Subaru of New Zealand has joined forces with Federated Farmers, creating a new partnership to support farmers who ‘do’.
The federation’s team of Territory Managers around the country all have All-Wheel Drive Subarus to help them get down every dusty, gravel road and driveway to meet farmers, hear their views and concerns and relay them to the federation's policy and advocacy staff.
Subaru of New Zealand's Managing Director Wallis Dumper says there is a strong relevance for the ubiquitous Kiwi car brand to be partnering with Federated Farmers.
“We recognise the farming community as a strong contributor to the New Zealand economy. Subaru already has partnerships with some major rural organisations, who we supply vehicles to, so when conversations began with Federated Farmers it was a very natural process to evolve to where we are today.
“The capability of our vehicles has already been proven by others in the country’s rural sector. Our SUV range, in particular, continues to rise in popularity with farmers. This is courtesy of the Subaru Outback, Forester and XV’s off-road competence, high ground clearance and their practical space, which enables work or play,” Mr Dumper says.
Federated Farmers national president Katie Milne says the alliance with Subaru is a good fit.
“New Zealand farmers are renowned as some of the most efficient producers of quality food on the planet, so we’re delighted to partner with a brand that is also at the top of its game on a global scale.”
Ms Milne farms near Lake Brunner in the South Island, meaning her Subaru gets “a good test” every day, she says.
“Subarus are known for their versatility and ability to handle rugged terrain and foul weather. The West Coast is well-known for throwing a bit of weather about. I’m regularly up and over Arthur’s Pass through summer and winter, and that can mean snow, driving rain and all the rest of it.”
Ms Milne’s Subaru XV has a higher ground clearance than her current vehicle, which she says can now be put out to pasture.
“My dog George often comes along for rides with me. The Subaru has plenty of room in the back for farm gear, wet weather stuff and boots."
“The odd calf might also have to sneak a ride in the boot every now and then!” she jokes.
The federation’s aim is to add value to the business of farming for its members and encourage sustainability through sharing and promoting best management practice.
Federated Farmers Southland Territory Manager and National Territory Manager Team Leader Laura Sanford uses her Subaru Outback as her ‘workplace’.
“The Subaru is my office. It's up and down farm driveways, off to farm field days and farmer meetings on a daily basis. It has plenty of boot space for all our collateral, including contacts and agreements, as well as banners and flags,” she says.
Mrs Sanford is based in Invercargill, which can bear the brunt of New Zealand’s wild weather and she is glad to have Subaru’s All-Wheel Drive engineering prowess helping to keep her safe on the southern roads.
“The Subaru is as at home on slippery farm access tracks, as it is on the loose winding gravel roads of the south-west Fiordland boundary or Southland's ‘Gold Coast’ (Orepuki - Tuatapere highway). Tight driveways are something we have to contend with but the Subaru's fantastic lock and camera system make it so much easier,” Laura says.
There is huge variety in the working week of a Federated Farmers Territory Manager.
“One day you’re out in the boonies, down long winding roads and tight farm tracks, sometimes in difficult terrain. The next, you’ll have a business meeting in town, or you need to attend a town hall meeting - maybe giving others a lift to get there - and you want a vehicle that looks smart and professional,” Mrs Sanford says.
Through the partnership with Federated Farmers, Subaru hopes to inspire and enable busy farmers to get out and do what they love, outside of their demanding, day-to-day lives running their farm.
“Farmers don’t have a normal 9am to 5pm job and they often get little time to themselves. We want to inspire them to ‘do’ what they love and enable some escape time off the farm through some of our partnership initiatives. Whether it’s accessing their favourite fishing hole, golf course, ski-field or back-country hut, where they can enjoy a well-deserved break - a Subaru will enable them to ‘do’ that,” Mr Dumper says.
To find our more about Federated Farmers, visit www.fedfarm.org.nz