Christchurch, New Zealand - The New Zealand Merino Company’s regenerative wool platform, ZQRX and Silicon Valley technology platform, Actual are honored to celebrate the signing of their official, impact driven partnership agreement, ‘Made for Good RX', through a ceremony attended by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and California Governor Gavin Newsom in San Francisco on Friday, May 27th.
The signing marks a fundamental milestone, as technology and regenerative practices converge to reshape agriculture across the globe, with one of the world’s most recognized heads of state on-site to witness the significant endeavor.
For the past decade, John Brakenridge, CEO of The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM), has invested deeply into the Silicon Valley region - fostering relationships, sharing educational resources, and starting a movement to support his vision that innovation and authenticity is the future of agriculture. What started as a grassroots idea originating through his close ties to the Stanford Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, quickly transformed into a Primary Sector leadership initiative, as Brakenridge nurtured the future innovators to ‘hono tangata, hono whenua, hono ki te ao - strengthen relationships by linking to the land and connecting to the world’. Each year, the initiative titled “Te Hono,” unifies over 260 individuals across businesses, universities and government agencies. Under Brakenridge’s leadership, these individuals now make up over 80% of New Zealand's agribusiness.
“The finalization of our partnership with Actual is the culmination of a decade-long journey, with market impact at the heart of our efforts to reimagine the future of conscious consumerism, and create products that are ‘made for good’. This signing marks the significance of the progress that we have made thus far and a new beginning that will transform agricultural practices across the globe. We’re proud to celebrate this moment with Actual and especially honored that the Prime Minister of New Zealand, where our regenerative journey began, is in attendance.” - John Brakenridge, CEO of NZM.
“Today Governor Newsom and I have announced a partnership between the state of California and New Zealand, as we collaborate to tackle climate change. A key part of that work is not just what Government can do but what business can do also. The signing of this agreement between ZQRX and Actual is exactly the type of innovation we hope to see from the Memorandum of Cooperation, with two organizations from each respective nation, paving the way as change makers and innovators within the sustainability space.” - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
The partnership between ZQRX and Actual is rooted in measurable impact - equipping ZQRX’s network of growers, which represent over 2 million hectares of land, with tools to action positive environmental impact. Beyond their growers, the joint venture will accelerate tangible action plans and goals among ZQRX’s foundational brand partners, Smartwool, Allbirds, icebreaker, and Reda . Each of these organizations have played a pivotal role in NZM’s growth, through long-term partnerships centered around action and adaptation, as they pioneer the slow fashion movement and a commitment to giving more than we take from the natural world. Through integrating Actual’s technology into the ZQRX platform, NZM is furthering their leadership in driving sustainable outcomes within the wool industry, empowering leading consumer brands to meet growing demand for ESG, and ultimately shifting agricultural practices across the world to support healthier people and a safer planet.
“We are thrilled to partner with ZQRX which has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability through real action,” said Karthik Balakrishnan, Actual co-founder and President. “This milestone initiative is driving the transformation of agribusiness, providing growers and brands each with the uniquely actionable steps they need to take to improve their sustainability and impact on our planet. This is a critical and notable step for positive corporate environmental change.”
The New Zealand Merino Company’s regenerative fiber platform ZQRX takes a big picture view of the global challenges we all face and contributes to solving them by accelerating collective, regenerative-driven actions that go beyond sustainability. It requires a collaborative approach from our ZQRX Wool Growers, ZQRX Brands, and the forward-thinking consumers who choose ZQRX products.
ZQRX Wool Growers not only produce the highest quality, most ethical wool in the world, they also work to give more than they take from the natural world, the animals living in that world, and the human communities interacting with it. ZQ Growers use a new state-of-the-art platform called the Regenerative Index (RX) to help them measure and improve how much they give back as they restore waterways, protect native species, offset carbon, and enhance local communities. ZQRX provides user-friendly modeling, real‑time metrics and machine learning, and guides users through the latest solutions, strategies, and techniques to help continuously measure, improve and deliver on ESG goals. For more information, visit www.discoverzq.com or @discoverzq.
Founded in 2018 by a team of software engineers, game designers, and clean transportation and supply chain experts, Actual is a first-of-its-kind ESG transformation platform designed to help companies embed sustainability into their business models and meet net-zero corporate pledges. With minimal data, Actual delivers a living ESG strategy that is always up to date, in compliance with evolving ESG standards, and available for stakeholder inspection. For more information, visit actualhq.com.