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Wet weather pushes vege prices up

[16 April/Otago Daily Times] Food prices in New Zealand rose 1 percent in March from February. Wet weather caused vegetable prices to rise 11 percent. After adjusting for typical changes, vegetable prices increased 9.5 percent due to rises in tomato, lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli prices according to Statistics New Zealand. Statistics New Zealand Consumer...

First Hawke’s Bay school takes part in national 100 schools project

 [10 April/The Country] A national programme putting students from 100 primary schools onto sheep and beef farms include at least six primary schools from the East Coast region. Argyll East School and Takapau School have already had farm visits, and Poukawa East School, Mangatainoka School and Wainuioru school will have theirs in the coming months....

Fonterra Ventures partners with nutrition start-up Foodspring

[2 March/Foodbev Media] Fonterra have teamed up with German nutrition start-up Foodspring following an investment in its parent company, Goodminton. Foodspring sells products including whey protein shakes and organic superfoods and focuses on healthy eating, weight management and muscle-building. Fonterra’s CEO for Velocity and Innovation, Judith Swales, believed the deal would create a range of...

Overseas Investment Office investigates PGG Wrightson owner Agria’s ‘good character’

[11 January/ NZ Farmer] The OIO has confirmed that it is investigating whether Agria, the 50.22% owner of PGG Wrightson, is off good character given its delisting by the New York Stock Exchange, the company’s public statements that it had received subpoenas from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and allegations made against the company...

Someone Figured Out How to Put Tomatoes on a Blockchain

[9 November/Bloomberg Technology] Ripe.io is a startup utilising blockchain technology to track the ripeness, colour and flavour of tomato crops. They plan to expand their technology to all aspects of the agriculture industry. Founders Raja Ramachandran and Phil Harris met while working on Wall Street and were intrigued by how blockchain was changing the finance...

Why France is facing a butter squeeze

[6 November/The Economist] France is in the middle of the worst butter shortage since the second world war. Chefs around the country are lamenting the soaring costs, as butter holds a vital position in French cuisine. Two changes explain the squeeze. In 2015 the European Union ended a quota system for milk-producers. Suppliers were hit...

Red tape costing the chance to grow

[2 November/New Zealand Herald] Kerikeri Horticulturist Brett Heap is angered at government bureaucracy preventing him from employing two more Thai nationals. The zucchini farmer currently employs nine Thai nationals legitimately under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme to fill jobs that New Zealanders cannot or will not do. He would like to employ two more...

Synlait, A2 Milk shares hit record high

[29 September/New Zealand Herald] The S&P/NZX 50 Index dipped 0.16 points, or 0.002 percent, to 7913.62. Within the index, 26 stocks fell, 19 increased, and five were unchanged. Turnover was $204 million. Synlait Milk and A2 Milk broke records on regulatory approval to retain Chinese market access for infant formula next year. Synlait Milk rose...

Fonterra CEO’s massive $8.32 million makes him highest-paid executive

 [25 September/ New Zealand Herald] Fonterra Chief Executive Theo Spierings was paid $8.32 million in 2017 – an annual increase of 78.5 percent. This makes Mr Spierings the highest paid Chief Executive of any listed company or fund in New Zealand. Mr Spierings was paid a base salary of $2.463m, benefits of $170,036, short-term incentive...

DairyNZ says farmers can take some hot air out of greenhouse gas emissions by managing herds

[19 September/ NZ Farmer] DairyNZ has told farmers they needed to reduce their greenhouse gas production to meet consumer and political demands. The organisation added that consumers wanted a smaller environmental footprint and this was not something farmers could ignore. DairyNZ Analyst, Kara Lok said New Zealand only caused 0.16 percent of global warming, but...

Farmers pledge to improve NZ’s waterways

[22 August/Hawkes Bay Today] A unique collaboration of pastoral sector leaders came together in the Hawkes Bay to make a commitment to work together towards making New Zealand’s rivers swimmable for future generations. The Farming Leaders Group which includes Federated Farmers, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ is said to represent 80% of the country’s pastoral...

Swiss start-up’s insect-derived food intent on overcoming consumer bugbear

[18 August/Food Navigator] Essento, a Swiss based start-up, is planning to make its range of insect based burgers and meatballs available to consumers through supermarkets. The products which blend products like rice, vegetables, chickpeas and flavouring with flourworms will initially be offered through seven stores in Geneva, Bern and Zurich. Co-founder of Essento, Christian Bartsch,...

Ballance returns up as farmers buy more ‘smart’ products

[28 July/ Stuff] Ballance Agri-Nutrients’ gross trading result increased from $22 million to $56.8m in the last financial year, allowing a $54m farmer shareholder return. The fertiliser company’s revenue dropped 4 percent to $805 million, and sales volume saw a 1 percent decreased; however, Chief Executive Mark Wynne said Ballance improved its performance due to...

NZ wine regions move to protected model

[ 27 July/ NZ Herald] The Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act, passed in 2006, allows wine regions to register with the Intellectual Property Office New Zealand and ensure the region’s name is reserved for wine of that area. New Zealand wine regions can officially register for the protection under the legislation, which came...

Canada’s policies depress milk prices

[29 June/ Radio NZ] Ten global dairy organisations including The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) and dairy industry leaders from Argentina, Australia, EU, Mexico and the US, are urging Canada to remove milk policies they say are depressing milk prices. DCANZ said Canada’s ‘Special Milk Class 7’ policies implemented in February 2017 were...

Shed serves up lessons on value of wool

[26 June/ NZ Farmer] New Zealand wool takes centre stage every year at the Championship at Wimbledon, as all 54,000 tennis balls used at the event are covered in felt made from nine tonnes of NZ sourced wool.  The wool is woven into felt in the UK before being shipped to the Slazenger factory in...

Fishpeople wants to fix the ‘fundamentally broken’ seafood industry with increased transparency

[25 May/ Food Navigator USA] CEO of seafood company Fishpeople Seafood, Ken Plasse, believes the seafood industry is broken and crowded with businesses that fail the oceans and consumers. Mr Plasse noted the lack of transparency and poor consumer practices in the seafood industry, causing consumer distrust. Fishpeople, launched in 2012, plans to change this...

Hops production in NZ slumps by 10 percent

[22 May/ Radio NZ Country] The New Zealand Hop Co-operative says that its 18 growers, all of whom are in the Nelson region, has seen production fall around 10% to 750 tonnes.  CEO, Doug Donelan, said the crop had suffered as the the weather had not been right since spring started wet, and was compounded...

National sheep numbers drop by 5%

[11 May/ Radio NZ Rural] Statistics New Zealand figures showed a 5 percent decrease in sheep numbers, a 7 percent decrease in deer numbers, and a 2 percent rise in the number of dairy cattle in 2016. Sheep numbers have declined from an all-time high of over 70 million in 1982 to under 28 million...

Perdue pledges to advocate for trade, but will Trump listen?

 [24 March/ Food Dive] President Trump’s Agriculture Secretary nominee, Sonny Perdue, promised farm-state senators in both parties he would strongly promote international agricultural trade and create jobs in the struggling industry. President Trump’s withdrawal from the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership, and preference to seek bilateral instead of multi-lateral deals provides a challenge to Senator Perdue’s statements....

Blue Apron acquires grass-fed beef company

[24 March/ Food Dive] Blue Apron, a meal kit business, has acquired the BN Ranch beef business and brands. Blue Apron has had BN Ranch products on its menu for the past two years. Bill Niman, the president and founder of BN Ranch, will join Blue Apron and oversee further development of animal welfare and...

Otago winemaker signs deal for US distribution

[25 March. New Zealand Herald] Peregrine Wines has signed a deal with Vineyard Brands that will enable the full Peregrine Wines portfolio to be distributed to every state in the United States. Before Peregrine, Vineyard Brands had dealt with Villa Maria. The new distribution contract could mean a 50 percent increase in production for Peregrine...

Auckland student extols virtues of studying agriculture

[16 March/ Stuff] At a future leaders’ meeting held during a series of events including Central Districts Field Days, Mt Albert Grammar student Fatima Imran disagreed with her fellow students’ opinion that agricultural studies is a “bum” subject, and the class made her obsessed with the industry, encouraging more and more of her fellow students...

Bolthouse Farms showcases pea-based plant protein milk at Expo West ahead of summer launch

[10 March/ Food Navigator] Bolthouse Farms, a Campbell Soup Company brand, has created a plant-based milk product containing 10g of non-GMO pea protein per 8oz serving, 5g cane sugar, 50 percent more calcium than dairy milk, vitamin A, B12, D and E, and will be available in original, unsweetened, chocolate and vanilla flavours. Chief Marketing...