The rise of China’s agriculture – Keith Woodford:
Although it leaves many New Zealanders uncomfortable, there is a stark reality that the future of New Zealand’s agricultural industries, and hence the overall economy, is highly dependent on China. The reason is very simple: there is no-one else in the world who needs and wants our agricultural products at the levels we produce those products.
If action were driven by logic, then we would spend a lot of effort in trying to understand China. We would want to understand Chinese consumers, we would want to understand Chinese government policy towards agriculture, and we would want to understand what is happening on the ground in rural China.
We do know something about all of these things, but we don’t know enough. In particular, we know very little about what is happening within Chinese agriculture itself.
Beef+Lamb NZ’s new red meat marketing strategy results from a step-up in collaboration by the wider red meat sector, says Meat Industry Association chief executive Tim Ritchie.
And the new approach is not without valuable precedent. The refocused strategy, with BLNZ directing promotional efforts to new markets, is similar to decades ago when North American and Japanese markets were targeted after Britain joined the European Union (then known as the Common Market), Ritchie says. . .
A new dairy research and demonstration farm being developed in Southland will ensure the local dairy sector continually has access to the latest science and innovation, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says.
The Southern Dairy Hub is being funded by AgResearch, DairyNZ and the Southern Dairy Development Trust, which represents the region’s dairy farmers.
The investment recognises the scale and importance of dairying in the Southern region and aims to address the unique significant localised issues faced by Southland dairy farmers. . .
One week out from an important vote for New Zealand’s biggest company, Fonterra Chairman John Wilson is urging farmers to back changes to the cooperative’s governance and representation.
This would mean Fonterra can stay focussed on making the most from farmers’ milk and growing farmers’ wealth, he says.
“Over the past eight months there has been a lot of good discussion on the unique governance structure of the cooperative,” Wilson says. . .
Access to staples of the New Zealand food basket, such as carrots, potatoes, onions and leafy greens, must be a consideration on the table in urban planning, says Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive Mike Chapman.
Horticulture New Zealand has made a submission on the Productivity Commission’s draft report Better Urban Planning.
The draft report suggests different ways of delivering urban planning in New Zealand to meet changing demands. . .
International butchery at its best – Rod Slater:
I headed over to Australia last month with our national butchery team, The Pure South Sharp Blacks, and four of our most talented young butchers. Our mission: To compete in the World Butchers’ Challenge – a three hour cutting test match between four nations; Australia, France, the UK and New Zealand.
The curtainraiser was an incredible showdown between an international group of young butchers and butcher apprentices.
The event unfolded with a week touring the best butcher shops in both Sydney and the Gold Coast and as always upon visiting Australia, our delegation was truly impressed by what was on offer. . .
Farm girl to do list: wake up, kick butt, repeat.