The One Percent Fund

And the 2022 Otis One Percent Fund is awarded to….. Plant Research NZ Ltd.

In June of 2021 we attended the Te Hono primary industry Bootcamp hosted in Waitangi. At this event the attendees, which included key stakeholders from the New Zealand agricultural sector and many of its largest players, were presented to by academic and scientific experts on the state of our changing climate and biodiversity. The magnitude of the environmental crises we are facing as a global community were laid bare and the impacts this will have on the New Zealand economy’s agricultural sector was explained.

Despite founding an oat milk company with the express purpose of providing New Zealand farmers and land owners with alternatives to intensive industrial dairying, this experience resulted in the firm belief that we as a company could and should be doing more. So we committed to donating 1% of our total annual sales to funding projects and initiatives that make oats a viable and exciting alternative for New Zealand farmers.

But before we just donated the money to any old cause we needed to better understand how this money could achieve the best impact for the industry. Among other things we wanted to know what are the barriers farmers face to growing oats? Where do they feel like they need the most support? And, what promising scientific work could make the most difference to them?

After speaking with 9 individuals from 8 organisations spanning 8 months in great detail, we analysed their feedback and landed on the policy for our 1% Fund.

We are very excited to announce we will be awarding the funds this year to Adrian and the team at PRNZ Ltd. Who TF is PRNZ? They have spent close to 20 years working in the shadows developing and advancing the oat breeding programme here in NZ, and around the world, to ensure our oat variety is world leading. Whether that be through developing crops that are more pest resistant, higher yielding, requiring less synthetic inputs, or more importantly varieties that are more resilient to changing climates.

It goes without saying that Adrian’s hard work goes largely unnoticed particularly from the oat beverages side of the OIG, and this is us acknowledging his critical part to play going forward in the oat industry ecosystem. So a huge thank you and congratulations to Adrian and the whole PRNZ team. And a further thankyou to Harraways, the oat growers, the Oat Industry Group, Foundation for Arable Research, Soil Matters, Victoria University, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, Go Well Consulting and the rest of the Otis team.

Check out the full One Percent Fund Report here.

In Oats We Trust.