Author Archive

China Food Giant Expands in Brazil

[10 May/Bloomberg] A Chinese food giant, Cofco International, had positioned itself to increase soybean purchases from Brazil due to trade tensions between the U.S and China. Cofco strengthened its team that bought, stored and sold farmer crops in the South American country. Brazil was the world’s largest soybean exporter. China was yet to implement planned...

Rootility Raises USD10m Series C Led by ADM Capital

[9 May/AgFunder News] Rootility, a plant breeding startup, has raised USD10 million in Series C funding in a round led by ADM Capital. ADM’s Cibus Fund was joined by Greensoil Investments and Middleland Capital. The funding will be used to scale its operations and enter new markets, including Asia. Founder and Chief Executive of Rootility,...

Backfella Beef brand concept has potential to unite indigenous cattle producers

[13 May/ABC News] Kelvin Dunrobin of Blackfella Beef was one of the brains behind the concept that looked to unite indigenous cattle producers to grow and market their own meat under the brand. The next step is to identify how many indigenous owned cattle enterprises there were in Queensland that could market their beef under...

Chinese buyers cancel orders for US soybeans amid threat of trade war

[9 May/NZ Herald] Chinese buyers were cancelling orders for U.S. soybeans which could deal a blow to American farmers if it continued. Farmers in China were being encouraged to plant more soy. The Chinese government included soybeans on a list of US exports it said it would impose a 25 percent tariff on. President of...

Govt to unfetter cheese-making regulations

[14 May/Radio NZ] Artisan cheese makers welcomed a new government plan to relax unnecessary red tape. Some cheesemakers complained it cost more to meet Ministry for Primary Industries compliance than their entire tax bill. Food Safety Minister, Damien O’Connor, launched a new template to help producers meet food safety requirements. Mr O’Connor said cheese producers...

NZ farmers eye third straight year of strong dairy prices

[14 May/NZ Herald] Economists said New Zealand dairy prices were set to be $6 plus for the third year in a row. Fonterra was expected to issue its opening forecast for the coming 2018/19 season later this month. While rural lending specialist, Rabobank, said the season would ultimately deliver a $6.40 per kgMS, ANZ Rural...

Rabobank forecasts $6.40 per kgMS milk price for new season

[10 May/Dairy News] Rabobank predicts a shaky start, but a strong finish to the 2018-19 milk season starting 1 June. Rabobank said New Zealand dairy farmers had enjoyed a period of profitability, and the upcoming season would see this continue. They forecast a farmgate milk price of $6.40 per kgMS. Dairy analyst, Emma Higgins, said...

Tasman seasonal labour shortest in years – growers

[10 May/Radio NZ] Tasman fruit growers said more needed to be done to deal with severe horticultural labour shortages. Two big storms dented both the regions reputation as a nice place to visit, and also the accommodation needed for harvest workers. Lower Moutere grower, Ian Palmer, said it had been the hardest season for finding...

Tremendous opportunity for New Zealand farmers to be world leaders

[10 May/NZ Farmer] New Zealand farmers could become global leaders in low emissions agriculture if a solution is found to reduce biological emissions. Climate Change Minister, James Shaw, said countries were looking to New Zealand for leadership in this space. He thought it was an incredible opportunity if we could be the country to work...

Cow disease may be in every region: Damien O’Connor

[14 May/NZ Herald] Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor warned that Mycoplasma bovis could be in every region of the country. He said it was the sad reality that other farms would come back as infected. Animals that had been moved to other regions were being tracked and it was possible they would come back as infected...

Winston Peters confident about announcement of EU-New Zealand trade negotiations

[9 May/NBR] Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters, was confident the EU would agree to start trade negotiations with New Zealand when it meets on May 22. He said serious progress had been made to the extent they believed there wold be an announcement from the EU in respect to a free-trade negotiation start. Jacinda Ardern...

Fonterra wants law change to end milk pick-up obligation

[9 May/NZ Herald] Fonterra has said that it continuing to have to accept all milk from all farms would be a critical part of the Government’s review of legislation. Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, has announced the terms of reference for the review. Fonterra had long pushed back against the DIRA requirement that it take all...

Scales to sell cold storage unit to US-based Emergent Cold

[9 May/NZ Herald] Scales Corp will sell its cold storage businesses to US cold chain company, Emergent Cold. The deal will be for $151.4 million. Scales Corp Chairman, Tim Goodacre, said the Group’s strengths were operating fully-vertically integrated agriculture businesses, participating in businesses with an export focus and adding value through connection to the China...

Flat prices force arable farmers to reduce grain plantings

[7 May/NZ Farmer] Arable farming leader, Brian Leadley, said arable farmers were likely to reduce grain crop plantings unless grain buyers signalled their interest soon as flat prices took their toll. He added that below sustainable prices meant end users of grain needed to be talking to suppliers to register their interest to assist arable...

Ravensdown effluent tech aimed at saving water

[7 May/The Country] Ravensdown and Lincoln University are launching new technology aimed at saving water that is being used to wash down dairy yards. According to Ravensdown Effluent Technology Manager, Jamie Thompson, ClearTech was designed to cut freshwater use, help existing effluent storage go further and reduce the environmental and safety risk. About a quarter...

CPI rise pushed by dairy, aluminium exports

[7 May/The Country] Dairy and aluminium export prices increased 1 percent according to the monthly ANZ commodity price index. The forestry sector also managed its 20th growth month in a row, and of the seventeen indexed commodities seven rose and five remained unchanged, according to ANZ Agri Economist, Con Williams. He added that the main...

Fishpeople CEO: ‘Seafood is stuck in the ‘20s’

[7 May/Food Navigator] The average household use of seafood remains very low according to Nielson data. U.S. seafood sales did increase this year by 3.4 percent in dollar terms, however this was driven by the 4.5 percent rise in the average retail price of most fish. Fishpeople was founded by a former commercial fisherman and...

Nestle to pay $7.15 billion to Starbucks to jump-start coffee business

[7 May/CNBC] Nestle will pay Starbucks USD7.15 billion in cash for the rights to sell Starbucks branded retail products around the world in a global alliance. The deal reinforces Nestle’s position as the world’s biggest coffee company. Starbucks will use proceeds to speed up share buybacks and add to earnings per share by 2021. Starbucks...

Face of GMOs at Monsanto to Step Down as Bayer Takeover Closes

[8 May/Bloomberg] Monsanto executives have announced that they plan to depart after the company’s takeover by Bayer AG is completed. One of those leaving was scientific leader Robb Fraley. He has been at Monsanto for over three decades and helped shape the company. Chief Executive Officer, Hugh Grant, was also leaving after 35 years at...

EC to invest EUR10bn in agri-food research and innovation

[4 May/Food Navigator] The European Commission planned to invest EUR10 billion into supporting agri-food research and innovation under its framework programme Project Horizon. Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, Phil Hogan, said continued investment would contribute to the development of a more productive and sustainable EU agriculture and food sector. The project was designed to facilitate...

Walmart reportedly beats Amazon to Flipkart with USD15B bid

[4 May/Food Dive] Walmart appears to have succeeded in what was reportedly a pitched battle with Amazon to acquire Flipkart, the Indian online retailer. The board of Flipkart Online Services PVT approved an agreement to sell 75 percent of the company to Walmart for USD15 billion. The proposal includes Japanese SoftBank, selling more than 20...

E. coli breakout tied to romaine lettuce kills 1 in California, expands to 25 states

[3 May/CNBC] A week long E. coli outbreak in the US has killed one person and expanded to half of the U.S. states. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 121 total cases were reported. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration were investigating the outbreak and said illnesses at an Alaskan prison was...

Del Monte targets young shoppers with canned launch

[4 May/Euro Fruit] Del Monte are trying to make tinned fruit fashionable again and have released a premium and stylish Gold pineapple range. It launched two new products including pineapple chunks and pineapple slices. Del Monte’s Commercial Director, Martin Tilney, said he was keen to attract young shoppers to the canned fruit isle, which can...

Tyson Invests in Israeli Cultured Meat Start-up Future Meat Technologies

[2 May/AgFunder News] An Israeli start-up that manufactures meat from animal cells, Future Meat Technologies, raised USD2.2 million in seed funding. Their largest investors were Tyson Ventures and Neto Group along with others. Founder and Chief Scientist, Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, said the company was focused on producing cultured meat in a cost-efficient way. He added...