Developing Auckland as a Silicon Valley for food

Developing Auckland as a Silicon Valley for food

[18 April/NBR] Auckland had the hallmarks of a business cluster for F&B manufacturing according to a government report. The report identified Auckland as having one-third of New Zealand’s food and beverage manufacturing firms, 23 percent of the country’s F&B manufacturing employees and half of the head offices of the largest...
Good step but ‘devil will be in the detail’

Good step but ‘devil will be in the detail’

[20 April/Otago Daily Times] An R&D tax incentive discussion document was released yesterday by Research, Science and Innovation Minister, Megan Woods. ManufacturingNZ Executive Director, Catherine Beard, said the tax incentive proposals were a positive step towards a higher innovation economy. She added the proposal could go a long way towards...
Irrigation body confident of big projects despite govt cuts

Irrigation body confident of big projects despite govt cuts

[17 April/Radio NZ] Irrigation New Zealand was confident that ending government subsidies would not spell the end of large-scale irrigation projects. They held their biennial conference last week which looked at the future of the sector. Irrigation New Zealand Chief Executive, Andrew Curtis, said the government funded entity had only...
Major report: What we’ve done to NZ’s landscape

Major report: What we’ve done to NZ’s landscape

[19 April/The Country] Almost 200 million tonnes of soil are lost in New Zealand each year, which could have consequences on our environment and economy according to a new report on New Zealand’s land from the Ministry for the Environment. The quality and quantity of our soil is crucial to...
Shareholders council puts spotlight on Fonterra’s value and capital spending

Shareholders council puts spotlight on Fonterra’s value and capital spending

[19 April/NZ Herald] The Fonterra Shareholders Council has commissioned a new study to see if Fonterra’s farmer-shareholders are better off as a result of the co-operative’s creation.  The council is comprised 25 farmer-elected representatives. Chairman, Duncan Coull, said the questions needed to be answered and farmers needed confidence that capital...
Latest entries

France becomes first country to ban plastic cups and plates

[CNN/20 September] France became the first country to ban disposable cups and plates. All disposable tableware will be made from 50% biologically sourced materials that can be composted at home by 2020. France wanted to become a world leader in environmental and energy solutions. 4.73 billion cups are thrown away each year in the country...

Eco-farming can solve hunger, climate crises: experts

[7 April/Rural Life] Asian farmers were growing rice and rearing fish in the same fields to increase income and reduce weeds. Eco-farming techniques could deliver environmentally friendly food for a growing world whilst increasing farmers’ earnings and making farms more resilient to climate change, according to campaigners. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation Regional Programme...

Leading bunch of female students contribute to solving nitrogen leaching problem

[9 April/NZ Farmer] A group of women were helping to find answers on the challenge of reducing nitrate leaching. The PhD students joined a team of scientists from various other organisations to investigate which forages would best reduce nitrate losses. Kirsty Martin had been researching the response of pasture forages to nitrogen. She monitored the...

Woodville a hub for forestry

[9 April/The Country] On 25 March, the Woodville Log Rail Exchange unloaded 1,500 tonnes of logs off trucks from Manawatu and reloaded them onto railway wagons for the port of Napier. The Forest Owners Marketing Services operation harvests and transports logs from rural properties to a port for export. Executive Director for FOMS, Marcus Musson,...

Hope new govt programme stops spread of mycoplasma bovis

[9 April/The Country] Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister, Damien O’Connor announced an initiative in March to track cattle movements across the Cook Strait to prevent the spread of Mycoplasma bovis. Mr O’Connor said the previous government’s failure to enforce the National Animal Identification and Tracing Scheme promoted poor farming practices and compromised the response to the...

Te Mata Estate’s well-kept secret – vintage pickers

[8 April/The Country] Te Mata Estate employs more than 70 pickers with an average age of 70 years old. People from early retirement age to well into their 80’s hand pick the winery’s grapes. Te Mata Estate Founder, John Buck, said they were people who epitomise Hawke’s Bay quality and they were an essential feature...

Wanted: 14,329 more kiwifruit workers for Bay by 2030

[8 April/The Country] The kiwifruit industry needed to find 14,329 more workers in the next 12 years as the sector continued to boom. Zespri Head of Grower Relations, Dave Courtney, said the industry was on track to more than double sales by 2025. Zespri had employed more staff and now export to nearly 60 countries....

Iwi leader helps out with Hawke’s Bay’s apple-picking crisis – more residents urged to pitch in

[8 April/NZ Herald] Immigration officials were unable to process potential overseas workers faster, so residents in the Hawke’s Bay region were asked to help out with the apple picking crisis. Ngati Kahungunu Chairman, Ngahiwi Tomoana, spent three days picking apples in an attempt to get locals involved. Mr Tomoana said the apple industry was the...

Seed company will compensate

[7 April/Rural Life] PGG Wrightson sold seeds linked to the deaths of hundreds of dairy cows in 2014. Farmers were sold the wrong swede seed leading to the deaths. They said an investigation showed an error in the supply chain and the wrong line of seed had been processed. Human error led to 556 farmers...

Social connection ‘vital’ for retired farmers

 [10 April/The Country] Retirement can be a challenge for farmers with close ties to their land, but it can also open doors to new opportunities. Retirement was weighing heavily on farmers minds and two thirds of farmers aimed to hand over their farms in the next ten years as they approached 65, according to a...

Landcorp sells Jericho to Kiwi

[10 April/Farmers Weekly] The state-owned farmer trading as Pamu Farms, Landcorp Farming, has chosen a back-up bidder to sell its Jericho Station sheep and beef farm and Fiordland to after the preferred foreign buyer withdrew. They expected the new farmer to complete the transaction in early June according to spokesman, Simon King. A Chinese buyer...

Wool still seeking a purpose

[6 April/Farmers Weekly] Few people see value in crossbred wool fibre and producers see little merit investing in wool promotion as customers no longer value crossbred wool. The Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand noted that synthetic fibres had eliminated many of the advantages of crossbred wool. They saw the future for crossbred in deconstructing...

Synlait to double lactoferrin capacity following new supply agreement

[9 April/NZ Farmer] Synlait Milk secured a multi-year supply agreement that will underwrite an $18 million investment to double lactoferrin manufacturing capacity at its Dunsandel plant. The agreement was with a confidential customer. The Dunsandel expansion is expected to be completed by October. Synlait Managing Director and Executive Officer, John Penno, said lactoferrin was a...

Waikato Dairy awards winners announced

[10 April/The Country] First time entrants, Steve Gillies and Amy Johnson, were the winners of the 2018 Waikato Dairy Industry Awards as the region’s Share Farmer of the Year. Chelsea Smith also won the 2018 Waikato Dairy Manager of the Year, and Aaron Courage the 2018 Waikato Dairy Trainee of the Year. Steve and Amy...

Meet Fonterra’s next chief exec

[5 April/Farmers Weekly] Dairy farming leaders said communication skills and transparency were high among the qualities needed in Fonterra’s next chief executive. Federated Farmers National Dairy Section Vice-Chairman, Wayne Langford, said listening to stakeholders was a prerequisite for the new leader. Farm leaders welcomed the transition process and they were now at the short list...

Milk price risks have moderated

[10 April/Farmers Weekly] The BNZ Economics Research group have forecast a price of $6.10/kg for milksolids. Senior Economist, Doug Steel, said global dairy prices were expected to fall in 2018 but the fall was moderated with the strong Euro currency. Mr Steele assumed that milk powder prices would remain between US$2,900 to US$3,300 per tonne....

Meat exports reach milestone

[9 April/Rural Life] Both beef and lamb exports were expected to break $3 billion for the first time. Beef + Lamb New Zealand showed the milestone was predicted to be reached due to the forecast of a 14 percent increase in average export value. Forecast farm profits before tax were also forecast to be up...

Hewett gives tick but wants more

[5 April/Farmers Weekly] Silver Fern Farms CEO, Rob Hewett, said it achieved a profit turnaround but the business remained a work in progress. There will be a dividend payout for co-op shareholders and a throughput reward for throughput shareholders. They had abnormal one off charges of $10.2 million largely due to the closure of the...

Tests show beef sector so far free of serious disease affecting dairy animals

[1 April/NZ Herald] New Zealand’s beef export sector appeared to be free of Mycoplasma bovis. The Ministry for Primary Industries said there were no positive results from the testing of animals. An MPI spokeswoman said the risk of Mycoplasma bovis was different due to how beef is raised in New Zealand. She added that they...

Trio taking $5m bet on medicinal cannabis industry that doesn’t exist yet

[31 March/NZ Herald] Advertising Executive, Paul Manning, has left his role as the Managing Director of the ad agency 99 to take what is essentially a $5 million bet on an industry that doesn’t yet exist. He is joining cannabis start-up Helius Therapeutics. Mr Manning said all three men had given up salaries and high-paying...

Making our rivers swimmable comes at a cost of $217million a year

[29 March/Stuff] It was estimated to cost $217 million a year to make all our rivers swimmable by 2040, according to the Ministry for the Environment. A swimmable river has low levels of E. coli, which was used as an indicator of the risk to human health. Currently, 71.2 percent of rivers and lakes are...

Amazon targets French grocery market with Monoprix deal

[28 March/Reuters] Amazon had made further inroads into food retail in France as Casino’s upmarket Monoprix Chain became the first local retailed to sell groceries via Amazon. According to one source, Amazon and Casino were negotiating a deal in Brazil. The deal was to either partner or sell Casino’s appliance and electronics chain Via Varejo....

Syndex announces first of its kind Diversified Agri Fund

[27 March] Syndex, an innovative investment platform, announced the listing of its first diversified agriculture fund. The Natural Farm Food Limited Partnership Fund (NFFLP) was being released alongside Farm Venture which was a farm property and operations management business. The new funds aimed to raise $150 million.  Syndex Chief Executive, Ross Verry, said the Farm...

Forest rule puts the cart first

[2 April/Farmers Weekly] Neil Walker, a Taranaki farmer, hoped proposed changes would add clarity to the eligibility rules for forests joining the Emissions Trading Scheme. Confusion over criteria made it not only difficult to set aside land as ETS carbon sinks, but deprived owners of poor performing, inaccessible land of a valuable source of income....