New Field Notes Platform

New Field Notes Platform

We’ve refreshed our Field Notes platform which can be found here – on our new platform you will see the top headline stories on the site and you will be able to view all stories via either the Field Notes PDF, or on the Field Notes app – an easy...
Latest entries

From vegan interns to visiting preschoolers, all are welcome at the ECO School

[01 September/Stuff NZ] Kaitiaki Farm Eco School is based on a five hectare property and is run by Dani Lebo and her husband Nelson Lebo. The farm has up to six interns staying at a time on their eight-week permaculture design programmes, run throughout the year. Mrs Lebo states that the biggest focus on the...

More added value the future

[30 August/Rural News] Nick Pyke, Co-Founder of Left Field Innovation has presented the case that New Zealand should not go down the commodity path as it develops its plant protein industry and states that we should head down the high-value and high-quality path to find a niche market, where New Zealand will be able to...

Drought blamed for drying up Landcorp earnings and profit

[30 August/The Country] Landcorp has made a net loss of $11 million for the year and Chairman Dr Warren Parker and Chief Executive Steven Carden have blamed this earnings fall on a drop in milk production due to dry summer and autumn weather. The company, which trades as Pamu, exceeded its earlier earnings forecast guidance...

Westland buyer trades ahead

[04 September/Farmers Weekly] Westland Milk’s financial issues look well behind it as the milk processor’s new Chinese owner reported a half-year net profit of $800 million, which is well over the $588 million the Yili Group paid for the processor. Yili’s annual profit will cover both the Westland costs and the $660m Yili spent developing...

Strategic partner to fund growth

[03 September/Farmers Weekly] One of the country’s newest milk processors Mataura Valley Milk reports it has addressed financial concerns raised in its annual report and the hunt for a new investor is part of its business strategy to expand markets for its nutritional products. In its annual report to 31 December 2018 released earlier this...

Dairy Industry Restructuring Act passes first reading at Parliament

[30 August/The Country] The Dairy Industry Restructuring Act, or DIRA Bill narrowly passed its first reading at Parliament, 63 votes to 57. It will now go before a select committee, giving industry stakeholders a chance to have their say. The changes proposed by the government follow a lengthy review of 18 year-old-rules governing Fonterra Co-operative...

Demand for sheep milk prompts offer

[29 August/The Country] The New Zealand sheep dairy industry has taken a huge step forward with the launch of sheep milk toddler formula by Danone, a global giant in early childhood nutrition. Milk from free-range, grass-fed dairy sheep is currently supplied by Maui Milk from their two farms running 6000 ewes on the western shores...

Mataura Valley Milk seeking investment after one year of production

[28 August/Stuff NZ] Southland infant-milk formula producer Mataura Valley Milk is seeking a strategic partner to invest in the company, less than a year after its official opening as part of the next stage of its business strategy. Chief Executive Bernard May expects the process to take several months to complete. The company’s financial report...

Te Arawa Fisheries appoints Chris Karamea Insley as new chief executive

[30 August/The Country] Te Arawa Fisheries has appointed Chris Karamea Insley as its new Chief Executive, who will be based out of Rotorua. Te Arawa Fisheries Board Chairman Ron Roberts reports that the seafood and fishing industry is facing a range of challenges including growing competition, pressures on wild stock fisheries and turbulent trading conditions...

Water saving plan for Fonterra’s Edendale

[03 September/Stuff NZ] Fonterra’s Edendale site has an ambitious target to reduce its water usage by 750 million litres of water per year, the equivalent to 500 olympic swimming pools, in order to reduce water levels significantly by 2030. Edendale is a water constrained region, so Fonterra wants to ensure that the water levels stay...

What will supermarkets look like in a low-carbon future?

[01 September/Stuff NZ] Countdown supermarket is looking to reduce carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2030, it announced this week in its yearly sustainability report. The ambitious new target is in line with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Countdown’s Kiri Hannifin states reducing the amount of plastic and packaging...

$200m wine estate development plans confirmed

[30 August/The Country] Wooing Tree Wine Estate Owners and Developers have confirmed plans to redevelop the 25ha Cromwell site into a residential, retail and commercial estate. Units for the first residential stage could be available for presale as early as this December, with ground being broken from April 2020, depending on demand. Wooing Tree Vineyard’s...

Hemp burger: BurgerFuel takes eating green to a whole new level

[03 September/The Country] BurgerFuel New Zealand takes eating green to a whole new level today with the launch of a limited-edition vegan hemp burger which will be sold nationwide for one month from today, or while stocks last. The burger contains hemp and broccoli bites, pūhā and cabbage kraut, avocado, hemp-seed-oil aoili and an organic...

Berry farm becomes local produce hub

[31 August/Rural Life] McArthurs Berry Farm, a popular summer stop for locals and tourists alongside the Outram-Mosgiel highway near Outram, will reopen on 01 December, with fresh produce from around the region. A condition of council consent for the hub and a new attached 200sqm residence is that there will be no “non-locally grown” products...

Development of genetically modified ryegrass making progress

[29 August/The Country] AgResearch states that its development of a new generation grass is making steady progress in the United States, where the institute is conducting field trials of the genetically modified High Metabolisable Energy (HME) ryegrass.  Testing includes whether the environmentally sustainable grass will perform in the field in a similar way to the...

Kiwifruit packhouse adopts brown kiwi

[29 August/The Country] EastPack, New Zealand’s largest post-harvest service Kiwifruit provider is partnering with Whakatane Kiwi Trust and have adopted a brown kiwi as a result. Born in March, the kiwi was recently released into reserve lands in the Whakatane area and the packhouse named their kiwi Browny. While Browny’s gender is yet to be...

Māori organisations weigh up horticulture over dairy

[28 August/The Country] Industry sources state that there is a compelling business case for Māori organisations to move away from traditional farming practices and embrace investment opportunities in horticulture.  Opportunities include financial returns, job prospects as well as moving towards a sustainable future. Traditional land use options for Māori organisations have typically taken the form...

Damien O’Connor visits Premier House bees

[29 August/The Country] Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor recently visited the Premier House beehives as part of Bee Aware month, along with four pupils from Te Aro School, and placed praise on bees by telling the pupils how bees are the most important animals on the planet. Te Aro School has had beehives for nearly five...

Northland family devastated after beehives ‘intentionally’ destroyed

[28 August/Stuff NZ] A Northland family is devastated after discovering its beehives thrown upside down with their lids removed, killing millions of bees on 19 August. The beehives belong to the Murray family and were the “heart and soul” of their whanau-led business, Kai Ora Honey. A small number of bees managed to survive, however...

New chief executive to lead Primary ITO

[29 August/The Country] Experienced education leader Nigel Philpott will join Primary ITO as Chief Executive in October, taking over from Linda Sissons, ready to lead the organisation through the period of change in vocational education. Mr Philpott has an impressive background of strong leadership and work with government ministries, currently as a national Programme Director...

Agriculture minister Damien O’Connor says winter grazing campaign dented NZ reputation

[03 September/Stuff New Zealand] Environmentalist Angus Robson has launched a campaign against winter grazing. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has reported that the images of cows in Southland mud this winter has risked the country’s reputation as a food producer. Amid allegations of intimidation and trespassing, the campaign also led farmers in Southland to form a...

Media Release: New campaign highlights Rabobank support for New Zealand agricultural sector

[02 September/Rabobank] Rabobank has launched a new television advertising campaign highlighting how online deposits with the bank are exclusively used to fund New Zealand’s food and agricultural producers. The advertisements will run until the end of the year, with more planned for 2020 and feature some of the bank’s agribusiness clients. The campaign aims to...

The battle for trust

[30 August/Rural News] Tim Hunt, the head of RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness in Australasia, says trust is becoming more complex to succeed in and more valuable to win in today’s markets where sustainability, safety of products and animal welfare are becoming increasingly important. Mr Hunt reports these attributes are not self-evident when the consumer is...

Expect more disruption

[30 August/Rural News] Ian Proudfoot, Global Head of Agribusiness for KPMG reported at the Silver Fern Farm Farmer Conference for 2019 that we can see disruption by activists as a threat or an opportunity. Mr Proudfoot spoke about the fourth industrial revolution which is underway, melding the biological, physical and digital, creating new food and...