Anzco's Harrison to fund new Lincoln University chair in trade, global value chains

The university declined to release financial details other than to say it was for a senior academic salaried position.

Graeme Harrison, chairman of meat company Anzco Foods, is to fund a new professorial chair in global value chains and trade at Lincoln University, initially for a term of five years.

The new position will sit within the university's agribusiness and commerce faculty, which already has a global value chain and trade department. The university declined to release financial details other than to say it was for a senior academic salaried position.

The term 'global value chain' refers to the trend for companies to spread the production of goods across multiple countries, to take advantage of skills and materials available at the lowest cost and highest quality. It has become a dominant feature of world trade, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Globalisation "motivates companies to restructure their operations internationally through outsourcing and offshoring of activities," the OECD says.

"As well as carrying core academic responsibilities, we see the appointee becoming a leading spokesperson on global trade, particularly around the challenges facing New Zealand's agricultural exports," Lincoln vice-chancellor Andrew West said in a statement. Harrison, who is a member of Lincoln's council, "has long held the view that New Zealand businesses must understand global supply chains and where they can add value."

The university said the commercial aspect of the new position was to help "capitalise on New Zealand's advantageous position as a world leader in high-quality primary products relative to increasing global demand from the growing number of middle-class consumers."

The new position comes amid increasing efforts by primary industry organisations to engage with the education sector. DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand have helped develop a $2 million public-private partnership investment in an agribusiness programme being trialled by some secondary schools.

Anzco has annual sales of about $1.3 billion and employs about 3,000 people worldwide. It is 48 percent owned by Japan's Itoham Foods, 25 percent by Nippon Suisan and 27 percent by managers and directors including Harrison.

(BusinessDesk)