Word of the day

18/11/2020

Wis – to know; to deem, imagine or suppose.


Sowell says

18/11/2020


Rural round-up

18/11/2020

Farmers care about animals says vet – Peter Burke:

A leading veterinarian says in his opinion farmers are doing a better job now than ever in regards to animal welfare.

Richard Hilson is the managing director of Vet Services Hawke’s Bay, which has a staff of 120 people including about three dozen vets. Hilson says he gets frustrated when he sees a lot of publicity given to people who treat animals badly. He says the reality is that these few individuals unfairly give farming a bad name.

In recent months there have been several high profile cases of animals being mistreated and people being prosecuted for failing to adequately feed cows to killing a lamb. 

Hilson says there is a greater awareness about animal welfare and often people who harm animals find that others who know them report them to the authorities. Hilson says these days, people realise that it’s not okay to mistreat animals. . .

Making wool great again :

A West Otago couple were so sick of seeing so much synthetic clothing around they decided to do something about it.

Murray and Julie Hellewell run sheep and beef on their hilly 610-hectare Waitahuna West property. The focus though is the sheep.

“The sheep are our money and the cattle are here just to look after the pastures and make it better for the sheep,” Murray says.

However, strong wool prices have been trending down for years. . . 

Gisborne couple tout their smooth ‘never dud’ avocados :

Cutting into avocados can be a lottery.

They hold so much promise. A twist of the halves can reveal uniform, creamy, olive-green flesh.

But sometimes they’re destined straight for the compost bin.

They can be stringy, have brown spots or be disappointingly watery.

However Gisborne growers, David and Judi Grey, who have been growing and testing avocados for 50 years, have developed new varieties they say are perfect, every time. . . 

New research project to provide insight into kiwifruit disease PSA:

A new research project that may help future-proof the kiwifruit industry has received a Fast Start Marsden grant.

The project, led by Dr Jay Jayaraman at Plant & Food Research and titled: How do new pathogen incursions evolve during host infection, will investigate the plant pathogen Psa (Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae), to understand how it evolves during infection of the kiwifruit plant.

Psa caused severe damage in New Zealand’s kiwifruit crops after its discovery in 2010. While the industry recovered, thanks to a new cultivar with improved disease tolerance, exploring alternative ways to manage the disease in future is still essential, particularly given the possibility that Psa could adapt to the new cultivar. . . 

Hi-tech hand-luggage scanner gives biosecurity a huge boost at Auckland Airport :

A new hi-tech baggage scanner at Auckland Airport will provide another crucial layer of protection against invasive pests and diseases, says Biosecurity New Zealand.

The computer tomography (CT) scanner made its first detection earlier this month – two bananas in a small carry-on bag arriving with a New Zealand family from Dubai.

Biosecurity New Zealand has been trialling the technology with selected flights since late October. Arriving passengers have their hand baggage scanned before they collect checked-in items from the airport carousels.

“We’re deliberately targeting baggage that travellers carry off the plane. It’s where we’re most likely to find food that could host fruit fly and other pests,” says Brett Hickman, Border Technology Manager, Biosecurity New Zealand. . . 

Ben Tombs from Peregrine Wines announced NZ Young Winemaker of the Year 2020:

Congratulations to Ben Tombs from Central Otago for becoming the 2020 Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker of the Year. Ben is Assistant Winemaker at Peregrine Wines in the Gibbston Valley and the first Young Winemaker from Central Otago to win the competition.

The other national finalists were Ben McNab from Matahiwi in Wairarapa and Peter Russell from Matua in Marlborough, who both took out sections of the competition, showing the very high calibre of contestants taking part. The judges were hugely impressed with their knowledge, passion and professionalism throughout the day.

The competition is tough and really stretches the finalists. Firstly, they had to prepare a presentation in advance about what the future wine consumer looks like and how New Zealand can maintain its competitive edge around the world. . . 

 


Yes Sir Humphrey

18/11/2020


Lower footprint higher profit

18/11/2020

DairyNZ shows how New Zealand dairy farmers are working to continue to improve their sustainability.


Will supermarket investigation look at govt role?

18/11/2020

Did the last government’s investigation into petrol prices achieve anything? Will this government’s investigation into supermarket prices achieve anything?:

Supermarkets will be subjected to a year-long “market study” by the Commerce Commission to see if they are offering consumers fair prices and their suppliers a fair deal.

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark announced the study into the $21 billion groceries industry would get under way this week, making good on a promise in Labour’s election manifesto.

New Zealand has only two big supermarket chain owners: Countdown, and Foodstuffs which owns the New World and Pak ’n Save brands.

“Groceries are one of our most regular expenses, so we want to make sure pricing is fair,” Clark said. . .

On the subject of fair, will the review look at the government’s in role in adding costs?

The Commerce Commission inquiry into supermarkets must look at the Government’s role in price increases, National’s Commerce and Consumer Affairs spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“During the lockdown the Government refused to allow local butchers or fruit and vege shops to open, effectively handing a duopoly to large supermarket chains.

Worse they didn’t learn from the mistake they made during the national lockdown and allow these businesses to operate safely during the Auckland lockdown.

Through its term the Government has continued to add more costs onto businesses through fuel tax increases and sharp increases to the minimum wage. It has now said it will hike costs on businesses by doubling sick leave, imposing 1970s-style employment laws and adding another public holiday at a cost to Kiwi businesses of $2.8b per year.

“These cost increases added by the Government will inevitably mean fewer jobs and higher prices for consumers.

“About $2.8 billion of extra costs are about to be served onto businesses and this will flow through to higher prices to consumers.

These costs imposed by the government will put upward pressure on the price of goods and services at every link in the food chain.

We support consumers paying a fair price for their groceries, and the Government has a role to play in this.

“Rather than waiting a year for the inquiry, the Government can do something to help consumers and every single business in New Zealand now by finding ways to reduce costs on them, not piling more on.

“Lowering costs to businesses will lead to greater affordability for consumers, that’s where the Government’s focus should be.”

The review probably won’t look at the anti-competitive behaviour enabled by the RMA, and the planning and building regulations which add delays and costs to new businesses setting up and existing ones expanding.

Then there’s GST. Our system is simple, and it should not be made more complex by making food exempt, but the tax does add 15% to every grocery bill.

However, there is one area over which the government has direct control which ought to change but it is one the review is unlikely to look at – the hardline environmental policies that add costs and reduce production.

If all the factors over which the government has control are going to be overlooked or ignored, regardless of what the review finds, just like the petrol price investigation, it will achieve nothing that makes a difference to prices.

 


%d bloggers like this: