‘It was like a rock concert’ – hundreds attend farm’s open day

[12 November/NZ Herald] Manawatu farmer, James Stewart, had some concerns when he agreed to host the general public on his farm as part of Fonterra’s Open Gate initiatives, but in hindsight he recognises he need not have worried. Mr Stewart said the day was a really positive experience.  Stewart Dairies was one of the 16 properties around the country that took part in the programme, where farmers welcome the general public to spend a day on the farm. Around 600 people turned up to Stewart Dairies, which is an 800 cow operation in the Manawatu. Mr Stewart told The Country’s Rowena Duncum that kids and their parents particularly enjoyed a day on the farm, noting at one point he went into the shed and it was packed, like a rock concert.  He added that he was pleased to have received positive feedback from his guests which was really appreciated by...
Luxury cashmere produced here in South Otago

Luxury cashmere produced here in South Otago

[12 November/NZ Herald] Pilot production of the first New Zealand grown cashmere garments is being heralded as a milestone for the country’s fledgling cashmere industry. In January this year, New Zealand Cashmere (a business founded by Clinton farmers David and Robyn Shaw) announced it had entered into a partnership with...
Shane Jones’ One Billion Trees bungle: Scrub, weeds mar the planting of 1 million seedlings

Shane Jones’ One Billion Trees bungle: Scrub, weeds mar the planting of 1 million seedlings

[13 November/NZ Herald] Official Information Act requests have highlighted that government officials ordered more than one million pine seedlings for planting on a block of land in the Far North, so choked with scrub and weed that the planting could not progress and over half the seedlings had to be...
Investment fund eyes Central Otago cherry option

Investment fund eyes Central Otago cherry option

[13 November/NZ Herald] Craigmore Sustainables CEO, Che Charteris, says that the company’s $250 million Permanent Crop Partnership is quickly approaching its target funding level and they are expecting a close for the funds in the next month.  The fund has been set up to build a diversified business of the...
Fonterra shareholders simmer while embattled company paints brighter future at AGM

Fonterra shareholders simmer while embattled company paints brighter future at AGM

[9 November/NZ Herald] Fonterra’s new leadership is receiving support from the co-operative’s shareholders, but the AGM left little doubt that further financial blunders will not be tolerated. There were plenty of questions about Fonterra disappointing financial results for the year and investment decisions that have been made in China. Former...
A2 milk and NZ lamb a winner on Alibaba's Singles' Day

A2 milk and NZ lamb a winner on Alibaba’s Singles’ Day

[12 November/Stuff] Lots of New Zealand milk and lamb changed hands during Singles Day (11/11) as the Chinese internet giant Alibaba broke all one day sale records again during the country’s biggest shopping day.  China’s answer to the online Cyber Monday and America’s post-Thanksgiving “Black Friday” generated USD30.8 billion of...
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Scott Morrison backflips on Foodbank funding cuts amid community backlash

[13 November/ABC Rural] Australian Prime Minister has reversed a decision made by his government to cut fund to Foodbank, the largest hunger-relief organisation in Australia which provides 67 million meals a year to the 4 million Australians that face food insecurity.  The National Farmers Federation, the community sector, the Labor Party and MP’s within his...

Woman faces court over strawberry contamination in Australia

[12 November/NZ Herald] A woman has been charged over the strawberry needle incidents that sparked a nationwide crisis across Australia in September. The woman, My Ut Trinh, a former Queensland strawberry industry worker appeared in Brisbane Magistrates court after being charged with seven counts of contamination of goods with intent to cause economic loss, between...

Protein Extreme: Arla debuts new protein shot concept

[12 November/Dairy Reporter] Arla Ingredients has launched a new protein shot concept for athletes and gym goers at the Supply Side West Show in Las Vegas.  The product, which is supplied in a 100ml shot-size package, differs from other protein shots as its protein comes entirely from whey rather than whey and collagen used in...

Murray Goulburn: Gary Helou likely to face fines following ACCC settlement

[9 November/ABC] Murray Goulburn has reached a settlement with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) which will likely see former Managing Director Gary Helou fined. The ACCC will apply to the Federal Court seeking declarations that Murray Goulburn and Mr Helou breached Australian Consumer Law in 2016. MG and Mr Helou have both agreed...

Pot stocks move higher as another US state votes to legalise cannabis use

[8 November/NZ Herald] The midterm elections not only saw a change in control of the House of Representatives but saw more states vote to legalize marijuana. The outcome will help the US cannabis market further expand with some analysts suggesting the market could be worth USD75 billion by 2030. Legal cannabis stocks, led by Tilray,...

The opportunities for microalgae are massive: AlgaEnergy eyes growth in food following Yokogawa tie up

[8 November/Food Navigator] Spanish biotech group, AlgaEnergy, has signed an agreement with Japanese electrical engineering and software company, Yokogawa, which involves Yokogawa investing EUR10 million into the company.  AlgaEnergy has been a pioneer in the microalgae biotechnology field for over 10 years operating a commercial production facility in the South of Spain.  The company already...

How avocado seeds could change the natural colours market

[8 November/Food Dive] Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have developed a range of food colours that can be extracted from the avocado seed, something that is generally discarded as waste by most processors at the current time.  The researchers have found that vibrant colours in the red-orange-yellow spectrum can be extracted from the seed using...

Health experts propose a red meat tax to recoup USD172 billion in health care costs

[7 November/CNBC] A new report from researchers at Oxford University in the UK suggests that introducing a health tax on red and processed meat would offset health-care costs and prevent more than 220,000 deaths a year globally.  The researchers looked at optimal taxation levels for red and processed meat in nearly 150 countries and concluded...

Agribusiness Giant shows there is money to be made in Trump’s trade war

[7 November/Bloomberg] Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), one of the large agribusiness commodity trading companies, looks to be one of the few organisations poised to benefit from President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.  ADM reported better that expected earnings for the fourth consecutive quarter with soybean crushing being the main driver of growth.  The company...

New Zealanders biggest consumers in favour of sugary drinks tax, poll reveals

[10 November/NZ Herald] A new UMR poll commissed by the University of Auckland suggests that New Zealand’s biggest consumers of sugary drinks are leaning towards putting a tax on their fizz.  The survey found that 80 per cent New Zealanders aged between 18 and 30 were in favour of a sugar tax. Public health researcher...

Biosecurity champs announced

[13 November/Rural News] An Environment Southland project has been announced as the winner of the New Zealand Biosecurity Supreme Award organised by Biosecurity New Zealand.  The Fiordland Marine Pathway Management Plan project is a first of its kind project in New Zealand and it aims to protect one of New Zealand’s most significant regions from...

Lamb prices hit record highs as exports boom

[13 November/NZ Farmer] Rising export prices for lamb and a lower New Zealand dollar are seeing kiwis paying higher prices for lamb in the supermarkets in the run up to the barbecue season.  The price of a lamb chop rose 7.7% in October to $17.12 a kilo.  With sausage prices also rising, October saw the...

Seeka raises capital to fund expansion

[12 November/Eurofruit] Seeka has announced plans to raise $50 million in new capital to strengthen its balance sheet by paying down debt and providing the financial flexibility to pursue its growth strategy.  The capital will be raised through the launch of a new Grower Share Scheme (GSS), a rights issue and the issue of shares...

Stocks of bananas running low at New Zealand supermarkets

[9 November/NZ Herald] Changes in international shipping routes have led to stocks of bananas running low at New Zealand supermarkets.  A spokesperson for Foodstuffs said that banana supplies are short right now due to unforeseen shipping issues but added that supplies are expected to be back to normal by the end of the month. A...

Happy medium needed in hops growth

[9 November/Rural News] Chief Executive of NZ Hops, Doug Donelan, says that the co-operative has at least quadrupled the value over the past 10 years as sales have grown from about $8 million to about $35m. Mr Donelan notes that are those around the industry that believe New Zealand could triple the current production volume...

Wairarapa charts its path to prosperity through water, trains and trees

[12 November/Stuff] Wairarapa needs better trains, lots of water storage, improved work skills and more trees if it’s going to realise its path to prosperity, according to the Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan, which was launched recently. The plan, created by the region’s three councils, targets three key industries to help lift the...

Rural health service gains outlined in plan

[12 November/Otago Daily Times] A proposal to create a virtual campus for rural health training would improve health services in New Zealand’s rural towns, according to Dr Garry Nixon of the University of Otago. Dr Dixon, who also works at Dunstan Hospital in Clyde, notes in an article on the national virtual campus proposal, recently...

Lack of rural health professionals will result in crisis – GPs

[10 November/Radio NZ] Regional shortages of doctors and nurses are reaching crisis level according to rural GPs. The Rural General Practice Network is backing the proposals for the establishment of rural health schools to embed a wide range of health professionals inside rural communities. Its chief executive Dalton Kelly said such programmes had proved successful...

Profits up at Westland Milk pre-tax

[9 November/NZ Herald] Westland Milk Products has reported profit before tax of $3.25million for its recently completed financial year (last year the co-op reported a before-tax profit was $29,000). On releasing its annual report the West Coast co-op acknowledged it was still not industry competitive and lacked “financial flexibility” due to high debt levels and...

Dairy prices slide in global auction

[7 November/NZ Herald] Dairy product prices slid at the latest Global Dairy Trade auction, led down by a further fall in the key whole milk powder price. Regular grade whole milk powder to ship in January fell by a larger-than-expected 6.4 per cent, NZX dairy analyst Amy Castleton noted that WMP offer volumes are forecast...

NZ King Salmon awarded at NZ International Business Awards

[9 November/Stuff] New Zealand King Salmon has been named among the country’s leading export companies at New Zealand’s International Business Awards winning the Inspiring Preference for NZ award. Judge Rebecca Smith said King Salmon won the category for their commitment to sharing its story right through the supply chain. The company has been taking its...

Wool cells used for new material at Lincoln Agritech

[12 November/NZ Herald] Researchers at Lincoln Agritech have broken down coarse wool into its cellular components, creating new materials that are not wool but contain wool attributes. The work was part of a $21 million seven-year research programme into new uses for coarse wool, co-funded by the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand (WRONZ) and...

Another hit for NZ’s returns

[10 November/Otago Daily Times] The drop in New Zealand dollar during October was not enough to offset the decline in commodity prices resulting in a fifth consecutive monthly fall in the ANZ world commodity price index.  The 2.4% decrease in October was identical to September’s result. The annual growth rate in prices is down 5.6%...

High-tech solution to combat mānuka honey counterfeiters

[8 November/NZ Herald] Honey counterfeiters are posing a major threat to New Zealand’s international reputation, says one manufacturer which has come up with a high-tech solution. Midlands Apiaries says it is using more complex packaging materials and manufacturing processes for its Puriti mānuka honey brand with the goal of making it more difficult for others...