Prime Minister visits Palmerston North to hear about food science research
The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Finance Minister Grant Robertson, turned their attention to food science and technology on 17 September, the day that the country’s second quarter GDP results showed a 12.2% contraction. The good economic news was that food sector returns were hardly dented by the pandemic.
Manawatū based FoodHQ put together a tour of Palmerston North food science innovators for Ms Ardern and Mr Robertson. Chief Science Advisor, Distinguished Professor Nigel French, and PhD student Rose Collis from AgResearch and Massey University, represented the Centre, showing how food safety research was essential for promoting public health and backing food and beverage exports.
While Nigel gave the overview of the Centre’s research scope, Rose explained the work she is doing for her PhD, investigating antibiotic-resistant bacteria using culture methods. She is focussing her sample strategy on two Manawatū dairy farms with different management practices. Although New Zealand is a relatively low user of antibiotics in animal production, their use in animal and human medicine may still be driving antibiotic resistance, which is a global concern. Rose’s work will provide a reference base to track any future increases.