Episode 24 – Future insights from South Island Dairy Event

In PodcastsJune 28, 20242 Minutes

The Dairy Exporter’s Sheryl Haitana and Anne Lee attended the 25th South Island Dairy Expo (SIDE) this week, to catch up on the latest dairy innovations. They chatted to the keynote speakers about resilience and wellbeing, rural bank lending, and the impact new proteins will have on dairy products, and how they can coexist alongside each other.

Guests include:

  1. Jonathan Hoets, Chair of SIDE
  2. Dr Dan Pronk, Author & Doctor
  3. Cameron Bagrie, Independent Economist, Bagrie Economics
  4. Dr Jeremy Hill, Chief Science & Technology Officer, Fonterra


  1. Sheryl Haitana, Editor, Dairy Exporter
  2. Anne Lee, Deputy Editor, Dairy Exporter

Jonathan Hoets tells Sheryl about his time as the Chair of SIDE for its 25th anniversary. He says one thing he’s really taken away from this year’s conference is that the core opportunities and challenges for dairy farmers have stayed very similar over SIDE’s lifetime, but dairy farmers have continued to evolve to meet them, and do better year-on-year. 

Former Australian SAS Doctor and author Dan Pronk was a keynote speaker at the 2024 SIDE Conference, and spoke to the stress experienced by dairy farmers, and how to build resilience while experiencing long-term stress. He tells Anne about the research he’s done into managing chronic stress, such as meditation, mindfulness, and sleep, and practising these regularly rather than doing extreme resets. 

Economist Cameron Bagrie shares his insights into where dairy currently fits into New Zealand’s economy, and says that while 2024 and 2025 will be tough, he expects we’ll bounce back due to the strong potential of our economy. He also discusses rural lending, and issues around farm mortgages being so much bigger than housing ones, and where succession fits into this. He questions whether banks are behaving in the right way to foster economic prosperity, particularly within the primary industries.

Jeremy Hill talks about the Sustainable Nutrition Initiative, alternative proteins and precision fermentation and the challenges those technologies face in terms of economy of scale. He says it will be complimentary, not disruptive to dairy.