Author Archive

Crossbred wool prices cheaper still

[19 June/ Otago Daily Times] New Zealand’s cross bred wool sector is facing real challenges heading into the new season with brokers indicating returns are likely to be well below sustainable levels. The last season saw the market meltdown with seemingly no bottom according to the PGG Wrightson wool team. Reserve prices have not been...

Farm hack – on the cutting edge of rural innovation

[15 June/ NZ Herald] 60 innovators and inventors at 2017’s National Agricultural Fieldays have worked to address a variety of common farming challenges. St Paul’s Collegiate School Agribusiness Student Jock Yarndley promoted a bright flashing LED light designed to be placed under the bonnet of a tractor to prevent tractor fires from birds’ nests. Another...

Regulation is wanted for organic farms

[19 June/ NZ Farmers Weekly] Organic farmers are looking to the government to regulate the sector to ensure the use of the word organic is protected. The message was conveyed clearly to the Primary Production Select Committee when it made a recent visit to the Hawkes Bay and met with organic producers. CEO of Organics...

Dairy, forestry and horticulture to drive gain in primary sector

[15 June/ NZ Herald] Growth in dairy products, forestry and horticultural exports are expected to increase New Zealand’s primary sector exports in the June 2017 year by 2.4 percent, up from the 1.4 percent growth three months earlier. The latest edition of the Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries said dairy exports are expected to...

Lincoln goes from red to black

[19 June/ NZ Farmers Weekly] Lincoln University Vice Chancellor, Robin Pollard, has announced that the university has recorded its first financial surplus in more than a decade. Mr Pollard said the focus of the Refreshing Lincoln project for the past year had been getting the house in order, and the small surplus of $500,000 gave...

$7m of NZ cargo held in South Africa over ownership dispute

[17 June/ NZ Herald] A shipment of phosphate bound to Ballance Agri-Nutrients continues to be held at a South African port due to a bitter dispute over who has rights to the resource. The ship was stopped at Port Elizabeth last month amid claims that its cargo had been illegally taken and sold to the...

PGG Wrightson chief executive to step down

[14 June/Radio NZ] PGG Wrightson Chief Executive Mark Dewdney will step down at the end of this year to pursue private interests. The company is currently seeking a replacement and expects a new chief executive would be hired by the start of 2018. PGG Wrightson announced -year operating earnings are expected to be in the...

Tourist tent accommodation sparks interest at Fieldays

[16 June/ Stuff] Hawkes Bay company Safari Tents NZ offer a range of tents, made from wooden pole frames and fabric, sparking interest from farmers looking to utilise their land as an alternative income. Safari Tents NZ Owner James Lamb said depending on location, views, accessibility, local attractions and furnishings, farmers can earn $200-$500 per...

Rural mental health: ‘People are suffering in silence’

[15 June/ Radio NZ] Chief Executive of Mobile Health Mark Eager said access to mental health was a big area of concern in rural communities. Mr Eager runs the national mobile surgery bus and has helped create the Rural Health Hub at the National Fieldays this year. Mr Eager wanted to raise awareness of mental...

Value gain needs consumer focus

[19 June/ NZ Farmers Weekly] Historically New Zealand has placed maximising production at the centre of the industry, but the KPMG Agribusiness Agenda highlights a simple, unavoidable truth: no customers, no business. The new agenda argues that the pivot towards the consumer must become unstoppable. The report suggests that the responsibility for capturing value falls...

Fran O’Sullivan: We’re on your side, National Party’s Nathan Guy tells farmers at Fieldays

[15 June/NZ Herald] At the annual KPMG Business Leaders breakfast at Mystery Creek, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said National Party was defending the primary sector against critics. Mr Guy was joined by a group of National Cabinet ministers intending to be seen supporting the primary sector at a time when the election was nearing....

Bold action needed on freshwater quality, NZ farming leaders say

[14 June/ Stuff] KPMG Global Head of Agribusiness Ian Proudfoot said the agri-food sector and urbanites gap had become so deep and wide that it could be a significant challenge to overcome. Mr Proudfoot added achieving scientific swimmable waters by 2040 is too late, and heavy action on water is required to preserve the license...

Time for a new approach for NZ agriculture – KPMG

[14 June/NZ Herald] In its latest edition of Agribusiness Agenda, KPMG said agri-food sector success was dependent on placing consumers at the centre, and farming needed to move to a market, value-based focus. KPMG Global Head of Agribusiness Ian Proudfoot said creating and capturing value fell on people and organisations involved in the industry, and...

Amazon to acquire Whole Foods for USD13.7 Billion

[17 June/ Bloomberg] Amazon has stunned investors with the announcement of a USD13.7 Billion takeover of Whole Foods Markets Inc, providing Amazon with hundreds of physical stores and supports its strategy to grow its grocery footprint. The price, a 27% premium to the stock price on Thursday before the deal, will see Whole Foods CEO...

Millions of American adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows

[16 June/ Stuff] Seven percent, 16.4 million, American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows according to a nationally representative online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center for US Dairy. This highlights the longstanding observation that many Americans are agriculturally illiterate, meaning they don’t know where food is grown, how it arrives at...

Nestle to explore sale of its US confectionery business

[15 June/ CNBC] Swiss food giant Nestle is exploring options for US confectionary business according to a company statement. The business with annual sales of USD923 million is being reviewed with all options, including sale, being considered. Nestle noted that the Toll House brand is not included in the review and the company plans to...

UK tobacco giant hires medical marijuana expert

[15 June/ The Independent] Imperial Brands, the UK tobacco giant, is seemingly looking towards another plant for growth as smokers quit tobacco products. The company has recently added medicinal cannabis expert, Simon Langelier, to its board. Mr Langelier is the chairman of Canadian company, PharmaCielo, which supplies medicinal cannabis oil extracts. Mr Langelier’s experience could...

Leading brewer rolls out major farming program

[15 June/ China Daily] AB InBev, owner of global beer brands Budweiser, Busch and Michelob amongst others and the world’s largest brewing company by sales, has announced that it is going to work with farmers in the Jiangsu province in China to harvest barley using smarter production methods. The company is working with Jiangsu Farming...

Judge orders Arla Foods to halt ‘Live Unprocessed’ campaign

[15 June/ Food Navigator USA] Arla Foods in the US has been ordered to halt its USD30 million ‘Live Unprocessed’ ad campaign which highlights the benefits of using milk from cows that have not been fed the growth hormone rBST. The injunction was issued by a US District Court Judge in response to an action...

Bugs are big business for tomorrow’s snacks, says PepsiCo

[15 June/ Food Navigator] PepsiCo, the maker of well know snacks including Doritos and Cheetos, is looking to capitalise on the growing insect and plant based protein trend and has posted an innovation request on a business community platform, NineSights, inviting submissions for alternative protein sources that provide consumers benefits but also provide a satisfying...

Bellamy’s flags Fonterra deal. AUD60 million cash drive

[14 June/ The Age] Troubled dairy company, Bellamy’s, has announced a number of major initiatives in an effort to turn its business around. The company is proposing to conduct a five for 38 pro-rated accelerated, non-renounceable entitlement offer at $4.75 a share with full underwriting which will raise AUD60.4million. Part of the funds will be...

Farmers to carry out border patrols on farms in pest plant and disease battle

[16 June/ Stuff] Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy said velvet leaf outbreaks and farmer attempts to prevent its spread shows farmers would eventually border patrol pests and diseases on their farms by partaking in more stringent inspections of vehicles and goods entering their properties. Mr Guy said everyone is more mindful of the importance...

Food prices rise at fastest annual pace in six years as vege prices soar

[14 June/ NZ Herald] The food price index increased an annual 3.1 percent in the year ended 31 May, the largest annual increase since September 2011 as increasingly expensive vegetables were made scarcer by wet weather. In May, food prices lifted a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent, the largest monthly increase in three years, as vegetable...

Up to 100 Fonterra farms to begin recording their climate pollution

[14 June/ NZ Herald] As part of a plan to decrease the dairy industry’s emissions Fonterra has committed to measuring the climate pollution on 100 of its suppliers’ farms. At Fieldays, DairyNZ released a climate change plan to encourage farming with a smaller environmental impact. The plan outlines proposals to test lower-emission farming systems, educate...