Rural round-up

17/12/2013

Canterbury suffers another blow:

Farmers are reeling from yet another blow, after a severe localised hail storm tore its way through the Mayfield area of Mid-Canterbury.

“As the year draws to a close and we are fast approaching harvesting season, Mid-Canterbury farmers are facing a financial nightmare after the hail storm yesterday,” says David Clark, Mid-Canterbury Grain and Seed Chairperson.

“This has been a mongrel year for farmers in Mid-Canterbury; we have gone from snow to wind storms to a very dry spring to now this. It is a horrible way to finish off the year, with radish and carrot crops shredded and wheat and barley crops having the stuffing knocked out of them. . .

A timely reminder:

Fonterra dropped a bombshell last week when it announced its latest consideration on its farmgate milk price.

For farmer shareholders in New Zealand’s largest company, it had been shaping up to be a particularly merry Christmas, with economists suggesting the milk price could be lifted as much as 40c.

Elevated prices, which have defied predictions and remained at very high levels – the GlobalDairyTrade price index was just 7% below its April high and about 50% higher than a year ago – raised expectations for the forecast to rise. . .

UK butter eaters lose taste for Anchor after dairy giant cuts NZ ties – Nicholas Jones:

British shoppers have noticed that their favourite Anchor butter tastes different – with the explanation being it’s no longer from New Zealand.

In Britain, the famous Kiwi brand is used by European dairy company Arla. Until recently, Arla had shipped over New Zealand butter made by Fonterra, but has now switched production to its British facilities.

The Arla logo has been added to block butter packs, but the company has faced a number of complaints from disgruntled customers who were unaware of the change. . .

How much dairying is too much in terms of water quality? – Daniel Collins:

On 21 November the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, released her second report on water quality. It warned that business-as-usual dairy expansion by 2020 would leave our lakes and rivers more degraded than they are now, even with improved mitigation. I’d now like to re-cap what the report concluded, how it got there, and how it was received.

The report

The purpose of the report was to illustrate how land use change could affect future nutrient runoff – nitrogen and phosphorus – based on a simple, business-as-usual scenario for 2020.

Motu used a combined economics-land use model called LURNZ to project what land use changes are likely by 2020, driven by commodity process and knowledge of land use practices and landscape characteristics. Sheep and beef farming were expected to give way to dairying, forestry, and even reversion to shrubland. . .

Director elections mean an exciting Red Meat Industry:

Federated Farmers looks forward to working with the Boards of the cooperatively owned Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group following their recent Director elections.

“Federated Farmers congratulates the new directors elected to our two largest cooperatives, Don Morrison at Alliance Group as well as Richard Young and Dan Jex-Blake at Silver Fern Farms,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.

“We also congratulate Alliance Group chairman Murray Taggart on his re-election.

“Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre wishes to formally thank Alliance Group’s Owen Poole and Jason Miller as well as Silver Fern Farms’ David Shaw for their service to shareholders. . .


Morrison replaces Miller on Alliance board

13/12/2013

Alliance Group chair Murray Taggart has held his seat on the board but Jason Miller has lost his to Don Morrison who was on the Meat Industry excellence (MIA) Group.

. . . Approximately forty nine percent (48.83%) of eligible votes were exercised in the directors’ election.
Alliance Group Chairman Murray Taggart said that the forty-nine per cent turnout for the directors’ election was significantly improved over recent years and reflected the interest in the issue.
In 2012 the turnout for the directors election was 25% compared with 42% in 2011 and 30% in 2010. . .
Miller, who was active in the Meat Industry Action Group, was voted onto the board in 2007 when long-serving chair John Turner lost his seat.
That he’s been replaced by someone who was active in the MIA is not without irony.

Rural round-up

23/10/2013

Fonterra director blocked from Alliance candidacy:

The farmer group campaigning for meat industry reform has a bone to pick with the board of the Alliance meat co-operative.

It is upset that the board has rejected the nomination of one of the four candidates put forward for two directors seats in upcoming elections.

The board accepted three of them – those of sitting directors, Alliance chairman Murray Taggart and Southland farmer Jason Miller, and one challenger, Donald Morrison.

However, it rejected the nomination of dairy and beef farmer John Monaghan because his shareholding in the co-operative is too small for him to be eligible. . .

New Indonesian posting to boost MPI presence in Asia:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed the creation of a new position for an agricultural counsellor in the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta.

“This is in recognition of the growing importance of the bilateral relationship with Indonesia. It is a further step by the Ministry for Primary Industries to increase its presence in Asian markets and provide in-market support for exporters.

“As announced earlier this year, MPI is also putting more staff into China by the end of the year and is doubling its market access team in Wellington from 8 to 16.

“This position in Jakarta has been established in response to the growing interest in trade between New Zealand and Indonesia. Agricultural trade currently makes up over two thirds of New Zealand’s exports to Indonesia. . .

Wrightson names Agria’s Lai as chairman, forecasts lift in operating earnings:

(BusinessDesk) – PGG Wrightson, the rural services company controlled by Agria Corp, named the Chinese company’s founder Alan Lai as its new chairman, replacing John Anderson, and forecast a lift in full-year operating earnings.

The Christchurch-based company first flagged the departure of veteran businessman Anderson last month, after he was appointed to steer the company after its 2010 shakeup that followed the arrival of Agria as an investor with fresh equity at a time profits were weak and debt was high. . . .

Timber confirmed as the best:

The New Zealand Timber Industry Federation (NZTIF) has welcomed confirmation that timber is the best construction material for coping with New Zealand’s seismic conditions.

Experiments carried out in June by BRANZ, (Building Research Association of New Zealand) on behalf of the Ministry of Education, have shown that timber framed buildings can cope with stresses three times that of the Christchurch earthquakes, and still remain standing.

The Ministry of Education commissioned the tests in order to establish how much force its school buildings could withstand in an earthquake. . .

Tru-Test FY sales rise 12 percent, profit triples on UK sale – Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – Tru-Test Corp, which doubled in size after buying a dairy industry equipment business, posted a 12 percent increase in full-year sales and said profit almost tripled on a gain from the sale of a UK subsidiary.

Profit rose to $6.6 million in the 12 months ended March 31, from $2.3 million a year earlier, according to the Auckland-based company’s annual report. Earnings included $5.6 million from the sale of its UK livestock weighing and tagging business Ritchey and Fearing. Sales rose 12 percent to $97.6 million. . .

Summerglow Apiaries Welcomes Confirmation From Intellectual Property Office That UMF Brand Rating System Is Reliable Measure For Manuka Honey Special Qualities:

Hamilton-based SummerGlow Apiaries has welcomed news of the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand’s (IPONZ) confirmation in a recent decision on the registrability of certain trademarks that the UMF brand rating system is a reliable measure of Manuka Honey’s special qualities.

That decision also meant that terms such as “active” and “total activity” may be inherently deceptive, is a win for those under the UMF brand umbrella.

Margaret Bennnett, co-owner of SummerGlow Apiaries who are licence holders in the UMF Honey Association, said the implications of the decision are far reaching and point consumers towards the UMF brand rating system for reliable measures of the special qualities that Manuka Honey possesses. . .

New Zealand cidery best in class at the Australian Cider Awards:

Local Rodney cider producer Zeffer Brewing Co was announced as Best in Class in the Dry Cider Category with their Zeffer Dry Apple Cider at the Australian Cider Awards held last Friday evening 18 October in Surry Hills.

The awards attracted more than 160 entries from cider and perry makers from around the globe and these were judged by US cider expert Gary Awdey and Australian connoisseurs Max Allen and Neal Cameron. . .


MIAG resolutions soundly defeated

05/09/2008

Alliance Group shareholders have voted overwhelmingly against the Meat Industry Action Group’s resolution to force directors to work towards a merger with Silver Fern Farms.

Company secretary Michael Horn said the vote at today’s special general meeting was 27 million against the resolutions and 2 million in favour, in round numbers.

Mr Horn said there were about 350 people at the meeting and the company had also received a large number of proxies.

“It’s the biggest vote I’ve seen since I’ve been with the company and that’s about 30 years,” he said.

Alliance chair Owen Poole said he was pleased the result was comprehensive and that the shareholders’ decision put the issue of a merge to rest.

Earlier this week Mark Crawford and Jason Miller who were founding members of MIAG and are now directors of Alliance spoke out against the resolutions.

MIAG gathered votes and proxies from 5% of shareholders to force both Alliance and SFF to hold SGMs but the views of SFF shareholders on this issue are now irrelevant.

SFF shareholders are in the process of voting on the proposal for PGG Wrightson to take a 50% stake in their company. The company has around 21,000 shareholders abut only about a fifth of them have rebate shares which enable them to vote and most of these are in the South Island.

The proposal requires 75% support if it is to succeed and voting finishes on Monday.


%d bloggers like this: