Boardroom briefing: promising vaccines, app to enable global travel, and poultry investment pays off


Vaccines give hope of an end to quarantine, aviation industry launches app to get back in the air, and agritech finds a way to sell eggs before they’ve been laid. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

End to quarantine in sight?

Delivering a vaccine fridge to Gawa Island in Milne Bay Province. Credit: YWAM

While PNG business has managed quite well this year with limited international travel, we won’t have business as usual until people can fly in and out of the country without the need to quarantine.

Given this, the announcement regarding the positive progress of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – one of the vaccines Australia has pre-ordered and committed to sharing with its Pacific neighbours – is encouraging.

While higher profile US vaccines may have grabbed the headlines in recent weeks, it is vaccines like the AstraZeneca one that will most likely be distributed to the Pacific, once approved. This is, in part, because ‘the vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions for at least six months’, according to an AstraZeneca statement.

Already, Australia’s Qantas has suggested the role vaccines will play in returning international travel to ‘COVID-normal’.

‘We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say, for international, that we will ask people to have a vaccination before getting on the aircraft,’ said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce this week.

Passing overhead

Meanwhile, IATA, which counts both Air Niugini and Qantas among its 290 members, is preparing to launch an international travel pass, a digital ‘health passport’ that will be able to hold information including a passenger’s vaccination records.

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IATA is proposing the pass as a ‘global and standardised solution to validate and authenticate all country regulations regarding COVID-19 passenger travel requirements’.

Delivered as a phone app, the pass will allow you to find the health requirements for the countries you want to visit, find testing locations so you can get tested and then receive test lab results direct to your phone, all while dealing with your privacy concerns.

Getting fresh

‘Now accepting preorders’. Credit: JBL

For those involved in farming, we can recommend the Agritech …so what? podcast, which talks to ‘leading innovators working at the intersection of agriculture and technology’.

A recent episode featured chemical engineer Sarah Sivyer, who decided to start a business selling eggs armed only with a knowledge of business models garnered from her life in the corporate world. Her business, Just Been Laid, sells eggs by subscription.

‘The promise of her business is that the eggs are never more than 72 hours old. Customers subscribe online, pay ahead of time, nominate a pick up location, and collect their eggs once a week – on the day they nominate,’ explains Agritech … so what?

‘Not only does the farm have a direct connection with consumers, but also people are buying the eggs before they’re even laid.’

Now that’s getting ahead of the game.

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