Rural round-up

Dairy diversification opportunities in SE Asia:

Growing consumer demand in South East Asia offers plenty of opportunity for the New Zealand dairy industry to increase its exports of consumer-ready products into the region, a new report shows.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today released Opportunities for New Zealand Dairy Products in South East Asia,which assesses possible “build”, “buy” and “niche” strategies across seven dairy consumer product categories in six South East Asian countries.

New Zealand is this year commemorating 40 years of ties with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and ASEAN is New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner, Mr Joyce says. . . 

First Milk through New High-Efficiency Dryer at Pahiatua:

The new high-efficiency milk powder plant at Fonterra’s Pahiatua site has kicked into gear, processing its first milk from the Co-op’s lower North Island farmers.

Whole milk powder from the new plant will soon head to customers in more than 20 markets worldwide including South America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Fonterra Managing Director Global Operations Robert Spurway says the new dryer at Pahiatua is part of the Co-operative’s strategy to drive greater efficiency and value in its product mix. . . 

Profound ignorance or is that too kind – Gravedodger:

The chatterati fixation on the current lower prices for NZ Dairy exports reveals a need to find a process to turn the daily garbage produced by almost all those pontificating  into fertilizer, at least that would create something useful

Fonterra is a highly visible, high profile corporate in NZ, they suffer slings and arrows because of that fact and with so many included in the wide spread total scene as suppliers, process workers, tanker drivers, then add in the massive numbers involved in Dairy support farming, maintenance, construction and upgrading of farms, factories and freight down stream nearly everybody has some connection to someone involved.
That makes for many armchair experts, however their knowledge is based on more accurate information than much of the sheer guesswork and making stuff up that emanates from the aforementioned Chatterati

That however is the local scene and has so very little to do with what has been creating headlines for the media and attack lines for politicians both relying on the significant lack of understanding of that which goes to make the present trading price what it is. World dairy trade perhaps one of the most volatile and protected commodities that has storage and shelf life challenges. . . 

Russia repeals Fonterra import ban

Russia has lifted two-year-old import bans on products from some of Fonterra’s dairy factories.

In the midst of the 2013 botulism scare, which testing later revealed to be a false alarm, Russia temporarily revoked some of Fonterra’s export licences.

This week, the Russian veterinary service Rosselkhoznadzor reinstated the licences for 29 of Fonterra’s plants. . . .

Speech to the Seafood New Zealand 2015 conference – Nathan Guy:

Thank you for the invitation to open the 2015 New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference.

Your industry is vital to the economy, especially regional economies, directly providing 8000 jobs and earning more than $1.5 billion in export revenue each year.

This year’s conference has a great theme. “Sustainable Seafood – Adding Value” is a perfect summary of where the wider primary sector – not just seafood – needs to head, and matches with our priorities as a Government.

Sustainability and adding value are two of the keys to unlocking new growth in the primary sector.

Our ability to increase the amount of seafood we harvest is limited, so we need to find new and innovative ways to increase our earnings. . . 

Caution evident in rural sector:

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 79 fewer farm sales (-15.4%) for the three months ended July 2015 than for the three months ended July 2014. Overall, there were 433 farm sales in the three months ended July 2015, compared to 479 farm sales for the three months ended June 2015 (-9.6%), and 512 farm sales for the three months ended July 2014. 1,719 farms were sold in the year to July 2015, 10.6% fewer than were sold in the year to July 2014.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to July 2015 was $27,796 compared to $26,680 recorded for three months ended July 2014 (+4.2%). The median price per hectare fell 4.6% compared to June.

The REINZ All Farm Price Index fell 2.9% in the three months to July compared to the three months to June. Compared to July 2014 the REINZ All Farm Price Index rose by 3.9%. The REINZ All Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size, location and farming type, unlike the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors. . . 

 Alice Mabin: Riding the long paddock – Pat Deavoll:

It’s quite the journey … from high country shepherd to winner of a national business award.

But it’s a journey Alice Mabin completed this year when she won the 2015 Asia Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the self-publishing of her book, The Drover.

Mabin’s book tells the historic story of the Great Brinkworth Cattle Drive of 2013, when 18,000 head of cattle were moved 2500km down the “long paddock;” the stock routes of inland Queensland and New South Wales. . . .

New Zealand potatoes bound for Vietnam:

Fresh potatoes from New Zealand have been approved for export to Vietnam, providing a new export opportunity for growers.

Champak Mehta, chief executive of Potatoes New Zealand Inc, says the development, which follows four years’ of negotiations, would absorb excess potatoes in good growing seasons and provide better export prices for growers in less abundant years.

“We currently export about $100m of potatoes each year,“ says Mehta.  “Most of that is frozen, with about $15m worth – about 30,000 tonnes – exported as fresh produce.” . . .

Helping science students find their way:

A new mentoring programme that pairs plant science students with experienced researchers has been launched by the New Zealand Plant Protection Society (NZPPS).

The programme aims to teach students about the use of science in protecting New Zealand’s plant resources and give them a better understanding of the career options available in the sector.

“Ensuring the New Zealand environment is safe from the threat of invasive pests and diseases is vital, in protecting both our horticultural exports and for conservation of our native environment,” says Lisa Jamieson, NZPPs president. . . .

New Zealand National Party's photo.

12 Responses to Rural round-up

  1. farmerbraun says:

    Here is a little food for thought ; more especially the comments on what is happening on the “right”.
    I put the teaser bit about climate here because it always attracts interest from across the spectrum.

    The task of the climate change movement at the dawn of the twenty-first century was difficult but by no means impossible. Their ostensible goal was to create a consensus in the world’s industrial nations that would support the abandonment of fossil fuels and a transition to the less energy-intensive ways of living that renewable resources can provide.
    That would have required a good many well-off people to accept a decline in their standards of living, but that’s far from the insuperable obstacle so many people seem to think it must be. When Winston Churchill told the British people “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” his listeners roared their approval.
    For reasons that probably reach far into our evolutionary past, a call to shared sacrifice usually gets a rousing response, so long as the people who are being asked to sacrifice have reason to believe something worthwhile will come of it.

    That, however, was precisely what the climate change movement was unable to provide.
    It’s harsh but not, I think, unfair to describe the real agenda of the movement as the attempt to create a future in which the industrial world’s middle classes could keep on enjoying the benefits of their privileged lifestyle without wrecking the atmosphere in the process
    Of course it’s not exactly easy to convince everyone else in the world to put aside all their own aspirations for the sake of the already privileged, and so the spokespeople of the climate change movement generally didn’t talk about what they hoped to achieve. Instead, they fell into the most enduring bad habit of the left, and ranted instead about how awful the future would be if the rest of the world didn’t fall into line behind them.

    On the off chance that any of my readers harbor revolutionary ambitions, may I offer a piece of helpful advice? If you want people to follow your lead, you have to tell them where you intend to take them.
    Talking exclusively about what’s going to happen if they don’t follow you will not cut it. Rehashing the same set of talking points about how everyone’s going to die if the whole world doesn’t rally around you emphatically will not cut it.
    The place where you’re leading them can be difficult and dangerous, the way there can be full of struggle, sacrifice and suffering, and they’ll still flock to your banner—in fact, young men will respond to that kind of future more enthusiastically than to any other, especially if you can lighten the journey with beer and the occasional barbecue—but you have to be willing to talk about your destination.
    You also have to remember that the phrase “shared sacrifice” includes the word “shared,” and not expect everyone else to give up something so that you don’t have to.”

    I think the writer overdoes the climate thing, but he may have a point about ecology in some parts of the world.


  2. farmerbraun says:

    Dave , I’m interested in your thoughts on this one above.


  3. dave kennedy says:

    FB, I know others who enjoy reading the Arch Druid and find his words wise. To me the idea that people will have to give up their standard of living to address climate change is a misnomer. What does standard of living mean in reality and perhaps we should talking about our quality of life.

    Many of my friends are part of the Transition Towns movement that believes that change can only really occur at a local level. The idea is that communities become less wasteful and more self-sufficient through focussing on locally grown food and local energy solutions.

    I have really enjoyed traveling to different parts of the world (and you can make a dig regarding my carbon footprint if you like) and seeing how in France and other places there is not such a domination of supermarkets or franchises. There are more family businesses providing food and services to their local communities that add interest and variety in a way we lack in NZ.

    When I was in Zurich few people drove cars and trams and bicycles were the main form of transport. Using cars less may be a drop in standards for some people, but in Zurich it was seen as an improvement in lifestyle. The city centre was people friendly rather than car friendly and people liked spending time in it.

    As a country we probably need to reassess our culture, we don’t celebrate and embrace diversity, we silo it. We have lost our sense of being part of communities and have become individualists. More people claim they are lonely in NZ than most OECD countries. We don’t share the responsibility of mentoring our youth into become good adults and largely abandon many to their own devices, claiming they are the responsibility of their parents alone, even if those parents are failing in that role (the levels of unemployment and suicide in our youth are shocking). We shut our elderly away in resthomes staffed by low skilled, low waged workers and young families make up a large percentage of those living beneath the poverty line. It takes two working adults to maintain a household on the median income and when one person can’t work because they are looking after young kids, it is financially challenging.

    Living a low carbon lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean living a low quality of life, My youngest sister and husband live off the grid and have a lifestyle that would be the envy of many.


  4. farmerbraun says:

    On the other hand it might well be said that we live in Godzone, if we would only realise that.
    Most city (Auckland) people would say that I have a very low quality of life; never been out of the country ;a very old 60 sq. metre house ; rarely go to the town (5 km away) ; and on call 24/7/365.
    But I think that I have a very high standard of living.

    But that illustrates the problem of selling a future with low energy consumption; there is no escaping the fact that economies will run on energy for some time.

    Not so long ago all we wanted was a half acre section with a house complete with coal range /wetback, and no draughts, and a single income to supplement what could be grown in the garden.


  5. Paranormal says:

    How about the benefit to humanity of trade between nations? Breaking down barriers, building understanding and improving overall wealth with all the benefits of lifting people out of poverty we’ve seen for the past 200 years – all the really good outcomes that the Greens want to derail.


  6. dave kennedy says:

    FB & Paranormal, I think I have mentioned before in one of my cyclic arguments with the tenacious Mr E that a lot depends on how we view the purpose of our economy. Should we be the servants to our economy or should it be serving the people. In earlier economies communities would meet their own needs first and any extra stuff, surplus to requirements, would then become tradeable commodities. Communities were largely self sufficient but then anything useful that they couldn’t produce themselves could be acquired through trading their surplus. Trade is good but only if the benefits serve the majority of the people. Wages have been falling well behind increases in productivity for some time.

    We seem to have that turned around where the people become servants of the economy and many are earning low wages and we are sacrificing the environment to serve many corporate and overseas interests. 10% of New Zealanders now control 50% of our country’s wealth with the bottom 50% sharing 5% (and being told that they should be grateful to have a low waged job and a substandard home). When milk was our leading income earner overseas, New Zealanders were paying more for it than consumers in the countries we traded with.

    By shift many of our manufacturing industries off shore, resorting to an economy that relies on a low paid work force with limited skills and selling off our land to overseas interests we are limiting our potential and dumbing down our economic capability.

    We need to upskill our workforce, add more value to the commodities we produce and earn more with less. We should be ensuring that our economy is working for us rather than against us.


  7. farmerbraun says:

    Dave says:- “We seem to have that turned around where the people become servants of the economy “.

    I’ll suggest that to an overwhelming (Ha!) extent that is because of debt. NZ, and most of its inhabitants are slaves to debt ; everything else that you mention, in relation to what the NZ economy has become, follows from that undeniable fact.
    Our economy is focused on servicing debt , at household level , and on upwards.


  8. farmerbraun says:

    “Currently the world is calling out for naturally sustainable, renewably produced food. ”

    Correction ; the rich countries of the world do that. Poor people do not care. All milk powder is good .

    But as Jim Bolger observed about the prospects for NZ – “we will never get rich by selling to the poor”.

    So Smyth is quite correct ; our future lies in the direction of clean , green , and fresh.


  9. dave kennedy says:

    “I’ll suggest that to an overwhelming (Ha!) extent that is because of debt.”
    I would agree, we have also become slaves to debt and banks’ profits, this is a global phenomenon. Australian banks have become some of the most profitable in the world and their New Zealand business provides the highest return. The IRD managed to claw back almost $3 billion in avoided tax through legal action in 2009. One of the worst offenders was Westpac, the Government’s bank. There is also a class action in process to address unreasonable charges.

    I also agree that our trade future lies in meeting affluent markets, but I see our obligation to developing economies is to provide aid in helping them become self sufficient in food. Many poor in developing countries have no use for our milk anyway because many are lactose intolerant. Remember the milk biscuits we made to help the malnourished? most of the people it was made for couldn’t digest them.


  10. farmerbraun says:

    I think it is well established that aid is most effective when it takes the form of education for women. This has the unintended (?) consequence of reducing the birth rate.
    We seem to be on a collision course , at least as far as some factions are concerned. Apparently the education of women is something that must be stopped , by force (pour encourager les autres) in some notable cases.

    VSA is something that NZ has offered for many years. It may have become less popular in recent times ; possibly something to do with lack of cell phone coverage. 🙂


  11. dave kennedy says:

    “…aid is most effective when it takes the form of education for women.”
    Couldn’t agree more, also getting more women into management and governance positions. It isn’t that women are better at it than men but the fact that diverse input into decisions makes for more robust ones. Investment and financial institutions with more females on boards tend to do better, possibly because they combine risk with caution.

    As for VSA, you may be right 😉


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