by Divina Paredes

CIO 100: Silver Fern Farms

Mar 24, 2016
Technology Industry

SILVER FERN FARMS is the country’s leading processor, marketer and exporter of premium quality lamb, beef, venison, and associated products.

CIO Nigel Rickerby says ICT projects this year will include technologies to support health and safety initiatives, as well as operational performance.

“These include a continued focus on business intelligence and analytics to deliver actionable business insights in order to stay on top of a challenging global protein market,” says Rickerby.

Modernisation of ERP and HRIS platforms are also in the pipeline, as are further rollouts of VoIP and unified communications solutions to their 20 processing locations.

Rickerby says the IT team focused last year on projects for quality and compliance, and CRM, as well as kicked off a project to deliver business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities.

Silver Fern Farms’ joint venture partner FarmIQ continues to evolve its farm management solution, and when coupled with Silver Fern Farms’ post-production animal grading data, it provides farmers with a 360-degree view of animal performance.

In October 2015, Silver Fern Farms shareholders voted to enter into a 50/50 partnership with Shanghai Maling Aquarius, a listed company based in Shanghai, owned 38 per cent by Bright Food Group.

The partnership and investment will allow Silver Fern Farms to accelerate its business plan and assist in creating opportunities for China’s growing demand for premium beef and sheep meats products. The deal is currently before the NZ Overseas Investment Office for approval.

“The Shanghai Maling partnership will no doubt have some consequences for IT,” says Rickerby. “At this stage, IT’s efforts for 2016 will be focused around ERP, HRIS, business intelligence, analytics and VoIP/unified communications.”