Nine young people from across the country have been selected as the Council for the newly established Food and Fibre Youth Network - He Tatai Rangahua.
The founding Council members are Sarah Crofoot, Amy Moore, Lincoln Roper, Emma Subtil, Anthony Taueki, Alex Tomkins, Cheyenne Wilson, Callum Woodhouse and Memphis Wright.
This initiative provides an opportunity for young representatives across the food and fibre sector to raise industry issues and provide input into critical decisions about the sector’s future.
The Network will explore and consider issues; connect to Sector Action Plans and any other initiatives that are current in the industry; provide advice to Ministers, MPI and other stakeholders on issues relating to young people in the food and fibre sector; and act as young ambassadors for the sector.
New council member Memphis Wright says this network will enable young people in the food and fibre sector to add their voice to shaping the future of the sector.
“As kaitiaki, we have a responsibility to balance sustainability with productivity, while creating safe and high quality agri-products that meet consumer needs,” says Memphis.
“It’s a very exciting opportunity for me as a young rural professional to be part of, and I saw great potential for both personal and professional development by taking on the role of councillor.
“I’m excited to be a part of the solution to the sector issues we are currently facing and to have a constructive platform to bring forward both issues and solutions, knowing there are resources available to make a real difference.”
The steering committee received 61 applications for the council.
Steering committee member and policy analysist Hiraina Tangiora says getting so many applications made the shortlisting process extremely difficult.
“Initially we aimed to select just seven members, but the quality of applications meant selecting an extra two, which speaks volumes to the calibre of our rangatahi in the food and fibres sector.”
Where it started
Late last year MPI contracted New Zealand Young Farmers to establish and implement a food and fibre youth network to provide a formalised pan-sector voice to raise industry issues and provide input into critical decisions related to the future of the sector.
NZYF then pulled together a group to kick off discussions and planning to establish the formal pan-sector network.
Membership of the network will be extended to all young people in New Zealand’s food and fibres sector.
“This is where the gathering of the ideas will genuinely take place,” says Te Taumata member Trevor McIntyre.
More information can be found on the Food and Fibre Youth Network website: www.ffyouthnetwork.co.nz