Rural round-up

Red meat farmers could see profits fall more than 30% -:

While the outlook for global sheepmeat and beef trade is improving, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) says it expects farmer profitability to fall sharply due to reduced livestock prices and continued high inflation.

The B+LNZ Mid-Season Update 2022-23 says that farm profit before tax is estimated at $146,300, a 31% decrease from the 2021-22 season and below the average for the past five years.

“Inflationary pressure is causing on-farm costs to increase sharply, eroding the benefit of what are still historically pretty good farm-gate returns,” says B+LNZ chief economist Andrew Burtt.

The forecast uptick in global sheepmeat and beef trade is supported by generally solid fundamentals in key markets, with demand projected to recover, while global supply levels remain tight. . . .

McClay Nats’ new ag spokesman :

National Party trade spokesman Todd McClay will become the party’s agriculture spokesperson, National leader Christopher Luxon announced today.

The news comes in the wake of the announcement by Todd Muller that he would not seek re-election this year.

Muller, a former leader of the National Party, took over the agriculture portfolio in an acting capacity last year after Barbara Kuriger had to resign the position amid a conflict of interest between her family and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Luxon says McClay’s appointment to agriculture spokesperson will bring together the agriculture and trade portfolios under one spokesperson. . . 

Deer farmers looking out for deer farmers :

Deer farmers across the country are going to great lengths to help their fellow farmers affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. As communities deal with the aftermath, stories about relief efforts continue to highlight the underlying strength of the industry here in Aotearoa.

One such affected farmer, Evan Potter, manages a 720ha property located in coastal Hawke’s Bay and is the 2021 National Ambassador for Sustainable Farming and Growing.

“It took more than a week to get running water and gain access to the property over a hill track. We had to plug holes in the boundary deer fences, having lost a mob of stags that are still on the run – I’m hoping they’ll find their way home eventually,” says Potter.

A drone had been offered to help track the herd. This was just one of the many gestures of support shown by fellow farmers. . . 

Synlait Milk dramatically lowers profit forecast

Dairy company Synlait Milk has warned its full-year profit will take a hit from reduced demand, higher costs and supply chain disruptions.

It has cut its forecast after-tax profit to $15-$25 million, compared to last year’s $38.5m.

In December, Synlait reaffirmed its expectation of ending the year with a “similar level of profitability experienced before FY21”, which had been a net profit of $75.2m.

Chief executive Grant Watson said it was taking longer than expected to restore the company’s finances after the disruptions caused by the pandemic and the problems of its major customer, A2 Milk. . . 

Canterbury North Otago Dairy Industry Awards winners driven to succeed :

The winners of the 2023 Canterbury/North Otago Dairy Industry Awards are excited to see where the dairy industry will be in the next few years, with technology and science developments driving progress.

Jonathon and Stacey Hoets were announced winners of the region’s Share Farmer of the Year category at Wigram Airforce Museum in Christchurch on Saturday evening.

Other major winners were Jack Symes, who was named the 2023 Canterbury/North Otago Dairy Manager of the Year, and Brayden Johnston, the 2023 Canterbury/North Otago Dairy Trainee of the Year.

The Hoets have entered the Awards three times previously and say they have grown their network and upskilled on areas that were challenging through the experience.

Growing up on his parents’ dairy farm in Papakaio, Jonathon entered the dairy industry as a farm assistant when he left school. . . 

Seeka Perfectly Imperfect and Island Gelato collaborate to reduce food waste :

New Zealand produce company Seeka has taken another step forward in its bid to minimise food waste, partnering with Perfectly Imperfect to rejuvenate cherry export rejects.

Seeka’s New Zealand based wholesale market and distribution services, SeekaFresh, were able to work with Perfectly Imperfect’s Founder, Wendy Zhou and her team, to save over half a tonne of cherries deemed both export and local market rejects.

Aaron Leslie, New Zealand Markets Manager for SeekaFresh said, “Waste is something we are always trying to minimise at Seeka. By collaborating with Wendy, we were able to access her connections at DryNZ, and Island Gelato, which has resulted in our cherries being destoned and turned into a new flavour of gelato. We couldn’t be happier to see the product redistributed to market in this way.”

Perfectly Imperfect is a social enterprise whose purpose is to save ‘ugly’ food from going to waste. Founder, Wendy Zhou, reached out to SeekaFresh in January looking for opportunities to repurpose any produce unfit for export or the local market. Wendy Zhou explained, “A staggering 45% of fresh produce is not distributed to market, simply because it doesn’t look a certain way. It’s our aim to reduce this and repurpose the food. We were very happy to work with Seeka and look forward to a continued relationship.” . . 

 

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