After a slow start to the season, the NZ dairy industry has perked up,as at the latest Fonterra GDT auction prices firmed, after three successive falls.
That rise came on the heel of reports NZ dairy earnings from Australia have ballooned because processors there are short of milk and lining up to buy NZ dairy products.
Open Country Dairy, NZ’s second-biggest dairy processor and exporter, said it has had a 40% lift in demand for product from its Australian customers. South Island-based Westland Milk Products said it had been turning away approaches from across the Tasman.
Industry leader Fonterra, one of the world’s biggest dairy companies, said it was continuing to see strong demand from Australia. Fonterra had earlier earmarked for sale a stake in its Australian business,but only last month announced it was not going ahead with that,a decision on which the board will be congratulating itself. . .
Alliance Group casts net for 400 seasonal workers – Luisa Girao:
The Alliance Group will look to the North Island and beyond to bring in 400 seasonal workers to cope with its employee shortfall.
Some of the imported staff may live on site due to the Southland accommodation squeeze.
Alliance manufacturing general manager Willie Wiese confirmed yesterday the company was recruiting up to 400 seasonal staff from across the country as well as from overseas for its Lorneville and Mataura plants.
They would help make up the shortfall in numbers Alliance could not recruit locally in Southland, he said. . .
Agricultural commodities reached record nominal prices in May 2022, on the back of adverse weather, falling stockpiles, the war in Ukraine, the container shortage and various protectionist measures restricting food commodity exports. Between May and October, prices dropped 18% due to the USD strength, weak demand, a better container shipping situation, the temporary establishment of the Black Sea grain corridor and select bumper harvests. Presently, there are growing expectations for Brazil’s upcoming harvests of soy, sugar and coffee, as La Niña wanes and the wet season there has begun in a timely manner. Still, prices of agricultural commodities remain high, at about 50% higher than pre-pandemic levels, which is when we last saw some sense of ‘normalcy’ in agricultural markets.
High prices would normally stimulate supply, but production is currently relatively inelastic to prices: area availability is limited as swaths of very fertile land are lost in Ukraine, farm input costs are high, La Niña is active and the cost of finance has increased. So there is more pressure on demand to balance the equation. Here we start to see some weakness that might continue through much of 2023. Global inflation has resulted in a loss of purchasing power globally, and subsequent hikes in interest rates could result in some major economies going into recession. A global recession would limit demand on a number of fronts, from feed and energy-related commodities to non-essential commodities like cotton, coffee and cocoa. . . .
Fonterra is pleased to announce the divestment of its Chilean Soprole business. The divestment comprises a number of transactions that result in aggregate consideration of 591.07 billion Chilean Pesos (approximately NZD1.055 billion).
Fonterra CEO, Miles Hurrell, says that the divestment process for the Soprole business formally commenced in April 2022, following the launch of Fonterra’s strategy to 2030.
“A key pillar of our strategy is to focus on New Zealand milk. Soprole is a very good business but does not rely on New Zealand milk or expertise. We are now at the end of the divestment process and have agreed to sell Soprole to Gloria Foods – JORB S.A. (Gloria Foods).”
Gloria Foods is a consumer dairy market leader in Peru, with operations in Bolivia, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay. Fonterra and Gloria Foods have a long-standing commercial relationship in South America. . .
North Island farmer Jim Mather takes great pride in “growing fantastic animals” on his farm near Foxton – but he was still surprised to find a ham from one of his pigs had won the highly coveted Supreme Award in the 2022 100% New Zealand Bacon and Ham Awards.
Auckland’s Westmere Butchery won New Zealand’s best ham award for their bone-in leg ham, but a journey back along the supply chain to discover the provenance of the champion ham, leads to Jim Mather’s family farm.
“We know it’s fantastic pork – because our pigs want for nothing,” says Jim.
“But you don’t usually get a lot of validation for your product as a farmer. We really appreciate that the winner made a point of making sure we knew it was one of ours – we’re absolutely delighted.” . .
The promise of seagrass pastures – Mel Silva :
In Lau Group in Fiji, seagrass meadows play a special and vital role for the environment, marine life and community. These underwater pastures help to maintain water quality, provide a habitat for diverse flora and fauna – while also supporting local industries and cultural practices.
On a broader scale, these marine environments are critical to the health of our global climate. Similar to forests on land, seagrass can take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as it grows – storing it through a process called carbon sequestration. Seagrass is one of the world’s most effective carbon storage powerhouses, and it can store carbon 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.
Measuring the carbon capacity of ecosystems allows nations to participate in climate discussions, evaluate their contributions and better manage their ecosystems’ vitality. However, gathering this information is much more complex in an underwater environment than it is on land. Traditional methods for carbon assessment of coastal and marine ecosystems have relied on remote geospatial and aerial sensing technology that can be affected by cloud cover, angle of the sun and weather – and getting results from this imagery relies on costly and time consuming manual image analysis.
Under the Digital Future Initiative, we’re launching a new ‘blue carbon’ project in partnership with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Tidal (an ocean health project within X) to address these barriers. Together, we’re exploring novel applications of artificial intelligence to measure, with greater efficiency and accuracy, the capacity of seagrass ecosystems to absorb and sequester carbon. . .