Author Archive

New report recommends reduced dairy intake

[17 January/Dairy Reporter] The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, and Health has published a report, Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. The report delivers the first full scientific review of what constitutes a healthy diet from a sustainable food system, and which actions can support and speed...

Animal rights group creates online map showing farm locations and contact details

[21 January/ABC] Industry outrage was prompted after a website detailing the location and contact details of Australian farms was launched.  The site was called an invasion of privacy. Animal rights charity, Aussie Farms, created the map, with the group’s executive director Chris Delforce noting it had been made live so the public could view the...

Consumer trust and green brand key to growing exports to Asia – new report

[22 January/Independent] KPMG Ireland have released a report highlighting that for Ireland to grow its exports in Asia it must increase awareness of its green image. According to the report, the exports of Irish food and drink have more than quadrupled over the past ten years to Asia to EUR1.3 billion. David Meagher, Head of...

Food & Ag Was Noticeably Absent from CES, But the Leaders Know It’s Coming

[17 January/AgFunder] Two high profile food innovations grabbed attention at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas – IBM’s blockchain initiative with Walmart and Impossible Foods’ meat-free burger (the new Impossible 2.0 Burger was named by tech publisher Digital Trends as the Top Tech of CES) however other food technology was notably absent. The...

Kraft opens pop-up to give free food to government workers during shutdown

[16 January/FoodDive] Kraft is launching a grocery store pop-up in Washington, D.C. to help federal government workers during the partial shutdown. Federal workers with a valid government ID will be able participate in the “Kraft Now Pay Later” program. They will be allowed to shop and take a free full bag of Kraft products. Kraft...

Anti-GM foods ‘experts’ actually know the least – Study

[15 January/The Country] A recent survey of US adults reported that those in extreme opposition of genetically modified (GM) foods actually know the least about the technology, but think they know the most. The University of Colorado study reported that as extremity of GM foods increased, the amount of knowledge about science and genetics decreased,...

Avocados for dessert? Industry plots ways to increase future demand as production levels soar

[12 January/ABC] Non-traditional uses for avocados need to be explored and promoted if the industry is to continue enjoying high prices and solid demand growth.  Large plantings nationwide mean more than 100,000 tonnes of avocados will be produced annually in Australia. Avocados Australia CEO, John Tyas, said farmers are on track to produce 115,000 tonnes...

Government shutdown slows FDA inspections, food safety watchdogs warn of outbreak risks

[10 January/CNBC] The federal government shutdown has forced the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to suspend a large portion of its food safety inspections. Safety inspections of imported food continued at normal pace, according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Domestic inspections, which the organization does approximately 160 per week have slowed. Mr Gottlieb reported the...

Ardern acknowledges hard Brexit could be difficult for New Zealand businesses

[21 January/NZ Herald] While in London, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged if Britain left the European Union (EU) on 29 March with a hard exit and no deal in place, it would be damaging for New Zealand businesses. If this scenario eventuates the New Zealand government’s focus would be on supporting businesses through the shift....

CPTPP nations meet in Tokyo for first commission meeting

[20 January/NZ Herald] Trade Minister David Parker is in Tokyo for the first CPTPP commission meeting. The CPTPP is open to all economies which accept its principles, signatory countries have agreed at their first commission meeting in Tokyo. Seven of the eleven CPTPP countries have ratified the agreement including Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore. The...

Plant-based meat alternatives could save lives

[7 January/FoodDive] The World Economic Forum has released a report detailing the need to integrate more plant-based protein alternatives into the world’s diet. This is reported to significantly improve human health and environmental sustainability. The report notes meat consumption growth is steady, especially in developing countries. If the trend continues to 2050, when the world...

Slowing likely to weigh on prices

[12 January/Otago Daily Times] Slowing Chinese growth is likely to put pressure on New Zealand commodity prices this year, ASB senior rural economist Nathan Penny reported. This year’s outlook followed relatively positive prices throughout last year. The average level of prices last year was comfortably above the 10-year average in both USD and NZD terms....

The CPTPP: What does it mean for New Zealand?

[December 31/Stuff] The CPTPP came in to effect on 31 December. The trade agreement enhances New Zealand exporter’s access to many new markets including Japan, Mexico and Canada. Executive Director of ExportNZ, Catherine Beard, said that New Zealand would benefit from $222 million in tariff savings yearly. This will enable more money to be available...

Bluefin tuna sells for record $4.6 million at new Tokyo market

[6 January/Stuff] A record USD3.1 million for a 278kg bluefin tuna was paid at the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s new fish market.  The fish was purchased by Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of the Sushi Zanmai restaurant chain. The winner was reported to be very satisfied with the quality of the fish but admitted...

Regional economies on the rise

[29 December/Radio NZ]   Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor for the 12 months ending September 2018 reported growth in the regions as strong, noting the Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui and Nelson-Tasman economies with growth faster than Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Hawke’s Bay’s GDP increased 3.1 percent, Manawatu-Wanganui 3.8 percent, and Nelson-Tasman’s growth was up 3.2 percent in...

Farmer confidence slips further

[21 January/Rural News] New Zealand’s rural confidence dropped for the third consecutive quarter after a mix of concerns negatively impacting sentiment among pastoral farmers. The last quarterly survey for 2018 – completed in November – reported net farmer confidence at -15%, down from -3% recorded in the September 2018 survey. Hayley Gourley, Rabobank New Zealand...

Veganuary sees record numbers of people sign up to leave animal products off their plate for a whole month

[5 January/ABC] Plant-based meats and cheeses are now a staple in most supermarkets, as vegan diets become increasingly mainstream. More than 190,000 people around the world have registered to take part in Veganuary, a movement started by a UK non-profit organisation that encourages people to ditch animal products from their plates for the 31 days...

Proposed work visa changes welcomed

[16 January/The Country] Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway released proposed changes to employer-assisted temporary work visa settings last month. The changes are designed to reflect actual regional work shortages, allowing better access to migrant labour when it is required and to support businesses in employing more New Zealanders. DairyNZ, the Road Transport Forum and Federated Farmers...

Shutdown Data Delay Is ‘Bad Deal’ for Farmers Who Need to Make Crop Plans

[5 January/Bloomberg] The US government shutdown means the Department of Agriculture will delay release of several market-moving reports.  This comes at a time when farmers start to make their planting decisions for the upcoming season. The USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates will not be released as originally planned the agency reported. Other...

Federated Farmers: Resources at capacity

[16 January/The Country] Federated Farmers is being forced to prioritise it focuses due to the increase of issues facing rural New Zealand, specifically during the last 12 months. Federated Farmers assist with a broad range of concerns such as rural security, livestock misappropriation, water flows, walking access, new employment laws and staff. The Mycoplasma bovis...

Cargill reports a 20% earnings loss in Q2

[4 January/Dairy Reporter] At the close of its second fiscal quarter, Cargill reported its net earnings at USD741 million, a 20% decline on the prior year. Adjusted operating earnings were USD853 million, down 10% from last year. Increased protein consumption in North America and Europe strengthened demand for soybean meal for livestock feeds. Oilseed processing,...

Prominent Waikato farmer dies within days of vacation cancer diagnoses

[11 January/Stuff] A highly respected Waikato farmer died six days after arriving back in New Zealand after being diagnosed with cancer while on a family holiday in the Netherlands. South Waikato farmer and charity worker Ian Elliott, 72, died suddenly in Waikato Hospital on Tuesday. He was the chairman of Trinity Lands, owning 21 dairy...

Farmers not buying fishing licences in protest against Fish & Game’s anti-dairying stance

[8 January/Stuff] Some farmers’ are reportedly taking a stance against Fish & Game’s anti-dairying position by not purchasing fishing licenses this season. Just under 70,000 fishing licenses were sold in the first three months, down 6,000 from the same point last year. Fish & Game have a history of a strained relationships with farmers since...

UK Farm Minister Urges British Producers to Lead the World in Technology

[4 January/AgFunder News] The British Government’s Food, Farming and Environment Minister, Michael Gove, is promising delivery of an ambitious new UK food strategy in 2019. He also noted a properly funded 25-year environment plan to commit to rising investments in agritech.  Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference, Mr Gove urged delegates to prepare for a...