Rural contractors will gather at five roadshows next month to focus on cost volatility and drivers as the industry seeks to remain viable during the highest levels of inflation in recent memory.

Andrew Olsen, CEO for Rural Contractors NZ, says his organisation has been working constructively with Federated Farmers over recent months to develop an accord on cost volatility that works for both contractors and farmers.

“It’s timely to talk about cost shocks in the sector. Contractor and farmers are well aware that cost is entering the system and we want to make sure there is both a legal and responsible way for both sides to transparently meet this challenge.

“This is an opportunity to refresh contracts that may have served us well but need a few tweaks to deal with the pressures of today. It’s vital to the food and fibre sector that we get this right and that farmers, growers and contractors are all aware of and honour their contractual obligations.”

NZX’s Head of Insight, Julia Jones has been tasked with bringing together indices that properly track costs in fuel, fertiliser and agrichemicals. This will help establish an independent measure based on offshore pricing changes as they rise – and fall.

“Julia will also be keynote speaker at our five RCNZ roadshows and is in a perfect position to talk about and discuss costs in a workshop environment,” says Andrew Olsen.

The RCNZ roadshows start in Palmerston North on August 8, with sessions in Whangarei August 9 and Hamilton August 10, Gore on August 24 and Christchurch August 25. The roadshows will include presentations from MPI and from Growsafe on best practice in  agrichemical handling.