Rural round-up

April 4, 2015

MIE report exposes Silver Fern Farms’ sheep processing dilemma: – Kieth Woodford:

Meat industry reform is back in the news in recent weeks with the long awaited release of the Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) report. The MIE perspectives have been well known for some years and so there were no real surprises in what they said. According to MIE, the most important issue is dealing with industry over-capacity through plant rationalisations and company amalgamations.

I will return to MIE’s solutions at another time, but here I want to look at the underpinning analyses provided by international consultancy company GHD, and some key insights therein that could easily be lost. When it comes to finding solutions, losing those insights would be a great pity. For Silver Fern Farms in particular, some of those insights make uncomfortable reading. . .

2015 Golden Lamb Awards (Glammies) Declared a ‘No Contest’:

The 2015 Glammies competition has been declared a ‘No-Contest’ as a result of a mistake made by the testing facility in analysing the data to ascertain the top twenty finalists.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc were made aware of this issue by testing facility late Friday afternoon. Yesterday, we found out the full extent of the mistake which impacted the selection of the top twenty finalists.

An error was made with the final spreadsheet when the testing facility calculated the final score and applied the ranking. In error, their IT person used the formula for shear force – where low is good, high is bad – and applied it to yield. . .

Test error dethrones Glammies winner – Kate Taylor and Tim Cronshaw:

A Dannevirke farmer will hand back his Golden Lamb Award after organisers found a testing mistake.

Hamish Buchanan beat 20 finalists last month to win the competition, known as the “Glammies”, to find the most tender and tasty lamb. 

However, organisers have ruled the results in the competition, run by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, were invalid because of a mistake made by the testing facility in analysing the data to narrow the top-20 finalists. . .

Methodical approach a winner:

An analytical approach has won northern Wairarapa farmers Lucy and Robert Thorneycroft the 2015 Keinzley AgVet Wairarapa Farm Business of the Year Award.

“We entered the competition as a challenge and are delighted with the win. It has been a fantastic competition to be involved in,” she said.

Their high-performing stock, tight control of expenses and concern for the environment were also highlighted by judges.  . .

Just the ticket – Anne Calcinai:

In part two of a series looking at different pathways to farm ownership Anne Calcinai looks at the leasing and contracting routes.

It is tough getting into farming, but not impossible.

Hawke’s Bay couple Jeremy and Gina Sunckell are proof that you don’t need to start out with millions of dollars to have a successful business in the sheep and beef industry. . .

 

Midlands 25 Year Celebrations:

Ashburton business, Midlands Seed Limited has celebrated its 25th Birthday by giving back to the local community and both the Mid Canterbury Cancer Society and the Ashburton Stadium Complex Trust were recipients of a generous donation. The company is celebrating 25 years of success in the International seed trade and rather than spending money in this anniversary year, decided to donate the combined sum of $25000 to two organisations that would benefit the local community.

Midlands Seed Managing Director Chris Green said “On behalf of our staff, grower suppliers and international partners, it is great to be able to make these donations into the same local community which has supported our business since the company’s inception in 1990”. . .


Rural round-up

May 19, 2013

Gisborne throws support behind MIE – Anne Calcinai:

The Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) group departed Gisborne this week with overwhelming support for change.

More than 150 farmers attended the meeting on Wednesday and became the fourth group to support the MIE group.

Farmers in Gisborne voted unanimously to support a mandate for change, based on the six principles outlined by MIE.

MIE executive chairman Richard Young said it was clear from the meeting farmers understood they needed to change their behaviour and that commitment to meat companies on a longer-term basis was essential. . .

Kahungunu takes giant step into farming:

 Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana says, “Ngāti Kahungunu have taken the first step to diversify its interests from Fisheries to Farming.”

 The Kahungunu Asset Holding Company on behalf of its shareholder Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated has completed a Sale and Purchase Agreement for the Tautane Station, owned by the Herrick family for over 120 years. The iwi is pleased to have been the successful bidder of this historic farm located south of Porangahau.

It is the first major real estate investment that the iwi has made and is a template for further land acquisitions. This is part of the iwi’s ‘gate to plate’ strategy to build on relationshps in the high end growing Asian market that’s demanding high quality food product direct from the producer to the supplier. Over two years the iwi has investigated orchards, dairy farms and other commercial properties, but Tautane meets all the iwi’s economic indicators covering environmental, social, educational, historical and cultural objectives. . .

Steak of Origin champions do it again:

Chris and Karren Biddles from Northland have been named Grand Champions in the 2013 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin competition.

After winning in 2007 and taking the Producer of the Decade title in 2012, the Te Kopuru couple have now taken out the 2013 grand prize with their Angus/Jersey beef sirloin entry.

The competition to find the country’s most tender and tasty steak, sponsored by Zoetis, culminated in the Grand Final at the Beef Expo in Feilding last night.

The 20 finalists were tasted by a panel of judges, comprising three leading chefs. Head judge and chef Graham Hawkes says the quality of the steak on show was exceptional. . .

New hope for new farmers:

FARMERS WHO have joined the Scottish industry in the 10 years since subsidy entitlements were set in historical stone can now claim a share of £2 million worth of extra funding from the Scottish Goverment.

Rural Affairs CabSec Richard Lochhead said this week: “It is crucial that we do all we can to help introduce new entrants to farming – they are fresh blood to the rural economy.”

But new entrants themselves, at risk of seeming ungrateful, pointed out that £2m, shared between the 1000-plus Scottish farmers currently excluded from the historical subsidy system, paled into insignificance next to the average SFP payment their neighbours received annually. . .

Dairy Boards don’t have standing to challenge pizza kits

Canada’s watchdog on cross-border trade says it can’t rule on a company importing pizza topping kits made with cheaper U.S. mozzarella, if the request for a ruling doesn’t come from another importer.

Canada’s 10 provincial dairy marketing boards, under the not-for-profit name BalanceCo, had sought a ruling from the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) during a appeal hearing last month in Ottawa, against imports of pre-packaged pizza toppings combining shredded mozzarella and sliced pepperoni from the U.S.

The packs were recently developed for import into Canada from the U.S. by J. Cheese Inc., an Ontario distributor, for a “particular customer” — namely the Toronto-based Pizza Pizza chain, which operates almost 700 Pizza Pizza and Pizza 73 outlets across Canada.

The packs are now classified for tariff purposes as a “food preparation” and thus aren’t subject to the tariff rate quotas (TRQs) imposed on dairy imports under Canada’s supply-managed dairy marketing system. . .

Canada prepares to target U.S. goods in COOL spat:

Canada will put forward a list of U.S. products it wants to target in retaliation for U.S. country-of-origin meat labels if last-minute changes to U.S. label regulations don’t prove satisfactory, Canadian officials said on Friday.

The dispute stems from a 2009 U.S. requirement that retail outlets put the country of origin on labels on meat and other products, a move the government said was in an effort to give U.S. consumers more information about their food.

Canada and Mexico complained that the mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rule caused a decline in U.S. imports of their cattle and pigs, and the World Trade Organization has ordered the United States to make changes by May 23. . .

Farmhouse succession – Paul Spackman:

It is a significant and symbolic step in the handing over of responsibility of any family farm business when a son or daughter takes over occupancy of the main farmhouse from their parents.

All too often, however, it is a process that hasn’t been planned well enough and is perhaps done hastily out of necessity, rather than as part of a considered succession plan.

This can strain family relationships and in some cases jeopardise the future viability of the business, especially if non-farming relatives have to be paid off and parts of the farm broken up or sold, says farm consultant Siân Bushell. . .

 

 

 


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