Group to prioritise staff shortages – Yvonne O’Hara:
Addressing the shortage of primary sector staff in Southland will be one of the key roles for the new Southern Primary Sector Workforce Action Group (SPSWAG) co-ordinator.
The job will include matching jobseekers with employers in addition to establishing a regionally focused database of jobs and implementing a pastoral support programme.
Federated Farmers’ Southland provincial vice-president Bernadette Hunt said the group, which was launched in June last year, had received several “very good quality applications” for the one-year-contract position and they were now deciding on a shortlist of applicants to interview. . .
Covid-19 restrictions mean there’s no shortage of shearers at the moment, but Sir David Fagan sees trouble ahead for the industry.
The reason there were plenty of Kiwi shearers about right now was that they can’t travel anywhere, the world champion told The Country’s Jamie Mackay.
“We’re not getting New Zealanders going back to Australia for the season. So they’re here now shearing. I guess the winter time shearing’s pretty good for the workforce.” . .
Even though Nicola Blowey’s parents sold their dairy farm in Devon just before she was born, farming has remained in her veins. After studying agriculture in the UK she came to South Canterbury to work on a dairy farm.
It was meant to be for 12 months but four years on she’s still here and rising up the industry ranks. Last year the 26-year-old won the Dairy Trainee of the Year title in the NZ Dairy Industry Awards. She then took up a farm manager position on one of Kieran and Leonie Guiney’s dairy farms near Fairlie.
Nicola now has three staff and a large herd of KiwiCross cows to look after. She’s loving the increased responsibility. . .
Velvet trumps venison – Sally Rae:
It is a tale of two halves in the deer industry as venison schedule prices drop to their lowest level in more than a decade while consumer demand for velvet remains robust.
ANZ’s latest Agri Focus report said venison markets were “extremely challenging”; venison was highly exposed to the European restaurant trade and the industry was scrambling to move more products into the retail space to reduce reliance on the food service sector.
Farmgate prices for deer might have “ticked up a tad” recently but prices had not been at such low levels for more than a decade.
“It is a real blow for an industry that was doing so well and had appeared to have moved away from the volatile cycles of boom and bust that have long plagued the industry,” the report said. . .
A2 Milk will soon try its hand at infant formula making if it is successful in buying the debt-laden Mataura Valley Milk, but its supplier – Synlait Milk – has nothing to fear.
The dual-listed a2 Milk is in talks to buy three-quarters of the China-owned Mataura Valley Milk in Southland for $270 million.
A2 Milk has made a non-binding indicative offer to acquire a 75.1 per cent interest in Mataura Valley, based on an enterprise value of about $385m. . .
Vegans should avoid soya milk if they want to save the planet, and even consider drinking cows’ milk instead, a sustainability charity has said.
The Sustainable Food Trust said that soya beans are associated with rainforest destruction, and that soya meal is also used in animal food, but that the amounts required to create soya milk meant that cow’s milk is healthier for the planet.
The charity wrote: “Vegans and others who buy milk substitutes made from soya are also harming the planet. . .