Evolving through a dynamic external environment
In the face of a dynamically shifting external agri-sector environment, this year’s Ravensdown Integrated Report captures their agile evolution to keep farmers actively responding to expectations.
With a new Chair and CEO on board and a newly articulated business strategy being formulated, this year’s integrated report was tasked with introducing the refreshed thinking and direction, while ensuring a sense of continuity against a backdrop of very dynamic political and community flux across a wide range of external factors.
Messaging needed to more clearly convey the synergistic strengths of Ravensdown’s offerings: nutrients, environmental advisory, science, research, relationships and accumulated farm data. When used together systemically, farm productivity is enhanced in harmony with environmental sustainability.
A step change in communication was needed.
It’s a fine balance between signalling change while maintaining trust in earlier ways of doing business. But in truth, the former builds on the successes of the latter. So it becomes about the degree of evolution - something the integrated report has been a vehicle for over the past five years.
We first focused on the story, finding a way to express the refreshed direction of travel while it was still being fully resolved and polished internally. We then turned our attention to the structure of the report, delineating the future-focused story from rear view mirror annual reporting and delivering to all the principles of integrated reporting. Then we crafted a visual treatment that both signalled the shift and captured the essence of the future focus while still reflecting the core brand attributes.
The positioning goals of precision, data and interconnectedness were reflected in the use of a pin point grid system and fine leader lines designed to assist reader navigation and draw attention to key specific data and information.
A technology bias and a new way of considering sustainability and productivity was signalled on the cover with large key messaging and running the company logo and document nomenclature vertically. The cover imagery supports the interconnected message while also reflecting the intergenerational dimensions of New Zealand farming that Ravensdown factors into all their thinking and on-farm advice. The back cover reinforces this theme: the image is symbolic, the plant being passed from one generation to the next.
Introductory imagery is intentionally bold and single-minded in its use, showing clearly the activity that Ravensdown is focused on: sustainability for generations to come, and the application of technology in new and exciting ways that enhances productivity yet facilitates and safeguards farming and land preservation for the next generations.
All without losing the powerful grass roots and grounded aspects of Ravensdown’s DNA. We deliberately featured the Ravensdown team throughout the report in real situations, integrated into the fabric of the farming community.
Informational graphic content was developed to capture the interconnectivity of their operating system through their Value Creation Model, key data and statistics.
Finally, we retained the landscape format introduced last year to better respond to the continued uptake of stakeholder online viewing.
The report clearly resonated with Ravensdown’s various shareholder and broader stakeholder audience groups because it showed a clear pathway to a workable future. One that resolved the tension between the supposedly conflicting goals of productivity and sustainability by tackling both hand in glove, with the right system of data, technology and products.