Author Archive

Roundup called into question after US court finding

[12 August/NZ Herald] New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Agency believes Roundup is safe in spite of a U.S. court ruling it contributed to a janitor’s cancer, awarding him $440 million. The lawsuit claimed Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Monsanto insisted hundreds of studies had established the active ingredient was safe and planned to appeal the decision. Associate...

Fonterra reaches settlement with muzzled ex-director Leonie Guiney

[13 August/Stuff] The Fonterra board and former director, Leonie Guiney, have reached a settlement in their legal proceedings. The board said it had agreed to settle the proceedings and Fonterra agreed to meet her costs. In March, an injunction against Ms Guiney talking to media was ordered. The judge said at the time that there...

Fonterra taps into psychology of shoppers in attempt to boost sales

[10 August/Stuff] A research division at Fonterra is developing tools to push customers into buying its products. It said the division would tap into the minds of consumers in a way that would shape the future of commerce. It used psychology and neuroscience to increase sales and improve marketing strategies. Fonterra Sales and Marketing Disruption...

High debt, low margins force Fonterra to cut back milk price, dividend

[10 August/NZ Herald] High debt and lower margins has forced Fonterra to reduce its farmgate milk price for the season just ended. It has also halted plans for a second half dividend. Fonterra said it would cut its 2017-18 milk price forecast by 5c to $6.70 per kg. This provides an $80 million benefit to...

Fonterra returns to India to form joint venture with Future Group

[9 August/NZ Herald] Fonterra is returning to the Indian dairy market to form a joint venture with Future Group. It said it had tied up with the Future Consumer, part of Future Group, to make a range of consumer and foodservice dairy products that would meet the growing demand for high quality dairy in India....

Dairy product prices steady

[8 August/Farmers Weekly] The most recent GlobalDairyTrade auction saw the price index remain unchanged in percentage terms on the last auction.  The key whole milk powder rose 0.1% to USD2,958, while a rennet casein offset a drop in butter milk powder.  The average price was USD3,136 per tonne compared to USD3,222 per tonne at the...

Oyster farmers still waiting for millions in MPI compensation

[12 August/NZ Herald] The Ministry for Primary Industries has paid out less than $1 million of compensation a year after it ordered the destruction of millions of Stewart Island farmed oysters. Business loss claims were understood to top $100 million. MPI said two out of 40 claims had been settled in full, and three partially....

A2 Milk’s new boss Jayne Hrdlicka unfazed by the rising tide of competition

[4 August/NZ Herald] The a2 Milk Company’s (‘A2 Milk’) new Chief Executive, Jayne Hrdlicka, is relaxed about competition entering the A2 milk market. She said more competition could only grow the segment. A2 Milk accounts for around 10 percent of the fresh milk market in Australia and is being successful in the lucrative Chinese infant...

Summerfruit readies funding case

[1 August/Rural Life] Summerfruit New Zealand Chief Executive, Marie Dawkins, said it had nearly completed its business case proposal for a Primary Growth Partnership that will encourage innovation, add value and enhance the industry. She added it was a major strategy for the industry. It sent its initial application several months ago and the panel...

Seafood industry an improving student but could try harder says executive

[2 August/Stuff] Seafood NZ Executive Chairman, Craig Ellison, updated his personal appraisal on the state of the industry at this year’s Seafood New Zealand conference. In 2017, he likened the industry to a studious pupil who showed signs of maturity, but could do better.  He now suggested the industry had made some positive moves towards...

Farmer confidence at its weakest in 6 years

[1 August/Rural Life] New Zealand farmer confidence fell to its lowest level in six years due to uncertainty with government policies. According to the latest Federated Farmers confidence survey, around 39 percent of farmers surveyed were pessimistic about the economic conditions over the next year. This was the lowest level recorded since 2012. ANZ’s business...

PGG Wrightson to sell seeds division for $421m

[6 August/Stuff] PGG Wrightson Limited has agreed to sell its seed division to DLF Seeds for $421 million. The deal was subject to shareholder and Overseas Investment Office approval. PGG Wrightson said the sale amount exceeded the book value of the net assets of the division. The deal followed a review of the company. It...

Pamu, Forest & Bird to work together

[6 August/Radio NZ] Pamu, formerly Landcorp, said it will cut down on the number of cows it stocks on each of its Canterbury dairy farms. It declined to put a number on the reduction. It managed six dairy farms in Canterbury. Its Chief Executive, Steven Carden, announced a deal with Forest and Bird to improve...

NZ could lead the way

[6 August/Rural Life] New Zealand Merino Company Chief Executive, John Brakenridge, believes plastic pollution has brought the world to a crossroad. He thought New Zealand had an opportunity to take a global leadership position in finding solutions. He said seventy percent of the world’s clothing was made from plastic and it was one of the...

TDC hopes Provincial Growth Fund will plug $18m hole in Waimea dam plan

[6 August/Stuff] Tasman District Council has applied to the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund in relation to the proposed Waimea dam. A guide to the fund specifically had an exclusion for water and large-scale irrigation, so it may preclude the dam project which had received funding commitments from Crown Irrigation Investments. It was to provide the...

Vivera sees growing demand from US and Australian retailers

[1 August/Global Meat News] According to Vivera, it received requests from Australian and U.S. retailers to stock its plant-based meat products following its success in Europe. Its Head of Sales, Richard Janson, said it currently sells its products to 26 countries, which were reporting significant sales uplifts. Neilson recently released data showing plant-based meat sales...

Vinamilk produces the first A2 milk in Vietnam

[2 August/Dairy Reporter] Vinamilk, a Vietnamese dairy company, said its first A2 dairy cows imported from New Zealand had started producing milk. The Vinamilk A2 milk products were available in UHT milk and pasteurised milk formats. It differs from regular cow’s milk in that it only contains the A2 beta-casein protein which is easier to...

Molson Coors makes cannabis-infused beverage deal in Canada

[1 August/CNBC] According to Molson Coors, its Canadian unit is entering into a deal that will develop cannabis infused beverages in Canada. The company will team with The Hydropothecary Corporation to create a joint partnership. Marijuana use will become legal in Canada later this year. CEO of Molson Coors Canada, Frederic Landtmeters, said Canada was...

Gove pledges drought support

[2 August/EuroFruit] DEFRA Secretary, Michael Gove, called for increased flexibility to help drought hit farmers in the UK, but the National Farmers Union want to also address market volatility. The summer of 2018 is turning out to be one of the driest summers in memory and the warmest July on record. Mr Gove promised to...

Hedge Fund Viking Invests in Battle to Keep Avocados Ripe Longer

[1 August/Bloomberg] Viking Global Investors led a $70 million fundraising round for Apeel Sciences. Apeel Sciences is a California startup that uses food waste and other plant material to delay the aging of fruit and vegetables. It has raised a total of USD110 million. Avocados treated by its solution stay ripe twice as long and...

DouxMatok Partners with Europe’s Largest Sugar Producer to Commercialize Sugar Reduction Tech

[31 July/AgFunder News] According to its CEO, Eran Baniel, DouxMatok has entered into a partnership with Europe’s largest sugar producer, Südzucker. DouxMatok is an Israeli company that has developed a sugar reduction technology. It had boosted the amount of sweetness perceived per gram of sugar by binding sucrose molecules to the mineral silica. Silica is...

Malcolm Turnbull consoles grief-stricken drought charity worker as he announces emergency relief

[5 August/ABC News] Charity worker, Edwina Robertson, broke down during an emotional confrontation with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbill in relation to the drought in the area. Mr Turnbull comforted her. She said it was worse than anything in the media and she worried every day. Mr Turnbull promised to do more to help those under...

Hopportunity knocks in Tapawera

[31 July/Radio NZ] MyFarm has launched a $17.64 investment offer to fund New Zealand’s largest hop orchard, the Tapawera Hop Garden Limited Partnership. It included the purchase of a 96 hectare property and lease of a 50 hectare property that would be developed into a hop garden. MyFarm CEO, Andrew Watters, said half the garden...

Fruit fly found at Auckland Airport could have ‘devastated’ horticulture industry

[2 August/Stuff] According to Biosecurity NZ, a fruit fly could have devastated New Zealand’s horticulture industry if it wasn’t discovered at Auckland Airport. It came on undeclared food from Malaysia last month. Biosecurity NZ Passenger Manager, Craig Hughes, said many horticulture crops were susceptible to attack by fruit fly. Affected crops could be inedible or...