MPs break ranks on TPP

MPs break ranks on TPP

[28 January/ NZ Herald] Labour MP’s, Phil Goff and David Shearer have declared their support for the Trans Pacific Partnership, and could cross the floor of parliament to vote in favour of the deal. Former Labour Prime Minister, Helen Clark has also backed the deal. Labour has joined the campaign...
Next Lincoln Uni head appointed

Next Lincoln Uni head appointed

 [1 February/ NZ Farmer Weekly] Lincoln University has appointed University of Central Lancashire Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robin Pollard as its new vice-chancellor. Lincoln University Chancellor, Tom Lambie said the appointment was made after an international search, and added that Mr Pollard will begin his position in March. Mr Pollard said...
Fonterra to review governance structure

Fonterra to review governance structure

 [1 February/ NZ Herald] Fonterra Co-operative Group has started a review on whether a board made up largely of farmers has the correct skill set to drive a global business, and whether milk suppliers in other countries should be allowed to hold shares in the co-operative. The document to be...
Countdown bombarded with messages to stop stocking caged eggs

Countdown bombarded with messages to stop stocking caged eggs

[27 January/ NZ Herald] Countdown has been bombarded with messages from consumers for it to stop stocking caged eggs. Animal rights group, SAFE, encouraged consumers to post the messages after Countdown’s Australian owner, Woolworths pledged to go fully free range in its Australian stores. Countdown said that while it had...
BoP orchards listed on hazardous activity register over pesticides

BoP orchards listed on hazardous activity register over pesticides

 [27 January/ Radio NZ Rural] Orchards in the Bay of Plenty are to be listed on the regional council’s Hazardous Activity and Industries register, due to the regular use of pesticides. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council said the register will help identify potentially contaminated land if owners want to...
We need to hit the start line running, as the world gathers to declare the start of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

We need to hit the start line running, as the world gathers to declare the start of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

We need to hit the start line running, as the world gathers to declare the start of the Fourth Industrial Revolution The year is only two weeks old, but it already looks like 2016 will follow 1784, 1870 and 1969 into the annals of economic history as a year marking...
Latest entries

OIO approves $47m dairy farm sale

[1 February/ Radio NZ Rural] The Overseas Investment Office has approved the sale of five neighbouring Southland dairy farms, totalling 1,206 hectares, to Dairy Farms NZ Limited for around $47 million. Dairy Farms NZ Limited is 55 percent owned by a Chicago-based company, 5 percent owned by overseas investors and the rest by New Zealand...

Industry lobbyists set out benefits of trade deal in letter to John Key

[2 February/ NZ Herald] Business and industry group leaders have sent an open letter to Prime Minister, John Key showing their support for the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement. The letter said the agreement will give New Zealand better access to globally significant markets, allowing the country to build on the $27 billion worth...

TPP tariff cuts add up for agri-sector: Forsyth Barr

[30 January/ Otago Daily Times] Forsyth Barr Broker, Peter Young said New Zealand’s agricultural exporters would benefit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. According to Forsyth Barr’s Farm to Fridge report, the deal would result in tariff reductions of $262 million and provide limited quota access to key dairy markets. The report said that the top-end...

Fonterra receives low ranking for animal welfare

[29 January/ Radio NZ Rural] Fonterra has received a low rating for animal welfare standards and reporting in the recent Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare report. Fonterra was ranked in tier four, with one being the highest performing, and is behind groups such as Marks and Spencer, McDonalds, Sainsbury and Unilever. World Animal Protection...

Taxing backpackers will hit jobs and tourism, says farming group

[1 February/ The Age] The federal government wants to implement higher income-tax bills for backpackers and people on working holidays in Australia. New rules announced in last year’s federal budget will scrap the tax-free threshold of AUD 20,000 from July. Under the new rules, they will have to pay 32.5 percent of their income in...

Farmers and co-ops fearful of EU trade talks with Latin American trade bloc Mercosur

[31 January/ Irish Examiner] Copa and Cogeca Working Party Beef and Veal Chairman, Jean Pierre Fleury claimed that ongoing bilateral free trade negotiations with the Mercosur trade bloc could have an adverse impact on the beef industry. Mr Fleury said there are serious problems with the market and the sector is fragile. Irish Farmers Association...

FAIRR’s Alan Briefel: time to face up to factory farming

[31 January/ Agri Investor] Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return Executive Director, Alan Briefel said the long-term risks of intensive farming of animals are becoming a sustainability issue for investors. Mr Briefel said there has been a dramatic shift to large scale, highly mechanised systems of meat production over the past few decades, and that...

UK dairy farmers to march on Downing St

[31 January/ The Guardian] British dairy farmers are planning to march on Downing Street to protest about the sharp fall in the price they receive for milk. The National Farmers Union said dairy producers were facing a state of emergency after the price they received for milk fell by around 25 percent in one year....

Upper Midwest farmers transitioning to organic can get aid

[30 January/ NZ Herald] The state governments of North Dakota and Minnesota have been helping farmers with the three-year transition from traditional to organic production. Both states have programmes which will assist farmers with transition costs, with Minnesota farmers being able to claim up to USD 750 annually, while North Dakota farmers can claim up...

Accelerate agricultural supply-side reform

[28 January/ China Daily] Supply-side reform was the main theme of China’s Central Document on Agriculture this year. Chinese President, Xi Jinping again repeated that the country should properly expand its demand, enhance structural reform of its supply systems, improve the quality and efficiency of its agricultural supply system and improve its economic growth sustainably....

Man charged with seed corn theft conspiracy pleads guilty

 [28 January/ NZ Herald] A Chinese man living in the United States with permanent residency admitted that he participated in a conspiracy to steal corn seeds from companies in the United States. Mr Hailong was arrested in 2013 and has now entered a plea agreement with federal prosecutors admitting that he conspired to steal trade...

Farmers Edge raises C$58m to expand internationally

[27 January/ Agri Investor] Canadian agri-data company, Farmers Edge has raised CAD 58 million from existing investors to fund further expansion efforts, as well as expanding the company’s data and agriculture science teams. The company has planned to open its first office in Russia this year, following the recent expansion into Brazil, Australia and the...

Food industry makes first moves in transformation to going antibiotic-free

[27 January/ Irish Examiner] McDonalds has committed to stop using antibiotics important to human medicine in chicken production for its American restaurants by March 2017. Subway aims to serve chicken raised without antibiotics across the United States by next March, with antibiotic-free turkey, beef and pork to be served by 2025. Institute of Global Food...

State to set up its own ‘Silicon Valley of food’

[27 January/ The Advertiser] South Australia’s food industry has unveiled an ambitious plan to develop a new food innovation centre. The South Australian Food Innovation Centre is expected to house at least 100 food industry researchers and experts, many from existing organisations, within a year. The centre will be a collaboration between various groups, helping...

GreenWave ocean farming model scoops $100,000 sustainability prize

[26 January/ The Guardian] GreenWave Executive Director, Bren Smith has won the 2015 Fuller Challenge with a $100,000 prize for his 3D ocean farming model, designed to address overfishing, mitigate climate change, restore marine ecosystems and provide jobs for fishermen. The GreenWave model is a vertical ocean farming system that only grows restorative crops such...

Fewer potatoes, more ‘superfoods’ could be perfect recipe for local agriculture

[19 January/ The Jerusalem Post] According to a report by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, Israel no longer has an edge exporting standard fruits and vegetables, and should focus on the specialty food market. The report showed a decrease in revenue from exporting standard items such as potatoes and tomatoes, but indicated an...

Drought-resistant pasture being investigated

[26 January/ Radio NZ News] Scientists have identified a ryegrass plant that recovers from drought quicker than others, but it may be 10 years before the plant becomes available for. Dairy NZ Scientist, David Chapman said the ryegrass plants were collected from dairy farms in Waikato in 2011. Dr Chapman explained that the plants were...

Drop in forestry workers deaths

[1 February/ Radio NZ Rural] According to WorkSafe New Zealand data, there has been a significant decrease in workplace deaths and injuries. After the death of 10 forestry workers in 2014, the industry was overhauled following an investigation into its appalling accident record. This reduced the number of deaths to three in 2015, while the...

Strong supply and lowering demand see fertiliser prices fall

[1 February/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Both Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Ravensdown have announced price cuts for all of their products. Urea prices have dropped by $50 to $525 a tonne, the lowest price since 2007. Diammonium phosphate has been reduced by $25 per tonne, granular ammonium sulphate by $15, and potash by $10. Ballance Chief...

Tailored wine sales

 [1 February/ Rural News] A new form of wine sales has hit the market. WineFriend is New Zealand’s first and only online wine retailer to deliver cases of wine that match an individual’s preferences to their door. WineFriend uses an eight question taste survey to gain information about each customer’s preferences. It then creates a...

Deer velvet industry prospering from diversification

[31 January/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Elk and Wapiti Society of New Zealand President, David Lawrence said the New Zealand deer velvet industry is very strong and the future for deer farmers is looking even brighter. Mr Lawrence said New Zealand deer velvet was acknowledged around the world as a premier product. Mr Lawrence added...

Ewe prices rocket

 [29 January/ NZ Farmer Weekly] Farmers in the North Island are having to pay high prices for quality ewes, while returns from lamb and mutton are falling. AgriHQ Senior Analyst, Rachel Agnew said prices for ewes have increased significantly over the past two weeks. Ms Agnew added that it is great for those with ewes...

New Beef + Lamb NZ head announced

[28 January/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Beef + Lamb New Zealand has appointed Ospri Group Farm Operations General Manager, Sam McIvor as its new chief executive. Mr McIvor has previously been CEO of both Preston Corp Ltd and New Zealand Pork. As well as being the new head of Beef + Lamb, Mr McIvor will...

Synlait cuts milk price forecast

[1 February/ NZ Herald] Synlait Milk has reduced its farmgate milk price forecast from $5 to $4.20 per kilogram of milksolids. Synlait said low international prices were behind the move. Synlait Milk Managing Director, John Penno said things were becoming harder for dairy farmers after two years of unsustainably low milk prices. Mr Penno said...