Aposematism – the advertising by an animal to potential predators that it is not worth attacking or eating; the use of a signal and especially a visual signal of conspicuous markings or bright colors by an animal to warn predators that it is toxic or distasteful; the biological means by which a dangerous, or noxious, organism advertises its dangerous nature to a potential predator.
Reduced foreign Labour in New Zealand fields failed experiment – Kate MacNamara:
It’s time to call New Zealand’s experiment in reduced foreign labour this harvest season a failure.
One of the country’s largest berry farmers has abandoned growing after a season of chronic labour shortage. Apple growers say they’re so shorthanded that exports will drop some 14 per cent this year, a loss of $95-$100 million. The grape harvest has come off with the help of more machinery, a tradeoff that’s likely to result in less premium wine. And growers estimate they’re still 1400 hires shy of the 4000 workers needed for grape cane pruning in Marlborough next month, the country’s most valuable wine region.
Perhaps the Government’s original idea sounded good in theory: redeploy the rump of seasonal foreign workers who remained stranded in New Zealand from the previous season, update working conditions for the few remaining backpackers, and make up the rest of the workforce from local Kiwis.
But if you add a few numbers, that calculation was always heroic. The need for seasonal hands through New Zealand’s harvest and pruning work approaches 40,000 in the peak summer and early autumn months. Before Covid, Immigration NZ anticipated that 14,500 Pacific workers under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme and some 50,000 backpackers with working holiday visas would help to make up the labour force. But New Zealand’s closed border changed that. . .
Orchard work shortage bites – Jared Morgan:
Some workers sent to Central Otago’s orchards and vineyards are not up to standard and the lack of seasonal workers from the Pacific is beginning to bite, an industry leader says.
Continuing labour shortages across both sectors have affected planning for key phases in production cycles such as picking and pruning.
This has led to calls for the Government to open quarantine-free travel bubbles to allow seasonal workers from Covid-free countries to plug labour gaps before it is too late, if not for this season then the next.
Pipfruit industry pioneer Con van der Voort, who operates a major packing facility in Ettrick, said the “come and go” nature of this season’s workforce was affecting orchardists not just in Central Otago but nationally. . .
NZ’s potato chip industry threatened by cheap European imports – Sally Blundell:
The impact of Covid-19 on the potato chip industry in the Northern Hemisphere is putting locally grown and processed hot potato chips at the local chippie under threat.
The problem is that quiet streets and empty bars in Covid-ridden Europe have resulted in an estimated 1.7 million tonne surplus of raw potato material.
“People can’t go out, have a beer and buy some chips,” Potatoes NZ chief executive Chris Claridge told Frank Film in a recent interview. “That means there’s a big lump of frozen fries that’s got to go somewhere. Our economy’s working, they are sending it here – it is as simple as that.”
Claridge is looking for government action to protect New Zealand potato farmers from the influx of frozen fries grown and processed in Europe undercutting their locally grown equivalent. . .
‘Milking cows is the easy part now’ – Sally Rae:
South Otago dairy farmers Scott and Ann Henderson were last week crowned Southland-Otago Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winners. They talk to Sally Rae about a career they say is not just about milking cows.
She was from a sheep and beef farm in Scotland, he was a qualified carpenter from Balclutha.
Scott and Ann Henderson might not have grown up in the dairy farming industry, but the pair have made their mark on the sector, winning the 2021 Southland-Otago Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year title.
Industry recognition was not new for Mrs Henderson, who won the dairy manager of the year in the Southland-Otago awards in 2017, having finished runner-up the year before. . .
Happy to be farming hops – Country Life:
Harvesting is the busiest time of the year for Holmdale Farm’s Cameron Ealam and his extended family.
They work from dawn to dusk picking, cleaning and drying several varieties of aromatic hop cones that grow on long leafy hop vines.
“The machine starts at seven each morning. We’re doing 12-hour days picking at the moment. The drying kiln will run through the night as well, so big days but (it’s) a short window to get a valuable crop in,” Cameron says.
On the floor behind the kilns are large piles of Motueka and Riwaka hop cones, waiting to be pressed and baled. . .
Long-time market enemies, the wool and cotton industries are looking to join forces globally to take on synthetic fibres.
Wool and cotton believe they both have the same eco-friendly credentials to challenge for better environmental ratings in Europe.
They want to form an alliance to champion the benefits of natural fibres as offering many solutions to the world’s current environmental challenges.
A wool industry leader entered uncharted waters when invited to speak to an international cotton conference in Bremen last week. . .
Submissions to the Climate Change Commission on its report closed yesterday.
- If you expect people to accept the science on climate change you must use the best science in your response.
- All policy must ensure that action locally does not lead to a reaction that increases emissions globally.
- All policy must ensure it doesn’t result in the waterbed effect i.e. that reductions in one area don’t free up emissions in others.
- All policy must adhere to the Paris Accord’s requirement that climate change mitigation must not come at the expense of food production.
- Allowing the band-aid policy of offsetting long lived gases by planting trees must not be permitted to continue.
- All policy must balance environmental, economic and social considerations.
- All policy must, as your report proposes, recognise the distinction between short and long-lived gases.
- Farmers must be permitted to offset animal emissions with their shelter belts and soil carbon.
- Central planning did a lot more harm than good to the economy; central planning as prescribed by the CCC will do little if any good environmentally at enormous economic and social cost; and it is unnecessary when the ETS will achieve what is required without further need for intervention.
- Funding research that fosters innovation will achieve more at a far lesser cost than draconian government dictates that reduce economic activity, stifle creativity and hit the poor hardest.
- I support the submission made by Chris Garland, in particular that responding and adapting to climate change must be achieved in a way that doesn’t threaten food production, and/or have adverse impacts on mental health and livelihoods in rural communities.
- I support the submission made by the Taxpayer’s Union.
The Climate Change Commission let itself, and New Zealand, down in at least two major ways.
The first was by releasing its report at first only to a few selected journalists.
The second by not providing its full data.
We will all be let down again if it doesn’t treat submissions, in particular those critical of its first report, with the seriousness they’re due and provide a second report that is backed up by data which is fully disclosed for analysis.