Welcome to NIC LEES – AGRIFOOD. This site is about creating value in agribusiness and food systems.
There is an alternative to the present agrifood production model. Instead of continually increasing production per unit of input, the emphasis can instead be on increasing the value of the product. This requires a fundamental shift in the focus of agriculture. Instead of an emphasis on farm production, the focus is on selected consumers and their needs. These consumers are demanding greater variety and quality in the food they eat. They require a consistent year-round supply of high quality safe food. They also want food that aligns with their own personal values which includes, for example, environmental sustainability, animal welfare and fair trade, as well as local and organic production.
Delivering to these customers needs more than an adaptation of the existing system. It requires a new model that moves beyond efficient production systems to deliver higher value products to selected premium customers.
Creating value requires moving beyond meeting minimum standards for sustainability, animal welfare and food safety to leading the market in these standards. These issues need no longer be seen as compliance issues but as providing a valuable competitive advantage. Value creation also involves building collaborative supply chain partnerships beyond the farm gate with distribution channels that give access to these selected customers. There needs to be long-term co-investment in market development with these partners