play the “safe” game. Exciting times full of opportunities if we invest in our future now."

Grants Approved compared to Budget

Grants segmented by impact on the Agribusiness Value Chain

$29,950

Packaging/Warehouse & Distribution

$182,361

End Consumer/Customer Service & Support

$407,355

Procurement /Production /Raw Materials

$455,564

Marketing & Sales

$636,815

Operations /Processing /Manufacture

$3,356,437

Concept/Design/R&D

$ 0
Grand Total

Grants Approved 2022

$3,185,410

Agribusiness Innovation Grants

$1,057,678

Capability Development Grants

$498,020

Food & Fibre Aotearoa Challenge

$210,000

Market Insight Grants

$117,370

Conference Grants

$ 0
Grand Total

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Summary Financial Statements

"The role AGMARDT can play to help drive innovation, value-add and capability-building may be small but is vital in building a positive, sustainable future for current and future generations."

Total Trust Funds

$32,000,000

Capital

$39,995,786

Capital Maintenance Reserve

$10,656,320

Accumulated Revenue

$ 0
Total Trust Fund

$88,485,007

Total Assets

$5,832,900

Total Liabilities

($6,620,840)

Total Revenue/(Loss)

$789,243

Operating Expenses

$4,483,676

Net Grants Allocated this Year

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Directory

Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust
As at 30 June 2022

Board of Trustees

Mr Nick Pyke (Current Chair)
Mrs Justine Gilliland
Mrs Miriana Stephens
Mr Richard Green (term ended 31/07/2022)

Management

Lee-Ann Marsh (General Manager)
Malcolm Nitschke (General Manager to 5/9/2021)

Trust Office

8 Weld Street, Feilding, 4740
PO Box 472, Feilding, 4740
(06) 323 8766

Investment Adviser

JANA Investment Advisers Pty Limited

Auditor

CKS Audit
on behalf of the Auditor-General

Bankers

ASB Bank limited
Bank of New Zealand Limited

Solicitors

Minter Ellison Rudd Watts

Charitable Number

CC20167

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