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Futurist challenges pork consumes to be disruption-ready in new podcast

Melissa Clark-Reynolds
Melissa Clark-Reynolds

New Zealand futurist Melissa Clark-Reynolds has kicked off Australian Pork Limited’s (APL) new podcast ‘Next on the Menu’ by laying bare some of the challenges and opportunities facing Australia’s pork industry in an evolving and increasingly erratic global economy. The future-focussed podcast is hosted by APL Chair, Andrew ‘Billy’ Baxter and GM of Business and Innovation, Mitch Edwards.

Melissa compares African swine fever (ASF) to COVID-19, saying both pandemics are merely test runs for the next international economic, health or food-security emergency, which is why what we do and how we learn to live with periods of global volatility pandemics is so important.

The first episode of ‘Next on the Menu’ abounds with timely observations from Melissa, with messages of warning, wisdom, and encouragement for Australia’s livestock industries.

As a social entrepreneur and a professional director, including the first independent director of Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd, Melissa works with companies around the application of new technologies in the face of disruption, with most of her work involving the future of food and agriculture.

Questioned around what emerging opportunities Aussie pig producers should have their eyes on, Melissa highlighted the potential of tapping into markets for collagen and bone broth.

“In the short term, one of the things that I think is a major opportunity is collagen. There’s a real trend around using the whole animal and we need to think carefully how we can do that. I haven’t really seen pork bone broth on the market, and I don’t know why?” says Melissa.

On the topic of alternative proteins, Melissa cautioned against taking a “point and laugh” approach to meat alternatives, as other food and fibre industries have done when presented with similar disruptions in the past.

“When we see the future and we don’t agree with it, we don’t like it, or we don’t get it – our first response is to mock it. Some industries blew it because they did not take the threat seriously. Ultimately, they didn’t respect the customer enough,” says Melissa.

Co-hosts Billy and Mitch have lined up a range of guests selected to challenge the Australian pork industry, and anyone interested in the future of food and farming.

The first episode of Next on the Menu was launched on Friday 4 September 2020 and can be found, at, on Spotify or on Apple Podcasts, with new episodes released every fortnight on a Friday.

Source: Australian Pork Limited

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