The industry association for crop protection and animal health manufacturers and distributors has appointed Gavin Kerr, Country Manager for agrichemical company Nufarm, as its president at the Agcarm annual meeting on July 23 2020.
Kerr says that “it’s a privilege to work in agriculture and a role I don’t take for granted”.
He would like to see one important change implemented well before the end of his three-year term.
“Farmers and growers need and deserve access to the best and latest products. But New Zealand is missing out on new, more effective treatments due to delays that discourage investment in introducing these technologies.
“Delays in the regulation of field trials and research means that our farmers and growers are missing out on cutting edge products. These delays can set back projects for two years, so undermine the viability of having domestic research and development programmes.
“In New Zealand, we require agrichemical companies to invest in trials, which can cost up to $500,000 to register a product. The delays mean that it is not economically viable to introduce some products, making it difficult to find replacements for older and less environmentally friendly products.”
New Zealand growers bear the cost through limited access to these products and lost production.
“We must ensure that New Zealand farmers have access to the most effective science and solutions that are sustainable and add value.”
He acknowledges the challenges faced by the industry over the past few months and says that it is vital to have a united voice for animal health and crop science.
“The world has changed. New Zealand agriculture has skillfully adapted to the change, but we need to ensure we continue to be nimble and progress the delivery of new and greener solutions for farmers and growers.”
This will mean that we will “not only compete on the global stage but be a leader on it”.
“We have the privilege of living and working in a wonderful and safe environment. Not many other countries have that,” he adds.
Previously vice president, Kerr replaces Pauline Calvert, who came to the end of her three-year term. “Pauline has done a fantastic job leading the Agcarm board and leaves me with some big shoes to fill, but I look forward to the challenge.”
“We have a very diverse and experienced board within Agcarm that will continue to work proactively in being the voice of crop science and animal health.”
Kerr manages the Nufarm New Zealand business. His enthusiastic demeanour means he enjoys establishing positive relationships through tackling challenges and making the most out of opportunities.
Kerr was first elected to the Agcarm Board in 2016, bringing his expertise and connection to the crop protection industry to the board table.