Taranaki has long been renowned for its primary dairy and farming production. Branching Out aims to broaden the region’s food basket through growing diverse and complementary forms of land use, enterprises, and products.

 
Branching Out is a two-year initiative that will investigate, explore, package, and potentially pilot new commercial opportunities which could add wealth for Taranaki’s economy and help the region’s food and fibre sector become more resilient, innovative and in-demand.
 
The programme will see Taranaki landowners, farmers, food manufacturers, marketers and investors partner with Venture Taranaki, Massey University, Crown Research Institutes and other experts to identify, explore and progress up to a dozen ventures with high innovation, growth and market potential. Areas or projects with significant potential will be developed into ‘new venture blueprints’ which will help kick-start new complementary farm-based activities and associated value chain enterprises.
 
Beyond exploring new crops and innovative processes that complement the region’s existing land use, Branching Out seeks to build value through aligning our natural resources, skills, knowledge and infrastructure to emerging and growing market opportunities and trends.
 
Managed by Venture Taranaki and a steering group of around a dozen stakeholders, the project will involve the region’s landowners, farmers and aspirational and existing food manufacturers, marketers and investors who have an appetite to be first movers. There will also be opportunities to engage tertiary students to work alongside commercial enterprises and landowners and assist with the venture blueprint development process.
 
Branching out aligns strongly with Taranaki’s regional economic development strategy Tapuae Roa, as well as the region’s long-term vision for a low-emissions economy: the Taranaki 2050 Roadmap.
 
Branching Out will be a collaborative exercise in looking differently at our region’s land, and beyond it to accelerate ideas and thinking that could have real and practical outcomes across the entire value chain.
 
The project is funded by Taranaki’s three district councils - New Plymouth District Council, South Taranaki District Council and Stratford District Council - and the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFFF), with significant in-kind support from Venture Taranaki, Massey University, New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes and enterprises involved in Taranaki’s primary sector and food and fibre industry.