Author Archive

British restaurants called to ban avocados amid link to Mexican drug cartel

[10 December/NZ Herald] British restaurants are being encouraged to take avocados off their menus, amid fears profits are being used to fund Mexican drug cartels. Drug bosses have taken control of farms growing avocados in Michoacan in west Mexico, reports the Daily Mail. One of the area’s most prominent drug cartels is said to earn...

USDA grants $600K to develop seaweed bread

[6 December/Food Dive] The U.S Department of Agriculture awarded Maine-based VitaminSea a USD600,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop a seaweed-based bread called SeaKelp+, according to BakeryandSnacks. Last year, the USDA provided the company $100,000 to begin developing the prototype. The second round of funding will allow the company to begin recipe collaborations with...

Nestlé to create Institute of Packaging Sciences to tackle global waste problem

[6 December/FoodNavigator] Nestlé says it will research recyclable, biodegradable and compostable polymers, functional paper, new packaging concepts and technologies to increase the recyclability of plastic packaging. This is part of a programme of work which will be tested in different product categories before rolling it out across the group’s global portfolio. A spokesperson for Nestle...

Farmlogics ag-tech brings sourcing closer to SDGs by ‘digitising the field’

[6 December/FoodNavigator] Farmlogics software tool gives suppliers more control over their operations by “digitising the field”, according to Froid Mendez, co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) of Cochin-headquartered Farmlogics. The technology offers several products at various prices. Cocoa, palm oil and rubber producers are already using it in West Africa. It could also be used...

Vegan Startup ‘Real Fake Meats’ Opens Plant-Based Butcher Shop

[9 December/Plant Based News] A Canadian vegan meat startup is set to open its first plant-based butcher shop in Canada just before Christmas. Real Fake Meats, whose store called Plant-Based Butcher, will open in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will include vegan turkey, bacon, chicken, pepperoni, and cheese. Holiday Boxes are available to order online now and...

Fruit fly outbreak declared in South Australia’s Riverland

[7 December/ABC] Internationally recognised as a pest-free region, the town of Riverland, in South Australia has had a fruit fly outbreak. Seven male Queensland fruit flies have been found in the Loxton area. Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development for South Australia, Tim Whetstone, said a team of 50 Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA)...

Beef-eating ‘must fall drastically’ as world population grows

[5 December/The Guardian] According to a new report by the World Resources Institute (WRI), people in rich nations will have to make significant cuts to the amount of beef and lamb they eat if the world is to be able to feed 10 billion people.  According to the report, more than 50% more food will...

Food scraps could be turned into environmentally friendly plastic packaging

[5 December/GOV UK] Innovators are being challenged to make the UK a world-leader in creating sustainable packaging and reduce the impact of harmful plastics on the environment. The UK Government is seeking ways to extract the economic benefits from the global shift to greener, cleaner economies. This is key part of the government’s modern Industrial...

‘Just the beginning’ for Escalator graduate

[10 December/Rural Life] Last month, the Agri-Women’s Development Trust marked the 100th graduate from its Escalator programme. The milestone was reached as graduates of the eighth annual programme — including Kelly Heckler, owner of environmental consultancy AgriBasics — gathered in Wellington. The 10-month programme provides leadership and governance development to 14 women each year. Participants...

Mushroom farm draws dozens of complaints for smell

[8 December/Rural Life] A mushroom farm in Hawke’s Bay has received 48 additional complaints since it was originally fined in August for its objectionable odour. As part of Te Mata Mushrooms’ resource consent, odours are not allowed to leave the boundaries of its Havelock North property. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council said it had not however...

Organic production standard Bill to be advanced

[10 December/Otago Daily Times] A national standard for organic production will be advanced as a Government Bill next year. It would give consumers confidence in organic claims and businesses certainty to invest and innovate in the growing sector, Agriculture and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor said.  According to the Minister, New Zealand is one of...

Taranaki’s first farm with cattle disease confirmed by MPI

[6 December/Stuff] Taranaki’s first case of the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis has been confirmed by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI). A dairy farm has been designated as the region’s first Restricted Place after test results and animal movements showed a risk of spreading the bacterial disease, said MPIs Mycoplasma bovis director Geoff Gwyn. Further...

Digital tool Tahi Ngātahi is improving woolshed safety this summer

[9 December/Stuff] Shearers are tackling taboo subjects after the launch of an injury prevention tool at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Christchurch in November with topics such as such as managing stress and mental health being addressed. Rangitīkei shearer Shane Ratima, says the online application, Tahi Ngātahi, addresses topics not typically talked about in...

Kiwis want cannabis law to go further – study

[9 December/NZ Herald] A recent survey of 2000 New Zealanders suggests new cannabis laws do not extend far enough. The survey was conducted by Horizon Research, between November 27 and December 6, concludes Kiwis want broader access to medicinal marijuana and for cannabis-derived products to be regulated like other medicines. In late November, the Misuse...

Arable farms can help cut pastoral footprint

[7 December/Farmers Weekly] New work indicates arable farms can play a big part in helping to mitigate the environmental footprint of pastoral livestock. Presenting on the environmental benefits of arable feeds at the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) annual Crops Expo, Lincoln University livestock production expert Professor Pablo Gregorini and FAR researcher, Ivan Lawrie, delivered...

Live cattle export operation under way in Port of Timaru

[5 December/Stuff] A ship destined for China, carrying 3700 live cattle, departed the Port of Timaru on Wednesday. The Gloucester Express was carrying a mixture of dairy heifers and pure-bred angus breeding cattle according to the Ministry for Primary Industries. An MPI spokesman commented that exporters are required to meet stringent animal welfare standards prior...

Future of wine in Gisborne assured

[7 December/NZ Herald] The future of wine-making in the Gisborne district remains secure despite declines in grape production in recent years. Gisborne winemaker, James Milton, believes the regions unique soils, while not cluttered with stones, actually enhance the fruitfulness of the grapevines. Mr Milton was reacting to comments made by wine writer, Michael Cooper, commenting...

Pāmu signs deer milk deal with South Korea’s Yuhan

[10 December/NZ Herald] Pāmu will sign a deal with South Korean pharmaceutical company Yuhan to supply deer milk for its range of cosmetic products. The state-owned company, said it will be the first time New Zealand deer milk has been sold for use in the beauty industry. Yuhan has been developing a number of deer...

Pāmu breaks ranks with farmers

[7 December/Farmers Weekly] Landcorp’s leadership role in advocating for new agricultural taxes in its submission into the Tax Working Group has not been received well according to Nathan Guy, National Party agriculture spokesman. Mr Guy says Landcorp is driving a wedge between them and mainstream farmers. Advocating environmental taxes, the enhanced Emissions Trading Scheme, water...

AFFCO workers may finally be paid for lost wages after lock out, three years on

[7 December/NZ Herald] The Court of Appeal has ruled that AFFCO workers unlawfully locked out three years ago should be paid for lost wages. According to New Zealand Meat Workers Union National Secretary, Graham Cooke, they don’t expect to see any money in time for the festive season. Mr Cooke expected the company and its...

New $18m Waikato chicken farm gets council backing

[11 December/Stuff] The construction of a new 26.7 hectare, 242,000-bird free-range chicken farm has received Council approval to be constructed on Maiseys Road in Waharoa. The new development will be undertaken by by Two Lands Limited (formally Matamata Poultry) with the farm including land value, costing $16-$18 million. Director, Matthew Sutherland, noted the expansion was...

Fonterra to reward and punish farmers over animal welfare and environment

[11 December/Stuff] Fonterra farmers will receive rewards for better care for the environment and their animals and those that fail to meet standards will be disadvantaged from July next year.  The co-op will also be providing farmers with the ability to fix the price of a percentage of their milk in a hedging scheme from...

Fonterra shocks farmers with milk advance payment clawback

[11 December/NZ Herald] Following Fonterra’s announcement of a cut in its forecast milk price for the 2018/19 season the co-op has also informed farmers that it will be resetting the advance payment schedule for season meaning farmers will be getting paid less than they expected in the coming months.  The advance rate for December milk...

Avocado growers in Environment Court water fight over wetland’s aquifer source

[10 December/Stuff] The Department of Conservation (DOC) is appealing a resource consent granted by the Northland Regional Council (NRC) allowing 17 avocado growers to take over two million cubic metres of groundwater a year from the Aupouri aquifer in the Environment Court this week. The growers plan to plant over 600 hectares of avocados, and...