Rural round-up

September 7, 2013

Fonterra crisis: could have done better – Hugh Stringleman:

Fonterra’s operational review of the botulinum food-safety scare has identified opportunities when the mess might have been avoided.

Group director of strategy Maury Leyland and her in-house team have also come up with several ways of preventing something like this happening again.

Fonterra said its world-class manufacturing facilities, quality systems, and robust testing regimes were all stress-tested by the incident.

“Overall our systems worked well, while some aspects showed room for further improvement,” Leyland said. . .

Government inquiry critical for New Zealand:

Federated Farmers welcomes the Government’s confirmation of an independent inquiry into the handling of Fonterra’s contamination incident.

“It is critical this inquiry is held to the highest standard and that it remains independent, robust and comes up with meaningful recommendations,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy Chairperson.

“New Zealand’s reputation as a credible and trusted supplier of food both domestically and internationally, demands this if we are to move forward. It is crucial that we repair any damage to our well deserved reputation as world leader in food safety and trade. . .

Lamb supply model based on dairy industry – Alan Williams:

A new supply offer to lamb producers is a bid to replicate the payment system in the dairy industry, South Canterbury livestock agent Peter Walsh says.

His company, Peter Walsh & Associates (PWA), is offering farmers advance payments of $8 a lamb a month, from the start of lambing through weaning and for a maximum four months.

The total $32 a lamb payment would help farmers with much-needed cash flow, the company said in a note to clients.

The Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) farmer group had concerns about the third-party involvement between farmer and processor, chairman Richard Young said. . .

Canterbury irrigation project wins $2.4m Govt grant:

Canterbury’s vast Hurunui irrigation project has received a shot in the arm with a $2.4 million grant from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ irrigation acceleration fund.

The money will go towards feasibility work on the Waitohi irrigation and hydro scheme, a crucial part of the project that will irrigate the plains and valleys in the Hurunui and Waipara Rivers through four storage reservoirs.

The project is the first to emerge from the Canterbury Water Management Strategy and if the initial study shows the dams can be built. further investment will be required to take the scheme to full feasibility stages. . .

Genomics can fast track tree breeding:

The forest industry is investigating new tree breeding techniques that could more than halve the time it takes to develop new varieties of pine.

The Government is contributing half the cost of a $5 million research programme by the Radiata Pine Breeding Company.

Chief executive John Butcher said using established selective breeding techniques can take up to 30 years to reach the stage of planting new tree varieties. . .

Stratford farmer in breach of Minimum Wage Act:

A Stratford farmer is to pay a former worker wage arrears after the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate identified breaches of minimum employment rights.

The case follows Labour Inspectorate action in the dairy sector focussing on employer maintenance of accurate time and wage records.

The Labour Inspectorate found the worker’s pay was averaged across seasons and didn’t meet the minimum wage rate. . .

Seeka first-half profit plunges 92 percent on Psa impact:

Seeka Kiwifruit Industries, the fruit grower and coolstore and packhouse operator, reported a 92 percent dive in first-half profit as the outbreak of Psa-V vine bacteria takes its heaviest toll on certain kiwifruit varieties.

Net profit sank to $672,000, or 5 cents per share, in the six months ended June 30, from $8.5 million, or 59 cents, a year earlier, the Te Puke-based company said in a statement. Revenue dropped 16 percent to $67 million on declining kiwifruit volumes. The most dramatic was the slump in Zespri Hot16A gold to production of just 155,000 trays, compared with 1.2 million trays a year earlier. . .


%d bloggers like this: