MD's corner

By Anna Campbell

AbacusBio has its roots firmly and proudly set in Dunedin, New Zealand. I am often asked: is it a help or a hindrance to be based in Dunedin?

My answer is always, “well, mostly a help”. We have access to some great young people through the Otago Polytechnic and University of Otago.

We live in an environment where work-life balance is relatively easy to achieve – I can drive pretty much anywhere in 10 minutes – and we live on the doorstep of some spectacular outdoors.

We are proudly ‘regional New Zealand’, yet we think of ourselves as an international company. Close to a third of our revenue comes from outside New Zealand and we see opportunities for this to grow.

Increased connectivity certainly makes this simpler and on any given morning or evening, there will be AbacusBio consultants starting early or finishing late in order to hold Skype meetings with our international clients.

By taking our technology off-shore, does this mean we are somehow selling New Zealand agriculture short?

I don’t believe so; food production skills are in demand internationally as countries attempt to increase trade and/or become more self-sufficient.

There are incredibly smart agriculturalists wherever you go and these people will find a way to better their industries with or without New Zealand’s support.

For me it makes sense to be part of an international food production community. In fact by working internationally, we gain more than we receive.

Seeing different ways of doing things, working across different cultures, and challenging ourselves to always make a difference, means we can continue to be innovative for both New Zealand agriculture as well as international agriculture.

Overall I think being an international company, operating from Dunedin in New Zealand is a pretty special place to be.

We’ve done it now for 10 years, thanks to the foresight of our founders, Peter Fennessy, Peter Amer, and Neville Jopson – here’s to our next 10!