Helping Boards respond to a biosecurity crisis
Every Board must consider risk to their business, the impact it will have and how to mitigate it. But what happens when a risk has not been identified as significant and it hits? Biosecurity events have blindsided businesses over the years and the threats to our primary industries are increasing. These threats impact primary producers as well as their suppliers and customers.
How Boards can prepare for and react to crises of this nature was discussed last night at a Bay of Plenty Institute of Directors (IOD) panel event, specially put together to talk about biosecurity and why it is considered the number one risk to one of the largest sectors of our economy.
Facilitated by Graeme Marshall, Chairman of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee and KVH Director, the theme for the evening was around asking business leaders and Governance members in the room ‘do you know exactly how your business would respond to the next big biosecurity incursion and will you be able to make robust and quick decisions?’.
On the discussion panel was John Loughlin, who as Chairman of Zespri when Psa hit the kiwifruit industry (and now Chair of the Meat Industry Association dealing with Mycoplama bovis) said there are a broad range of potential biosecurity incursions and some are better understood than others, which is why preparation is key.
The same key point was echoed by Ian Proudfoot, Global Head of Agribusiness for KPMG New Zealand, who discussed his perspective on the huge potential for growth in agribusiness in this country and how that could be heavily affected by a biosecurity incursion if not appropriately managed.
Overall says Graeme, the audience had a practical lesson on good governance from leaders who have experienced major biosecurity incursions and know that it’s important to be ready from day one; to activate response or business continuity mechanisms immediately; and demonstrate leadership.
Read more about the IOD event and panel discussion here.