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Proposed work visa changes welcomed

[16 January/The Country] Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway released proposed changes to employer-assisted temporary work visa settings last month. The changes are designed to reflect actual regional work shortages, allowing better access to migrant labour when it is required and to support businesses in employing more New Zealanders. DairyNZ, the Road Transport Forum and Federated Farmers...

Stink bug discovery affects imports, trade deficit

[20 December/NZ Herald] Statistics New Zealand revealed a narrowed trade deficit for November as imports were reduced by the discovery of stink bugs. A November deficit of $402 million was down compared to the October deficit of $707 million, suggesting that exports also rose with the stink bug discovery. International Statistics manager Tehseen Isla, reported...

WMP pushes GDT higher

[16 January/Farmers Weekly] Strong demand pushed dairy product prices higher in the latest Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction, as the price index rose 4.2% from the previous auction. The average price was USD3057 a tonne. Some 27,909 tonnes of product was sold, down from 28,651 tonnes two weeks ago. Whole milk powder advanced 3% to...

Sexual harassment ‘ignored’ in rural workplaces, despite global #MeToo movement

[18 November/ABC News] The CEO of Rural, Regional, Remote Women’s Network of Western Australia (RRR Network), Jackie Jarvis, has warned that rural and remote workplaces are producing horrific cases of sexual harassment and assault.  Ms Jarvis suggested that the welfare of animals was often being placed in front of female employees with many employers doing...

U.K. Introduces Farm Bill With Seven-Year Brexit Transition

[12 September/Bloomberg] The UK Government has introduced new agriculture legislation to replace the EU subsidies for farmers. It places more emphasis on environmental standards. It includes a seven year transition period to help farmers survive after leaving the EU. It detailed how farmers would be paid for criteria such as better water quality and animal...

Can plant-based and lab-grown meat change the world?

[10 September/Food Dive] Impossible Foods CEO, Pat Brown, described to the Good Food Institute Conference how his company planned to save the world. He noted the reason he founded the company was to save the world from the biggest environmental catastrophe facing the planet, the destructive use of animals in food production. Scientists said if...

NZ Super Fund increases investment in primary sector

[11 July/Stuff] The NZ Super Fund has around $2.5 billion invested in New Zealand primary industries, and wanted to add more of the sector to its portfolio. Its latest investment was in New Zealand Gourmet, taking a 27 percent stake in the company. Only 6.4 percent of its total global investment is in local agribusinesses,...

Smart water company Essentia, which has a proprietary water ionization process, puts itself up for sale

[14 June/CNBC] Premium water company, Essentia, has hired Credit Suisse to auction the company. It could generated up to USD500 million or more in the sale. The water brand which had a proprietary ionization process that provides better hydration has revenues of around USD100 million. It was likely to catch the eye of the biggest...

Apple accolades top great season and more trees already in the ground

[29 May/The Country] Hawkes Bay’s contribution to the apple industry was set to grow with more than 100,000 new tree plantings planned for the coming season. The World Apple review named New Zealand’s apple industry as the most competitive on the global stage. NZ Apples and Pears Chief Executive, Allan Pollard, said to earn and...

MPI will face ‘don’t give a damn’ attitude on M. Bovis, farmer says

[28 May/NZ Herald] The Ministry for Primary Industries will get a don’t give a damn attitude from some farmers as it attempts to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis according to a Southland farmer, following the Government’s announcement of an eradication strategy. Lumsden Farmer, Ben Walling, said he thought it was the right call to attempt to eradicate...

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,...

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...

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...

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...