Author Archive

Action urged on illegal farm dumping

[13 February/ Otago Daily Times] Fish and Game have called for an urgent audit to be performed of illegal dumps on farms following media reports suggesting Regional Councils suspect that thousands of tonnes of contaminated waste is being buried on farms every year.  The councils believe that there is little they can do about the...

Fonterra uncompetitive claims ‘false and misleading’

[12 February/ Dairy News] Fonterra has responded to claims about its business in China calling them false and misleading.  The co-operative noted that the Beingmate relationship has enabled Anmum products to now be distributed in 184 cities in China through 10,000 stores and all the major e-commerce platforms.  While Beingmate has a footprint across 80,000...

Otorohanga formula factory granted land consent

[9 February/Radio NZ] A $230 million dairy factory in King Country has been granted land consent despite local opposition. A report from the Otorohanga District Council last year said the factory should not be allowed to go ahead because it would impact the local ecology, landscape, and rural charter. However, Happy Valley Milk has now...

Dairy giant Fonterra expanding in Russian with stake in joint venture

[12 February/NZ Herald] Fonterra has attempted to expand its Russian business, only months after the new government committed to reopening free trade talks that had not been on the table since the Crimean crisis. The deal will see Fonterra take a 49 percent stake in a St Petersberg based join venture with Foodline, its primary...

Lewis Road recalls breakfast drinks over sugar labelling

[8 February/Radio NZ] Boutique dairy company Lewis Road Creamery had understated the sugar content in its new breakfast drinks. They were labelled as having 3 grams of sugar, when in reality they had about 9 grams. The drinks’ founder, Peter Cullinane, apologised for the genuine mistake and said that Lewis Road had voluntarily removed the...

Dairy prices buoyed by stockpile bid

[8 February/The Country] International dairy buyers concerned about a New Zealand production downturn have buoyed global dairy prices, as they seek to stockpile product. At the fortnightly GlobalDairyTrade auction, prices rose an average of 5.9% across all products, while the crucial whole-milk powder trade was up 7.6%. ASB rural economist, Nathan Penny, said the recent...

Crayfish fishing ban wanted in Hauraki, Bay of Plenty

[11 February/Radio NZ] An environmental group is arguing for a ban on commercial crayfishing in the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Plenty. A recent proposal to halve the quota in these areas will be considered by the Ministry for Primary Industries in April. Over the past 60 years, stocks have dropped up to 95 percent...

Changes ahead for wine

[6 February/Otago Daily Times] After a disappointing northern hemisphere harvest in 2017, changes were expected in the global wine sector during 2018. Grape scarcity, higher prices, changes in trade agreements and increased mergers and acquisitions were some of the key factors expected to dominate the global wine industry according Rabobank’s quarterly wine report. During the...

Bay of Plenty business fined $12,000 for employment breaches

[8 February/Stuff] A kiwifruit business in the Bay of Plenty has been fined $12,000 for breaching a number of employment law minimum standards. A Labour Inspectorate investigation found that Ahead, a kiwifruit orchard labour hire business, failed to provide staff with individual employment agreements, pay holiday entitlements and to keep full and accurate time, wage...

US buyers given go-ahead to buy Central Otago vineyard

[8 February/NZ Farmer] The Overseas Investment Office has allowed American vineyard owners Marquis and Dianne Sauvage to purchase a 6.4 hectare block in Central Otago. This added to their already existing 24 hectare Burn Cottage vineyard located in the foothills of the Pisa Range. They plan to release a single vineyard wine off this site,...

Cap on seasonal employees lifted

[8 February/Radio NZ] Six hundred more immigrant workers will be permitted to enter New Zealand annually under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme. The RSE scheme gives Pacific Islanders short-term visas to work in New Zealand’s horticulture and viticulture sectors. The cap had increased to 10,500 last year, and the government decided it will increase to...

Agribusiness needs urgent vision

[6 February/Rural News] Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, has returned from a recent trip to Europe with a strengthened belief that New Zealand needs a vision and strategic plan for the agribusiness sector.  Having visited a number of countries as well as the Green Week trade show in Berlin, he said the language in Europe is...

‘Pretty bloody dumb’: Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s reaction to Montana Wines Australian

[31 January/ NZ Herald] Pernod Ricard New Zealand has started to source Australian grapes for inclusion in their Montana brand wines, which have historically been made using New Zealand grown grapes. Minister for Agriculture, Damien O’Connor bluntly called the move ‘pretty bloody dumb.’ His opinion received support from others across social media, including one commenter,...

Hotter-than-normal water kills off salmon in the Sounds

[2 February/ NZ Farmer] Salmon in the Marlborough Sounds are dying in their farms as an abnormally hot summer continues to take its toll on marine life. The ideal water temperature for salmon is between 12 and 17 degrees Celsius, but farms had been warmer than usual since early December. New Zealand King Salmon Chief...

Travellers win with plans to cut New Zealand Border Clearance Levy

[4 February/ NZ Herald] The boarder travel tax charges imposed in 2016 to help pay for Customs and Ministry for Primary Industries inspections are to be reduced, which the government is arguing is good news for travellers. The Border Clearance Levy paid by air travellers is to drop by nearly $3, and for cruise passengers...

Southern drought: Still dry on Otago farms despite rain

[3 February/ Otago Daily Times] The extreme January heat has affected farmers through low water stocks. Federated Farmers Otago President, Phil Hunt, said farmers were still facing what some were describing as the worst drought in decades. Mr Hunt emphasised the importance that farmers needed to plan accordingly and could just wait for more rain...

Search for the top rural GP practice in NZ beings

[31 January/ The Country] The award for New Zealand’s best Rural General Practice Team of the Year was underway, with the winners to be announced at the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network’s national rural health conference in April. Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand Chief Executive, Michelle Thompson, said that the competition was a...

Rabobank advises caution but good year coming for farmers

[2 February/ Radio New Zealand] Farmers could expect another profitable year as long as they make well informed business decisions, according to Rabobank. The driving factor behind their expectations was the stable global markets. However, Rabobank General Manager of country banking, Hayley Gourley, is warning farmers to use the current situation wisely. She emphasised the...

Youth Ag-Summit confirm career path for DairyNZ scholars

 [1 February/ NZ Herald] DairyNZ scholars Beth Hampton and Jemima Snook recently represented New Zealand at the 2017 Youth Ag-Summit. They flew to Brussels last October to take part. They both found the experience to be invaluable and one that reinforced their passion of the industry. Jemima said that the summit discussions made it clear...

Middlemarch property positive for Mycoplasma bovis

[6 February/NZ Herald] A property in Middlemarch in Otago has been identified as having tested positive for the Mycoplasma bovis cattle disease, the 21st property to have been detected with the disease.  In addition there are 34 properties that are under restricted place notices.  The Ministry for Primary Industries reiterated that all detections are still...

US dairy sees ‘strong advocate’ in nominee Gregg Doud as USTR chief agricultural negotiator

[6 February/ Dairy Reporter] The US Dairy Exporters Council and National Milk Producers Federation have both urged the US Senate to swiftly approve the nomination by the Trump Administration of Gregg Doud to the role of Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the US Trade Representative.  Mr Doud’s nomination has been on hold since...

Cargill takes stake in livestock-monitoring technology

[5 February/Food Dive] Irish Agritech start-up, Cainthus, has received investment from agribusiness giant, Cargill, and the companies have announced a partnership to develop monitoring technology for dairy farms initially.  The amount of the investment has not been disclosed.  Cainthus has developed a way to use predictive imaging technology to identify specific animals through facial and...

Danone invests in Harmless Harvest coconut water

[5 February/ Food Dive] Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture capital arm of Danone, has announced that it was part of a USD30 million investment round into coconut water producer, Harmless Harvest.  The amount of the investment was not disclosed but it gives global dairy company access to the hot coconut water market that is expected...

Italian meat boss admits veganism is growing as he launches plant based line

[2 February/ Plant Based News] Felsineo, a major Italian deli meat producer, has launched a range of six vegan deli meat options under the Veghiamo brand.  The company has seen sales of traditional deli meat products slow, with President, Andrea Raimondi, noting that it is a fact that the number of people opting for vegetarian...