Rural round-up

Commission updates Primary Production select committee on interest rate swaps investigation:

Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry has today provided an update to the Primary Production select committee on the Commission’s progress in its interest rate swaps investigation.

In August 2012 the Commission began enquiring into whether interest rate swaps, a financial derivative product, were misleadingly marketed from 2005 onwards. The Commission has received 42 complaints since concerns were raised in the media.

“The investigation is at an early stage, but we are giving the issues full consideration. To date we have spent more than 1,000 staff hours on the investigation,” Dr Berry said.

The Commission is primarily considering whether the swaps were marketed in ways that may have misled customers as to their true risk, nature and suitability. . .

Minister welcomes King Salmon report:

The final report of the Board of Inquiry on New Zealand King Salmon’s application to develop new marine farms in the Marlborough Sounds was welcomed today by Minister of Conservation Dr Nick Smith.

“The Board has undertaken a thorough process being mindful of the need for New Zealand to conserve its natural resources with the need to grow exports, jobs and wealth,” Dr Smith says.

“The substantive decisions in the final report are consistent with the draft released last year, with the Board approving four new farms. These farms will occupy an area of just six hectares of surface water space out of a total of about 100,000 hectares in the Marlborough Sounds. They will enable King Salmon to grow its production from 7,500 to 15,000 tonnes per year, employ another 170 people and boost its annual export earnings by an extra $60m. . .

Good For Marlborough, Good For New Zealand:

The EPA Board of Inquiry’s (BOI) final determination will enable New Zealand King Salmon to deliver long-term benefits to the region, the community and the national economy.

Aquaculture New Zealand Chairman Peter Vitasovich said the four new salmon farms approved in the decision would create permanent full-time jobs and provide significant downstream benefits for associated industries while generating export earnings through the sustainable production of premium seafood.

“Four new working salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds will provide valuable employment opportunities within the community, while also attracting skilled labour to the region, to work across the spectrum of production – from farming to processing to marketing and business roles,” Mr Vitasovich said. . .

Final decision on King Salmon released by EPA

The EPA’s Board of Inquiry has issued its final decision on the King Salmon applications today, approving four out of nine salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds.

“An earlier draft decision announced that 5 of the 9 nine sites would be refused consent and approvals given for 4 sites. This final decision doesn’t change anything in that respect,” said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.

“We acknowledge that the Board has declined consent for 5 sites but it has not gone far enough.

“The areas the industrial scale consented farms are to be located in are highly natural and in prominent locations in the iconic and internationally renowned Marlborough Sounds. . .

Fonterra And A-Ware Food Group Confirm European Partnership:

New Zealand-based Fonterra and Netherlands-based A-ware Food Group have given the green light to develop a new cheese plant and dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen in the north of the Netherlands.

Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings and A-ware Food Group CEO Jan Anker have today confirmed the partnership would proceed and signed a final agreement.

Under the agreement a greenfields site will be developed where A-ware will operate a cheese plant and Fonterra will operate a dairy ingredients plant alongside it. Cheese will be produced for A-ware’s customers in Europe and the whey and lactose produced will be processed into premium nutrition dairy ingredients for Fonterra’s global customer base. . .

Wools Of New Zealand Closes Capital Raise:

Wools of New Zealand has closed its capital raise with more than 700 applications for shares totalling approximately $6 million, representing approximately 14.5 million kilograms of annual strong wool production and a five-year marketing commitment.

As a 100% grower owned company, Wools of New Zealand is now positioned to drive its commercial, market-pull strategy, for the benefit of its shareholders.

Mark Shadbolt, chairman of Wools of New Zealand, said there had been a lot of late interest right up to the close of the offer. . .

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