FoodPlus programme evaluation
As part of its monitoring process for PGP programmes, the Ministry for Primary Industries commissioned an independent evaluation. This looked at:
- outcomes and benefits
- programme execution
- any lessons.
What the evaluation found
- The most promising products developed by FoodPlus were in bioculture, biotissues, and stocks, broths, and extracts.
- The programme commercialised 28 products, with 5 earning good returns to date. FoodPlus is expected to generate enough returns to break even by about 2027.
- The full financial returns from FoodPlus have not met expectations. However, the programme delivered a range of other benefits, including improving research and development and commercialisation processes and making strategic partnering more effective.
- ANZCO developed but did not commercialise a further 20 products, with the evaluation noting that these could be revisited and commercialised later.
- FoodPlus has provided new knowledge for ANZCO that will be useful in the company’s other initiatives.
- FoodPlus has demonstrated that by improving strategies within primary sector value chains, New Zealand primary sector processing and manufacturing businesses could compete more strongly with large multinational companies.
- ANZCO’s purchase of blood products firm Bovogen (bought outside the PGP programme) has earned net cashflows well beyond its purchase price and added material value to the company. This investment would not have happened without FoodPlus, as the programme fostered ANZCO’s interest and experience in blood products.
- Demand for the raw materials needed for some of FoodPlus’s products has exceeded ANZCO’s ability to supply at times. As a result, ANZCO has worked with other New Zealand meat companies, which is benefitting our wider meat industry.
The evaluation identified the importance of:
- setting realisable and achievable stretch objectives
- understanding the market and developing a differentiated offering
- seeking honest and insightful feedback from customers
- finding people with the right skills or partnering with others to develop new products
- ensuring open lines of communication
- learning from other companies’ commercialisation processes
- involving innovative people in decision-making
- identifying and acknowledging commercial risks and focusing on addressing them
- early and frequent market testing of product concepts so products can “fail fast” if there are problems, to enable focus on other products
- joining forces with other companies to improve the likelihood of benefits flowing through to farmers.