365 days of gratitude

December 19, 2018

Today I’m grateful for other people’s creativity for instance this which I found at Books Rock My World on Facebook:

 

 

 

 


Word of the day

December 19, 2018

Cosmognosis – the natural instinct that tells a creature when to migrate; the imaginary ‘general knowledge’ or instinct to which the migrations of birds have been attributed.


Maggie muses

December 19, 2018


Rural round-up

December 19, 2018

Genetic expert loves being back on the farm – Sally Rae:

Farming is in Jo Scott’s genes. She is the fifth-generation member of the Scott family to be involved in farming and is combining that with her day job,  specialising in animal genetics.

Ms Scott (27) is technical services manager for the New Zealand arm of global animal health company Zoetis.

Although she works out of  the Dunedin office, she lives in North Otago, where both sides of her family have farmed for many years.

After leaving Waitaki Girls’ High School, Ms Scott headed to Massey University to earn  a science degree, with a double major in agriculture and animal science. . . 

NZ Yarn welcomes Hemp New Zealand as new strategic partner:

NZ Yarn Ltd, a world-leading producer of New Zealand wool yarns for the global soft flooring market, is pleased to announce a major new strategic shareholder and business partner: Hemp New Zealand Ltd.

Under the agreement, Hemp New Zealand has acquired a 15% interest in NZ Yarn, with the objective of installing a hemp fibre processing facility within the NZ Yarn factory in Burnside, Christchurch.

The new partnership will be a catalyst for market-leading innovations in hemp fibre processing, as well as the development of new consumer products made from hemp yarn, wool & hemp yarn blends and non-woven wool and hemp products. . . 

Kiwifruit Industry’s big push for Seasonal Labour:

Labour shortage likely for BOP kiwifruit industry in 2019 – Kiwifruit Industry launches attraction campaign for pickers and packers

New Labour Coordinator role for BOP kiwifruit industry formed with support from the Provincial Growth Fund, the Ministry of Social Development and New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers

In 2018 the Bay of Plenty kiwifruit industry experienced a severe labour shortage at harvest with 1,200 vacancies unable to be filled. The kiwifruit industry considers that another labour shortage for the Bay of Plenty is likely in 2019. To mitigate the potential shortage, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc. (NZKGI) is employing a labour coordinator and have launched an attraction campaign to increase seasonal labour numbers. . . 

Waikato dairy farmers on board to supply Synlait:

Synlait  is delighted to have signed up its first Waikato dairy farmers who will supply Synlait Pokeno for the 2019/2020 season.

“Our milk procurement team has received a very warm welcome and a positive response from Waikato dairy farmers and rural professionals. We’re thrilled to have signed up our first group of milk suppliers,” says Leon Clement, CEO.

“Synlait’s Lead With Pride™ programme has been well received by farmers who want to be rewarded for the work they do in terms of environment, animal health and welfare, milk quality and social responsibility” he says. . . 

NZ fertiliser spreading scheme gains international recognition:

Spreadmark, New Zealand’s only fertiliser spreading certification scheme, has gained international recognition from the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand, JAS-ANZ.

JAS-ANZ recognition means that farmers and growers who use Spreadmark trained and registered fertiliser spreaders can now be absolutely assured that all aspects of the programme are robust and reliable. It provides extra reassurance to regional councils and other organisations who require contractors to be Spreadmark certified. It also adds value to the quality assurance programmes (which specify that fertiliser must be spread by a Spreadmark certified spreader), offered to farmers and growers by food processing companies, in return for higher prices for their products. . . 

Entries Open for the 2019 NZ Champion of Cheese Awards:

The New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA) is calling for entries for the revitalised NZ Champions of Cheese Awards which will be judged in February 2019.

The Specialist Cheesemakers Association has been running the awards since 2003 and will judge the 16th annual NZ Champions of Cheese Awards at the AUT School of Hospitality and Tourism on Sunday 24 February 2019. Cheesemakers vying for one of the 23 cheese trophies must complete their online entries by Friday 8 February 2019. . . 

A very cherry Christmas for Air New Zealand Cargo:

Air New Zealand is helping Kiwi exporters to serve up Christmas dinner to people around the world this holiday season.

The airline will work with meat processors and exporters from around the country to move more than 700 tonnes of lamb to the United Kingdom in the lead up to Christmas. More than 1000 tonnes of Central Otago cherries will also be sent to Asia and the United States over the summer season – that’s more than 65 million individual cherries! . . 

South Island honey in demand:

The sweet taste of honey has made it a treat for over 8000 years – but now there’s more.

Growing awareness of its health benefits and the appeal of its natural origins has meant South Island honey producers are riding a wave of unprecedented overseas demand.

Taylor Pass Honey, one of the south’s largest producers, has doubled production over the past two years and the remote wilderness areas they source their honey from has been a compelling selling point for overseas markets, marketing manager Jo Bray says. . . 


Dairy’s $7.8b contribution to NZ GDP

December 19, 2018

A report from the NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) shows the positive contribution dairy makes to New Zealand:

Dairy contributes $7.8 billion to New Zealand’s GDP…

* The dairy sector contributes $7.8 billion (3.5%) to New Zealand’s total GDP.
* This comprises dairy farming ($5.96 billion) and dairy processing ($1.88 billion).

…and remains New Zealand’s largest export sector

* Despite the recent drop in global dairy prices, dairy remains New Zealand’s largest goods export sector, at $13.6 billion in the year to March 2016. Over the past five years, average export revenue has been $14.4 billion.
* It accounts for more than one in four goods export dollars coming into New Zealand (29% in 2016, down from a high of 35% in 2014).
* Dairy export growth has averaged 7.2% per year over the past 26 years.
* The dairy sector exports twice as much as the meat sector, almost four times as much as the wood and wood products sector and nine times as much as the wine sector. It generates almost four times as much export revenue as export education.

Dairy provides jobs and incomes for over 40,000 workers…


* The dairy sector employs over 40,000 workers, with 27,500 on farm and a further 13,000 in dairy processing.
* Dairy employment has grown more than twice as fast as total employment, at an average of 3.7% per year since 2000.
* It has created jobs at a faster rate than the rest of the economy in all but 5 territorial authorities across New Zealand.
* The sector paid $2.4 billion in wages to dairy farming and processing workers in 2016.
* The dairy farming sector has the second highest average wage ($46,640) in the wider farming sector, behind deer farming ($48,320).
* The average dairy processing wage is $72,910, well above all other forms of food product manufacturing. The average food manufacturing wage is $58,200.

…and plays a crucial role in supporting regional economic development

* Dairy provides over 1 in 5 jobs in three territorial authority economies (Waimate, Otorohanga, Southland); and over 1 in 10 in a further eight (Matamata-Piako, South Taranaki, Hauraki, Waipa, South Waikato, Clutha and Kaipara).                       

* The dairy sector accounts for 14.8% of Southland’s economy, 11.5% of the West Coast economy, 10.9% of the Waikato economy, 8.0% of Taranaki’s economy and 6.0% of Northland’s economy.

Dairy’s impacts flow well beyond the farm gate and processing plant

* Dairy farming supports a range of supplying industries: in 2016 farmers spent $711 million on fertilisers and agro chemicals, $393 million on forage crops and bought over $190 million of agricultural equipment.
* Farmers also spent $914 million on agricultural services, $432 million on financial services and $197 million on accounting and tax services.
* The dairy farming sector provides around $400 million of intermediates to the meat processing sector.
* As well as taking farmers’ raw milk, the dairy processing sector also spends significant amounts on packaging ($288 million in 2016), hired equipment ($199 million) and plastics ($174 million).
*  DairyNZ estimates that farmers have spent over $1 billion in recent years on environmental management systems such as effluent systems, riparian plating and retiring sensitive land, or about $90,000 per dairy farm.
* The processing sector has also made substantial capital investments in the past four years, adding over $2 billion to New Zealand’s capital stock.

 

Further global or regional trade liberalisation would enhance the sector’s ability to support the government’s ‘Export Double’ target

* If all global dairy tariffs were eliminated, and New Zealand’s milk production is held constant, the value of New Zealand’s dairy exports would increase by $1.3 billion, generating a $1.03 billion increase in New Zealand’s nominal GDP.

Preventing a retreat to protectionism has considerable value to the New Zealand economy too

* In a separate modelling scenario, if global dairy tariffs increased from their average applied rate to their average bound rate, New Zealand’s dairy exports would fall by $2.3 billion, leading to a $1.66 billion fall in New Zealand’s nominal GDP.
* This provides an indication of the value of historical dairy tariff reductions due to multilateral, plurilateral and bilateral trade negotiations, or the benefits of preventing any backsliding towards trade protectionism.

Those last two points show the value of free trade and the cost of protection.

This report doesn’t mention on-farm investment nor does it note the social impact of dairying.

There were four houses on our farm and our two immediate neighbours’ before we converted to dairying. There are now 15 and the 16th will be built early next year.

Some of the people in the houses are young travellers. Others are a bit older with families. All contribute to the economic and social fabric of the district.

The environmental impact of dairying isn’t mentioned in the report either.

There is no doubt intensification has had a detrimental affect on water quality and the vast majority of farmers, with the encouragement from DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, regional councils, and irrigation and dairy companies are now doing everything they can to remedy that.

Water quality didn’t deteriorate overnight and it will take time to improve it.  A few poor performers are still letting everyone down but it is unfair to tar the whole industry with their dirty brush.

The NZIER report shows the positive impact dairy makes and it is that $7.8 billion contribution to GDP that helps pay for the first world services and infrastructure we need.

Environmental concerns can not  be ignored but any action taken to solve problems must take into account the economic and social impact or it will sabotage the government’s wellbeing goals and we will all pay the price of a much lower standard of living.


Wellbeing needs economic foundation

December 19, 2018

The government plans to produce a wellbeing budget next year.

The NZ Herald points out that economic growth is the foundation needed for wellbeing:

. . .A “wellbeing” approach to budgeting has been under study by the Treasury for many years but clearly did not excite the previous Government. It does excite this one. In essence it means economic growth will not be the most important measure of the 2019 budget, it will be just one of several measures of national progress. Of equal importance will be indicators such as child poverty reduction, inequality and climate change.

Delivering this philosophy last Thursday in its Budget Policy Statement 2019, the Treasury said, “Recent history shows that too narrow a focus on economic growth can be associated with negative outcomes such as growing income inequality and economic degradation.” That may be so but it is important that pursuit of social and environmental goals does not stop economic growth.

The fact is, economic growth is the engine that makes all other policies possible. Growth gives business the confidence to invest and expand and employ more people whose earnings create more demand for goods and services and whose taxes have to pay for most of the “wellbeing” the Government wants to provide.

It is only in good times that a government has the luxury to pretend all these elements of wellbeing are equally important. If its policies cause the economy to turn sour it will soon be struggling to deliver its “wellbeings”. If it overspends and puts the budget back in deficit and too much labour regulation discourages employment, a falling exchange rate will soon cause prices of imported goods to rise, depressing consumption, causing widespread lay offs, declining tax revenue and rising welfare costs.

In that event, improvements in other “wellbeing” figures will be cold comfort.

Of course, economic growth alone is not the goal of good government but without it, all the other goals would elude us.

The world could bring us economic problems enough next year without us losing our focus on sustaining economic growth.

It’s no coincidence that wealthier nations have better standards of living with better educated and healthier people. They also generally have cleaner water and higher environmental standards.

National is often mistakenly characterised as focusing on the economy rather than people. The reason for focusing on the environment is because a strong and growing economy is the only way to provide sustainable services and infrastructure for people.

If government policies don’t only not put a hand brake on economic growth but actively enable growth, its determination to improve wellbeing will be nothing but hot air.


Quote of the day

December 19, 2018

Above the titles of wife and mother, which, although dear, are transitory and accidental, there is the title human being, which precedes and out-ranks every other. – Mary Livermore who was born on this day in 1820.


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