A group of four Lincoln University students are flying high after coming first in a global food marketing competition that pitted them against teams from universities all over the world.
First year student Grace Moscrip is studying for a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, while her teammates Emma Ritchie and Grace Mainwaring (both in their first year), and Lincoln Roper (in his third year), are all working towards a Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing.
The group jumped at the opportunity to act as consultants in the 2020 International Food Marketing Challenge, which was run by The Food Distribution Research Society, Inc.
All teams who took part in the challenge were given the same task: to develop a strategy and implementation plan for a Florida-based fruit and vegetable distributor that had been affected by Covid-19 lockdowns.
They then submitted 10-minute videos, outlining their strategic recommendations, and a panel of judges evaluated the presentations.
With only a three-week period to develop their solution, the Lincoln team made the bold recommendation to divest from food service channels and implement a digital information system to build better supply.
“We were working on a completely different solution originally and then we decided to turn it on its head and do something different,” Lincoln said.
“We weren’t sure whether the judges were going to understand where we were coming from, in which case we figured we wouldn’t even make the finals, but it turned out they liked our strategy.”
The team received some expert tips along the way from Lincoln alumna, Emma Boase, who completed a Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing in 2017. She now works in capability research and engagement for Horticulture New Zealand and NZ Apples and Pears Inc.
Lincoln said the team was thrilled by the win.
“It was a bit of a surprise, considering we were from New Zealand and weren’t sure how we would get on, but it’s good to see New Zealand is developing leaders in that space. I find it pretty inspiring.”
Emma Ritchie said she was “excited with a side of surprise” when she heard the news.
“We were in a pretty big pool with some big universities and had a constricted time period so obviously we did really well with the time we had.”
The Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing is the only specialised food marketing degree in the Southern Hemisphere. Read more about it.
PHOTO: Pictured from left are Grace Mainwaring, Emma Ritchie, Lincoln Roper and Grace Moscrip.