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(This is a copy of a new blog, pasture Harmonies, which can be found at www.pastureharmonies.org)

The purpose of this blog discussion is to debate whether New Zealand Inc should become global custodians of responsible pastoralism.

It is test the hypothesis that we have a golden opportunity to profitably unite around a common story and the reality embodied in our pastoral method.

To own the story I contend, first we must name it.

Instead however of debating what the name should be, a brand/name is proffered, and as shorthand for our entire story, an argument will be presented as to why we should go down this path. Hence, pasture Harmonies – a descriptor, a promise.

As with any hypothesis, any and all contentions are up for debate. The next few months is an opportunity to discuss this, and perhaps set up an ownership structure on behalf of NZ Inc.

pasture Harmonies can exist because of three major factors.

  1. The consumer currently has no way to have a ‘relationship’ with products from a pastoral origin, and just as importantly, the people who produce it
  2. There is no name, much like an ‘Intel Inside’ for example, for products that have a pasture-based start
  3. New Zealand has both the mandate and chance to stake a claim as global custodians of responsible pastoralism

The question is whether we can be brave enough to seize the opportunity – and completely reframe our offer to the world.

My contention is that by naming our story we will also provide ourselves with a strategic platform to escape the commodity spiral of death, and sell the knowledge alongside the agritech products we currently market.

To capture the opportunity inherent in the fact there’s an unclaimed global market position will take a change in our mindset however.

It would require that we collaborate – though given that there is probably a more money for us, as NZ Inc, to make from putting ourselves up as global custodians of responsible pastoralism – that could take care of itself.

Admittedly, we need to test the proposition.

But pasture Harmonies can act as a co-brand, through being an umbrella name/story, or in its case an underlying or bedrock truth that helps justify a meat, wool, milk or other product’s market price premium.

However, the major psychological change we’d have to make is realise, utterly, that we are selling much much more than a piece of meat or a milk product (if our dairy produce manages to be branded in front of a consumer!)

We have the opportunity to sell an ideal.

We can sell and have a consumer-oriented relationship that’s based on a romance + reassurance (which is the fantastic science behind our offer).

No New Zealand company can do this alone. Only together can we punch above our weight.

Or can we – perhaps we’re doomed to always looking in the rear view mirror?

What do you think?