Primary sector needs digital passport to avoid being left behind

by | Jul 5, 2022 | News

New Zealand’s primary sector needs to get on the digital bus now or risk losing international market access, warns industry consortium, Trust Alliance New Zealand.

The ‘digital compliance product passport’ is an international standard, data sharing technology where everyone across the sector is able to securely contribute, control, collate and protect their crucial farm data.

The new digital tool is is aimed at helping food and fibre exporters keep up with ever increasing international compliance standards. It will be showcased by Trust Alliance New Zealand (TANZ) at the Primary Industries New Zealand conference in Auckland, from 6-7 July.

TANZ is a member based, non-profit organisation which is focused the the creation of new digital tools to help local farmers and exporters navigate the complex and changing demands from international buyers. The primary sector group is a consortium of 23 businesses, including producers, growers, exporters and retailers.  is working to develop platforms where data can be securely shared to provide transparency for buyers and consumers on ethical and environmental claims.

The future of farm data management and control is to ensure that data is only captured once, shared with other parties directly, and protected as much as possible, says the consortium.

“At the moment there is no easy mechanism for farmers and food producers to easily and directly input their farm’s data in a trustworthy way”, says TANZ Executive Director Klaeri Schelhowe. “The existing data exchange models are inefficient and a waste time which is why we have acted now to create a smarter way of collecting and sharing this important data.”

Schelhowe says the value in the digital compliance product passport is for the whole sector keep up with international standards. The alternative is to “run the risk of being left behind and not have their products accepted into overseas markets”.

Chris Claridge, Chair of TANZ, says “It’s time for the primary sector to get on this digital bus so we can all work together to build the best solution for everyone. It’s the only way to collectively stay ahead of the increasing standard levels demanded for international market access.”

In March this year, TANZ announced they were to lead and drive the Farm Environment Plan Research Project, backed by Ministry of Primary Industries’ SFFF fund.

The research aims to fast-track the delivery of a digital solution for farm environment plans. “A key objective for us is to deliver integrated farm planning to reduce duplication and cost for farmers and growers as they meet new environmental goals. This research will help take us there,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said at the time.

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