Traceability in food and agriculture

We recently welcomed a new intern to AbacusBio, Christian Buiel, who comes from the Netherlands to work with consultant Peter Fennessy on the traceability of New Zealand agri-food value chains.

As part of his Master of Science in Management, Economics & Consumer Studies degree at Wageningen University & Research, Christian has to complete a four-month internship.

He found AbacusBio to be a great opportunity to gain some valuable experiences and insights into the NZ food and agribusiness industries.

During his time at AbacusBio, Christian has been working on a project that aims to determine the value of data that can be gathered throughout the agri-food value chains, and how these contribute to the level of traceability and transparency in the chains.

“This project has been triggered by the fact that modern consumers increasingly demand safe and healthy products that are of a consistently high quality,” Christian explains.

Managing traceability and transparency in these value chains has gained increased societal importance, especially due to the major influence of food safety disruptions on business and human health.

“To mitigate the impacts of these disruptions,” Christian says, “an increased collaboration and exchange of information about product characteristics, processes, and resources between stakeholders is very important.”

Exchanging information is key to providing insights and creating visibility around the origin and history of products, thereby creating a sense of openness and communication.

To understand more about the role of open data across the value chain, Christian will be spending some time at Carrfields in Ashburton on the provenance of cereals.

“I’m excited about this opportunity and look forward to a future in the international food and agribusiness industries.”

Having grown up in an entrepreneurial family who owned Bumatrac Machinery, Christian’s passion for business and sales started from an early age, and has spurred him on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in International Food Business in Canada and the Netherlands.

Bumatrac Machinery specialises in importing and exporting agricultural machinery such as tractors, selfpropelled forage harvesters, and balers on a global scale. It has been running for more than 35 years.