Samurai wasp on standby to fight brown marmorated stink bugs

Samurai wasp on standby to fight brown marmorated stink bugs

[7 December/Stuff] The Environmental Protection Agency pre-approved the release of a tiny parasitic wasp earlier this year, the country’s first pre-emptive approval of a bio-control measure. The wasp could be an effective predator of the brown marmorated stink bug should an incursion occur.  A 2017 report from the NZ Institute...
'Unprecedented offending': Peter Yealands and his former company fined $400k

‘Unprecedented offending’: Peter Yealands and his former company fined $400k

[11 December/The Country] Yealands Estate Wines has pleaded guilty to ‘unprecedented offending’ under the Wine Act 2003 and has been fined $400,000 for deliberate, deceptive and sustained breaches according to MPI.  The charges relate to parties being complicit in making false statements regarding export eligibility applications and material omissions in...
Otago's Providore Wines rolls out AR app to give buyers information

Otago’s Providore Wines rolls out AR app to give buyers information

[10 December/NZ Herald] Otago wine producer Providore has launched an app using augmented reality (AR) to tell its origin story. The app has been rolled out as a bid to encourage people to buy its wines.  Launching in October, the wine company, has vineyards in the Gibbston Valley, and want...
Overseas trade buyers most likely for Tip Top

Overseas trade buyers most likely for Tip Top

[8 December/NZ Herald] Tip Top is likely to attract interest from local and international trade buyers as well as private equity firms after Fonterra confirmed the ice-cream business was on the market. Investment bank FNZC is running the sale process and is understood to be sending out a term sheet...
Alliance given green light for 100 overseas workers

Alliance given green light for 100 overseas workers

[6 December/Stuff] Immigration New Zealand have given approval to Alliance Group to hire 100 overseas workers for its Lorneville plant at Invercargill. Alliance People and Safety General Manager, Chris Selbie, said that the labour shortages and day-to-day absenteeism at the Group’s plants are costing the co-operative approximately $20 million a...
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How NZ could cut agriculture emissions by to 10 per cent

[6 December/NZ Herald] Findings from two years of research by the Biological Emissions Reference Group suggest that most people in the agriculture sector want to reduce their emissions to fight climate change but nearly half of farmers don’t know how to go about it. The work looked at the costs and barriers of reducing biological...

Farm work for welfare trial labelled a failure, demands for agriculture visa stepped up

[4 December/ABC] Influential lobby groups have declared a program to encourage welfare recipients to work on farms a failure, putting new pressure on the Morrison Government to create a dedicated agriculture visa to fix labour shortages in the rural sector. The $27.5m Seasonal Work Incentives Trial has only found placements for 333 people with six...

Soybeans Lead Gains in Agriculture on U.S.-China Trade Truce

[3 December/Bloomberg] The meeting between President Trump and President Xi of China saw an immediate reaction in commodity markets as traders expected to see a re-entry into markets from Chinese purchases as the two leaders deescalated the trade war that has broken out between the two countries.  Soybeans prices led advances among U.S. crop futures...

France tops Food Sustainability Index

[3 December/Food Navigator] The Food Sustainability Index (FSI) ranks countries on food system sustainability. It assesses the sustainability of food systems according to three categories – food loss and waste; sustainable agriculture and nutritional challenges through an environmental, societal and economic prism. For the third year running, France was praised for its regulatory environment that...

Donald Trump signs US-Canada-Mexico trade deal with Justin Trudeau and Enrique Pena Nieto

[2 December/NZ Herald] US President, Donald Trump, used the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to sign a revised North American trade pact with Justin Trudeau and Enrique Pena Nieto, the leaders of Canada and Mexico.  President Trump declared the deal, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a major victory for workers....

Maxwell House’s labor-focused campaign drives purchase intent, ad awareness, analysis finds

[30 November/Food Dive] Kraft Heinz coffee brand Maxwell House has seen an increase in ad awareness and purchase consideration since launching a campaign over Labour Day weekend that celebrates hard work, a YouGov analysis found. Analysis shows that Maxwell House focusing its marketing messaging on hard work and featuring the American worker are paying off....

Small-scale farmers ‘need climate change backing’

[30 November/Fruitnet] The International Fair Trade Movement has called on the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to introduce transparent, fair and binding mechanisms for trade justice in order to achieve climate justice in their negotiations at COP24 conference being held in Poland. More than 500 million small-scale farms provide...

Kraft Heinz agrees to buy paleo mayo and dressing company Primal Kitchen

[29 November/CNBC] Kraft Heinz has confirmed that it plans to buy paleo dressing company Primal Kitchen.  Primal Kitchen makes paleo-friendly products including mayo, avocado oil and dressings. It says its products are without processed or artificial ingredients, added sugars, soybean or canola oils. Like many large food companies, Kraft Heinz is looking for platforms to...

Charges laid after cows beaten with pipe

[4 December/Stuff] Six charges have been laid after hidden camera footage showed a Northland farmer beating cows with a pipe and other implements. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has filed charges against one person after receiving the footage. The footage drew swift criticism from industry leaders, including Federated Farmers animal welfare spokesman Chris Lewis....

Kiwis ‘too good’ for seasonal work as employers cry out for skilled fulltime staff

[4 December/Stuff] A recent employment survey in the Marlborough region shows the province is desperately short of skilled full-time staff.  Wine Marlborough advocacy manager, Vance Kerslake, said many Kiwis consider themselves too good for seasonal work and are only interested in taking permanent positions. Wine Marlborough surveyed 55 Marlborough employers across a dozen industries and...

Wool surfboards: Kiwi ingenuity leads to global partnership with Kelly Slater’s company Firewire

[3 December/NZ Herald] A Kiwi surfboard shaper’s experiment with wool has led to a global partnership with one of the biggest names in surfing and an entirely new type of surfboard. Tauranga-based Paul Barron has developed a wool-based substance that can be used to replace fibreglass on a surfboard. Barron caught the attention of Firewire...

Tasman District Council gives Waimea dam project final nod [30 November/Stuff] The $105.9 million Waimea dam project will proceed after Tasman district councillors voted 9-5 in favour of the controversial proposal to construct a 53m concrete-faced rockfill dam in the Lee Valley, near Nelson. The council will have a joint-venture partner in the project – Waimea...

First sinks coalition partners’ plan for fisheries review NZ

[2 December/Stuff] It has been reported that the New Zealand First party has scuppered plans for a panel to be established to provide expert advice to the government on New Zealand’s fishing industry. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash planned to revitalise the technical advisory panel, which was set up by the National Government to give expert...

Owners of East Coast forests charged over debris damage

[1 December/Radio NZ] The owners of six forests on the East Coast have been notified that they are to be prosecuted by Gisborne District Council under the Resource Management Act over damage to farms from flood-borne logging debris that occurred following two heavy rain storms in the region around Queens Birthday weekend in June. Farmers...

NZ dairy group joins fight to try and save WTO

[30 November/Radio NZ] The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand was joined with other peak dairy organisations across the world to launched an unprecedented campaign to try and save the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The move is in response to steps taken by the Trump administration to block the appointment of new judges to the...

Annual trade deficit largest since 2007

[28 November/Otago Daily Times] Imports far outweighed exports for October, taking the annual trade deficit to $5.8 billion, its largest deficit since October 2007. With exports dipping 6.4% month on month and the cost of imports increasing as a result of a then low New Zealand dollar and increased imported fuel costs. Statistics New Zealand...

Ship ordered to leave following biosecurity breach

[29 November/Rural News] Biosecurity New Zealand has directed a vehicle carrier to leave New Zealand waters following the discovery of stink bugs and other regulated pests on board. The Carmen arrived in Auckland and was carrying a range of vehicles from Europe and the US. The vessel will now have to be treated off shore...

Cropping sector on good footing – Report

[30 November 2018/NZ Herald] The cropping sector is looking towards an enhanced future as good seasonal prospects, stronger markets and an increased variety of crop options put the sector on a good footing after a tough two years. The recently released industry survey from the Arable Industry Marketing Initiative, indicates stock levels of unsold grain...

MPI begins mandatory review of Walking Access Act

[30 November 2018/NZ Herald] The Ministry for Primary Industries has begun a review of the Walking Access Act 2008 to assess whether it still provides the access needed to New Zealand’s land, bush, mountains, rivers, coasts, and areas of cultural significance. MPI will meet with stakeholders in December 2018 to do some early scoping, and...

Best primary sector employers announced

[28 November/Rural News Group] The best primary sector employers have been celebrated at the MPI AGMARDT Primary Industries Good Employer Awards. Woodville Dairy farmers, Nicky and Ben Allomes were presented with the inaugural supreme award. The Allomes, owners and directors of Hopelands Dairies Ltd, scooped the supreme Minister’s Awards at the awards function held at...

Fonterra makes play for developing countries

[1 December 2018/NZ Herald] Fonterra is making a push to make dairy affordable and accessible for low-income populations in developing regions in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and South America. Kelvin Wickham, Chief Operating Officer of Fonterra’s NZMP ingredients business, said Fonterra had previously sold commodity products in bulk into these markets but now...

Two for two: second Fonterra director election limited to two contestants

[27 November/NZ Herald] Fonterra Co-operative Group has announced that a second election for an unfilled director seat on the co-op’s board will be held over the next month. The two candidates will be self-nominated farmer-supported candidate, John Nicholls, and board nominee, Jamie Tuuta, both of whom did not receive sufficient support from shareholders to be...

Potato virus here to stay

[4 December/Rural News] Potatoes New Zealand Chief Executive, Chris Claridge, said the decision to keep the potato mop top virus (PMTV) in New Zealand may be in the best interests the industry in the long term. He said technical experts have indicated that they don’t believe it is technically feasible to eradicate the PMTV, but...

New housing is eating our lunch: report finds NZ set to struggle to grow enough fruit and vegetables

[28 November/NZ Herald] A report produced by Rachel McClung of Horticulture New Zealand as part of her Kellogg Rural Leadership programme, suggests that vertical farming, where food is grown indoors in stacks in a technology-controlled environment, is unlikely to replace traditional growing. Ms McClung said that spread of urban development into areas with prime soils,...