Word of the day


Wheest – a plea or demand for silence; hush; silent or still ; to make or become silent; to demand silence.

Beautifying the blogosphere


Rural round-up


Few favourable economic signals in sight, but a glimmer of light in GDT dairy export prices – Point of Order :

Kiwis  returning  to  work after their summer  breaks  and  scanning the  economic horizon  may  find  few encouraging signals. Even  the  agricultural sector,  which proved  to be  the  mainstay at the height of the Covid pandemic, is  now having to navigate  the inflation  raging in the domestic sector.

As  well, as  Point of  Order noted at  the  beginning of  December, NZ  exports have been hit by falling world prices and a rising NZ dollar. It  was a sharp reversal from earlier in the year when ANZ Bank  was reporting its  commodity price index  had returned to its record breaking run  and stood  nearly  20%  above the level  where it had been  12 months previously.

So  there  may have been a glimmer  of  light in the  latest Fonterra GDT auction at which 31,872 tonnes of dairy product was  sold at  an average price of $US3,393  ($NZ5,280) a tonne,only 0.1% lower than at the previous  auction, when prices fell 2.8%.

The key product  of  WMP was  0.1% higher  at $US3,218 a tonne, while  cheddar also  rose, by 4% to $US4,871. . . 

Bumpy ride ahead for dairy sector in 2023! – Sudesh Kissun :

Be prepared for a bumpy ride in 2023.

That’s the message from Federated Farmers vice president and Golden Bay dairy farmer Wayne Langford.

With the first Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction of 2023 recording a drop in all seven products on offer, Langford says the milk price is facing significant pressure.

Add to this soaring interest rates, high input prices, a shortage of staff and a possible global recession, Langford says farmers are facing “challenging headwinds”. , ,


Southland-raised student revelling in studies – Sally Rae :

Emma Blom describes herself as a curious learner.

When she enrolled to study a bachelor of environment and society at Lincoln University, it was more about satisfying her curiosity than getting a job, she said.

Miss Blom (20) was recently announced as the first recipient of the Align Farms agriculture scholarship which covered a year’s tuition for a student enrolled in a food and fibre related undergraduate programme.

Canterbury-based Align Farms said it had many “amazing” applicants, but Miss Blom’s passion and active and diverse involvement in the agriculture industry made her a stand-out candidate. , , , 

Could the actual super food be … a cheese sandwich ? – Jacqueline Rowarth :

Dr Jacqueline Rowarth is an adjunct professor at Lincoln University, has a PhD in soil science (nutrient cycling) and is a director of Ravensdown, DairyNZ and Deer Industry NZ.

OPINION: Those of us of a certain age remember the idea from school and the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables in the diet.

Since then we’ve had 5+ a day and the food pyramid. But consumption continues to be lower than recommended and results from a survey by Research First released in October gives price as “often the justification”.

The confirmation from Stats NZ that we’ve hit a 32-year record, 11.3% food price inflation for the year ended December, supports the justification. . . 

Silver Fern Farms embraces TradeWindow digital trade solution :

TradeWindow (NZX: TWL), has confirmed an agreement to provide their Cube global trade platform solution to leading New Zealand meat producer Silver Fern Farms Ltd.

CEO AJ Smith says the scope of the new agreement means long standing customer Silver Fern Farms will be one of TradeWindow’s largest customers by revenue. Most of this will be generated through the new generation Cube global trade platform, rather than Prodoc, which the meat company has historically relied on.

Silver Fern Farms is a major exporter of natural grass-fed New Zealand lamb, beef and venison. It operates a network of 14 processing plants across New Zealand and generates annual revenues of around $3 billion from sales to over 60 countries and regions. Major markets include US, China, UK, Germany, Dubai, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea.

“Adoption of the Cube global trade platform by Silver Fern Farms confirms the particular strengths of this solution for primary industry exports where timeliness and quality are critical,” says Mr Smith. . .

The countdown to the World Avocado Congress NZ 2023 is on! :

In less than three months, 1000+ members of the global avocado community will descend upon Auckland, New Zealand, for the 10th World Avocado Congress, taking place from 2-5 April 2023.

Jen Scoular, CEO of New Zealand Avocado and President of the World Avocado Congress Committee says the number of attendees to date is incredible testament as to how highly regarded the congress is amongst the global avocado community.

“We can’t wait to welcome the brightest minds in avocados to our shores; international growers, researchers, marketers, retailers, tech innovators, investors and more. The congress is an incredible opportunity to showcase our avocados and raise visibility of New Zealand on the world produce stage, while also demonstrating our differentiated story to grow value and volume into developing markets,” says Ms Scoular.

“That said, the World Avocado Congress is much bigger than avocados from New Zealand. It provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to sell not just the avocado industry but the New Zealand experience. We want to ensure visitors get a real taste of New Zealand, a flavour for our integrity, our innovation, our openness. How great will Auckland feel with that many people visiting, many who have never been in NZ before, wining and dining in the city?!” . . . 

Brief the new PM


The Taxpayers’ Union is making it easy for anyone to brief the new Prime Minister:

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is giving Kiwis the means to send their own ‘brief’ to the incoming Prime Minister outlining the policies that they would like to see ditched.

Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager Callum Purves says:

“New leaders receive lots of briefings, but the briefing that Chris Hipkins will be missing is one from the taxpayers and voters of New Zealand. That’s why we have set up a quick tool to make it easy to Brief The PM on which projects and policies they should lob straight into the bin.

“Soon-to-be Prime Minister Hipkins will without a doubt be hearing from the champions of Ardern’s most unpopular and expensive policies and they will be spinning all sorts of yarns to ensure they don’t end up in the scrap heap where they belong. It is important that the people who have to live with the impacts of these policies have an avenue to provide their perspective.

“Brief The PM is about giving our new Prime Minister a good faith ‘heads up’ about policies that will make life worse for New Zealanders and which could be turn-offs for voters.

”Kiwis can Brief The PM at www.BriefThePM.com/” 

There’s plenty to choose from:

Three (Five) Waters, the TVNZ/RNZ media merger, co-governance of public assets, the Unemployment Insurance scheme, speed limit reductions instead of improvements to roads, Auckland light rail, KiwiBuild . . .

It’s not too late to unwind the disastrous and expensive centralisation of polytechs and the the even more expensive and disastrous creation of two health systems.

Stepping back from bad policies would be a good start but can we trust this government to implement good ones?

Labour has changed its leader but its the same team that has shown it’s much better at promising than delivering anything that makes a positive difference.


Abusive is abusive


Spot the double standard:

They’re shooting a salt gun at a Trump doll.

This week the media has been full of discussion about the abuse directed at politicians and how it is unacceptable it is.

If abuse is unacceptable for someone they like it’s no less acceptable for someone they don’t.

It doesn’t matter that it’s not the sort of gun that could kill someone and it’s aimed at a doll not a real person.

If it wouldn’t be acceptable to shoot at a doll representing someone regarded positively it’s not acceptable to shoot at a doll regarded negatively. It’s not acceptable to shoot at a doll representing any real person full stop.

Remember the justifiable horror at the calls to hang Jacinda Ardern? Can shooting at a doll representing another politician, no matter how good or bad a person he is, be any more acceptable?

Had this been media in another country shooting at a doll representing Ardern there would have been an uproar and accusations of abuse and misogyny.

That Breakfast did it in a week when abuse against public figures is being highlighted and condemned makes it worse.

It’s both hypocritical and a gross error of judgement.

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