Author Archive

ADM buys Aussie almond orchard in third ag deal

[9 January/Agri Investor] Cibus Fund, the initial agribusiness fund from ADM Capital, has completed its third deal being the purchase of a mature almond orchard in Lake Powell, Victoria, Australia. Cibus had its first close in May 2017 having raised USD101 million and is targeting a final close in mid-2018, with a reported target of...

Once-hungry investors pass on meal-kit start-ups

[6 January/The Wall Street Journal] Only a few years ago the idea of delivering packages with all the ingredients for a meal measured out was novel and saw venture capitalists invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the companies developing these businesses. However, many are now questioning the validity of meal kit delivery businesses given...

Farmers to be paid for improving public access

[4 January/The Daily Telegraph] UK Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, is to announce to the Oxford Farming Conference that farmers will be rewarded for opening up the countryside to the public and enhancing the environment after Brexit, as the UK Government plans to replace EU subsidies with a system that rewards farmers for how they use...

Honour in the face of adversity

[6 January/ NZ Farmers Weekly] A number of primary sector leaders have been recognised in the New Year Honours for their service to the industry.  National President of the New Zealand Rural Support Trust, Neil Bateup, received an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit award for his services to agriculture and the community.  Mr...

Omega-3 enriched milk by microalgae-fed cows could boost food nutrition

[4 January/Food Dive] Alltech has funded research work conducted at Harper Adams University in the UK which has seen scientists increase the level of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in milk by feeding microalgae to cows. The researchers found that the enhanced liquid milk then improves the level of nutrients in cheese produced from...

New China infant formula rules finally introduced, global firms seeking much needed stability

[3 January /Dairy Reporter] The Chinese Food and Drug Administration has finally brought into effect rules announced in June 2016 to regulate infant formula markets. The rules limited every firm to a maximum of three brands and nine formulations and since the rules were announced companies have been seeking to secure registrations. To date, 400...

Westland Milk – closing the gap on dairy’s big brother

[6 January/ NZ Herald] Following some challenging seasons where Westland Milk Products fell significantly behind Fonterra in payout return, new CEO, Toni Brendish, has set out closing the gap following her appointment in September 2016.  The co-op has focused heavily since Ms Brendish’s arrival on cost cutting and growing revenue and has spent time explaining to...

Cold turkey on meat and dairy in ‘Veganuary’

[1 January/The Daily Telegraph] The latest trend in new year detox’s is Veganuary, a commitment to eat a meat and dairy free diet for the month of January. In the UK the number of people making the commitment has increased from 1,500 in 2014 to 52,000 in 2018 making the UK the largest market for...

Global Dairy Trade powder prices up as production forecast falls

[4 January/ Otago Daily Times] The first GDT auction of the year produced a positive result for farmers with the overall index lifting by 2.2%.  The price of Whole Milk Powder performed the strongest recovering 4.25 to USD2,886 per tonne while skim milk powder and butter also showed increases.  The auction saw 25,400 tonnes of...

‘Fat-burning’ Silicon Valley wonder drink heading to UK

[31 December/The Sunday Telegraph] HVMN (pronounced Human) is planning to market its product which has taken Silicon Valley by storm in the UK in 2018. HVMN Ketone Ester is a chemically engineered drink that is claimed to deliver the fat-burning benefits of fasting without having to cut back on the food you consume. The product...

Fonterra lowers NZ milk collection forecast for this season

[3 January/ National Business Review] Fonterra has advised that it expects to collect 3% less milk from suppliers in the 2017/18 season as dry weather stunts grass growth and lowers milk production.  The co-operative now expects to collect 1,480 million kilos of milk solids in the season compared to expectation in December that milk production...

Fed Farmers urge govt to reconsider irrigation loans

[3 January/ Radio New Zealand National] The Labour/ New Zealand First Collation government is being urged by Federated Farmers not to follow through on its promise to cancel any new loans to irrigation schemes.  Labour campaigned on introducing a water levy on farmers (although this has been placed on hold as a result of the coalition...

Growing discord in Malaysia’s paddy industry

[30 December /The Straits Times] Despite a wide variety of choices available in supermarkets the majority of rice in Malaysia is supplied by companies connected to Padiberas Nasional, or Bernas, the national rice agency. The monopoly control over the nation’s rice supply has been a key issue for farmers in upcoming election after complaints of...

Cargill to double cooked poultry output on mainland

[29 December /South China Morning Post] Agricultural trader, Cargill, will invest USD50 million to double its cooked poultry foods capacity in China in response to changing consumer tastes and growing demand from key customers like McDonalds and KFC. The company’s plant which is a fully integrated facility covering breeding, raising and processing, was opened in...

Sealord’s annual profit falls 19% on write down of now-exited UK business

[27 December/ National Business Review] Sealord’s holding company, Kura, has lodged its financial statements at the Companies Office showing a net profit of $18.5 million for the year to September 2017, having incurred a loss of $3.2 million on discontinued operations.  The financial statements indicate that the company has sold its UK processing business, Sealord Caistor,...

Farmer support for Brexit as strong as ever, FW poll reveals

[22 December /UK Farmers Weekly] A recent survey of readers of Farmers Weekly in UK indicates that support for Brexit remains as strong as ever in the rural sector with few who voted leave in the EU referendum saying that they would vote any differently should another referendum be conducted. The survey indicated that 53%...

Cultured fish company Finless Foods aims to achieve price parity with Bluefin tuna by the end of 2019

[21 December /Food Navigator USA] Finless Foods, a Bay Area start-up is looking to bring a high quality cultured Bluefin tuna product to the market in 2019 with an ultimate goal of matching the market prices of cheaper conventional tuna alternatives. The company has cut costs of production by 50% since September and believes price...

Mozzarella plant on track for May start

[24 December /Otago Daily Times] Fonterra Operations Manager at the Clandeboye Plant, Steve McKnight, has said that the Co-operative’s $240 million investment into a mozzarella cheese plant at the site is on target for commissioning in May 2018.  The project has already created 75 new jobs and 25 further people will join the Fonterra team...

MPI escapes the knife

[19 December/Rural News] Labour has reviewed its initial plan to split the Ministry for Primary Industries into a series of separate agencies for Fisheries, Forestry, Biosecurity and Food Safety instead looking to undertake a reorganisation to create a series of portfolio entities for these activities under the MPI umbrella. Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, notes that...

Qantas executive to take over as a2 Milk Company chief executive

[14 December/Stuff Business] Experienced Qantas Executive, Jayne Hrdlicka, has been named as the new CEO of a2 Milk Company, replacing Geoff Babidge. Ms Hrdlicka is currently leading the customer loyalty business of Qantas having previously been CEO of Jetstar. She has also served as a non-executive director of Woolworths and was a partner at Bain...

Dry conditions put pressure on processing plants

[18 December/NZ Farmer] Meat processing plants across the country are working at capacity to accommodate an influx of stock caused by the dry weather the country has experienced in the last six weeks. Alliance Group said the company has been working through drought scenarios and had got all their plants up and running at full...

Federated Farmers President’s message to workers after sudden deaths in rural communities

[15 December/NZ Herald] Federated Farmers and other farming groups are pleading with stressed workers to speak up and ask for support following a series of sudden deaths of young men across the country. Feds President, Katie Milne, said she was becoming increasingly desperate to remind farmers that help was available when they need it. Terry...

Aussie honey makers fight to stop Kiwi Manuka trademark

[19 December/NZ Herald] The Australian Manuka Honey Association says that they will fight the granting of a trademark for Manuka honey to kiwi producers by UK authorities. The Australian’s argue that they have been producing manuka honey naturally since records began in the 1800’s and that given they have been unable to take part in...

Government starts down pathway to net pathway to net zero emissions by 2050

[19 December/NZ Herald] The Labour led collation government has confirmed that a new climate change law will be implemented in 2018 that will bind governments to carbon targets and set New Zealand on a path to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Prime Minister Ardern announced a public consultation process to kick off in...