Author Archive

Rabobank Lists Scenarios for U.K. Food Under No-Deal Brexit

[26 January/Bloomberg] Rabobank’s analysts have sought to predict what could happen to British and European agriculture under a no-deal Brexit. Amongst well known effects like faster UK food inflation due to a weaker pound, and spoiled produce due to border delays, the bank listed lesser publicised effects in their report including surplus grain supplies and...

FoodMaven Raises USD10m with Tao Capital and Walton Family for Food Waste Tech

[24 January/AgFunder] Food Maven, a Colorado based food waste recapturing start-up, has completed a USD10 million bridge financing round with Tao Capital Partners and members of the Walton Family. Earlier investors include former Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb, who joined FoodMaven the day after Amazon dismantled Whole Foods’ board. FoodMaven sells high-quality local, oversupplied and...

Obesity, under-nutrition and climate change fuel each other – report

[28 January/Radio NZ] A new international report is calling for global action over obesity, under-nutrition and climate change. The report which has been prepared by the Lancet Obesity Commission (a group established by the Lancet and co-chaired by Boyd Swinburn of Auckland University) says obesity, under-nutrition and climate change are usually viewed as separate but...

Dirty farm machinery causes spike in velvetleaf cases

[25 January/Stuff] Dirty farm machinery has been blamed for a significant jump in velvetleaf cases on Waikato farms in the past 12 months. The number of farms found to have the pest weed jumped from 36 at the start of the 2017-18 farming season to 53.  The growth in the Waikato reflects a national trend,...

Restrictions loom for river irrigators in Marlborough

[28 January/Stuff] Record-high temperatures could see water restrictions introduced in Marlborough in the near future. Data indicates that minimum flow rates for the Rai, Waihopai and Wairau Rivers’ are rapidly being approached and surface water “takes” were expected to be halted in early February. Marlborough District Council hydrologist Val Wadsworth said it was trying to...

Here’s why no-one wants to plant trees for $400 a day

[21 January/Stuff] Recent reports that there is a shortage of people to plant the trees required by the Government’s one billion trees programmes reflect a view amongst many New Zealanders that it is not worth taking on casual roles according to worker advocates. Pay rates in the North Island are up to 60c a tree,...

Marlborough maintains its title as home of NZ garlic

[28 January/Rural News] Despite losing growing space to vineyards, Marlborough still maintains the title of New Zealand’s garlic king, producing about 70% of the country’s total crop. John Murphy, chief executive of Marlborough Garlic says the region can’t compete against the US and China in volume, but it can excel in quality, pointing to the...

Central Otago cherry season par for course

[28 January/The Country] As the growing season for cherries in Central Otago draws to a close growers remain happy with their numbers. Summerfruit New Zealand market data as of January 20 indicated more than 1.4 million kg of export cherry sales this year to date, which is considerably down from previous years. The 2017-18 season...

NZ agriculture groups urge WTO rescue at global forums

[23 January/Radio NZ] Seven major agricultural organisations are urging the government to use forums like the World Economic Forum meeting of global government and business leaders in Davos to try to rescue the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern used the WEF meeting to speak about issues like climate change and New Zealand’s...

Synlait follows Fonterra with lower forecast farm gate payout

[28 January/The Country] Synlait Milk has cut its forecast payout to farmers for the current season, following Fonterra’s lead, as weaker global demand and strong domestic production weighs on market prices. Synlait now expects to pay $6.25 per kilogram of milk solids for the 2019 season, down from its previous forecast of $6.75/kgMS. The company...

More than 1200 yearlings on sale at Karaka

[28 January/Radio NZ] The first day of the annual Karaka bloodstock sales saw almost $11 million worth of yearlings sold, a very positive start to the week. This week, 1284 horses will go under the hammer, with 70 sold on day one at an average cost of $150,000. The highest priced horse on day one...

Looming heatwave a worry for Marlborough Sounds marine farmers

[25 January/Stuff] Marine farmers are “at the mercy of mother nature” as a looming heatwave threatens to lift water temperatures for a second successive year. National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) are predicting temperatures to rise across the country over the coming week, impacting sea-surface temperatures. The warning comes after New Zealand King...

Calls for ban on live animal exports as Europe moves to tighten rules

[28 January/Stuff] Following the European Union’s decision to implement a ban on live animal exports to countries with weak animal welfare standards, animal rights groups are calling on New Zealand to introduce similar rules. A report recommending tougher rules for transporting live animals was approved last week by the EU Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and...

UK veterinary agreement ensures status quo for exporters

[25 January/The Country] The signing of a veterinary agreement between the UK and New Zealand during the Prime Minister’s recent visit to London should provide reassurance to farmers and exporters about trade after Brexit according to Beef + Lamb NZ and Meat Industry Association. In a joint statement, the organisations Chief Executive’s said the signing...

China watchers cautious for 2019

[23 January/Farmers Weekly] The economic slowdown in China and damage from its trade war with the United States could impact prices for New Zealand’s major export commodities this year according to analysts. Westpac senior economist Anne Boniface highlighted lamb, noting that Chinese demand for the product appears to have been little affected by the economic...

Former Fonterra chairman John Wilson dies

[28 January/NZ Herald] John Wilson, Fonterra’s former chairman, has died. Mr Wilson stood down from the top role at the company in July after a serious health scare and Fonterra reported that Mr Wilson, who was in his mid-50s, passed away after a hard-fought battle with illness. He is survived by his wife and four...

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...