Trade agreements are tricky animals – Alan Barber:
There’s a lot of activity going on with trade negotiations at the moment, but not much certainty about outcomes.
Ranging from the TPP, the grandfather of them all from New Zealand’s point of view, to the murky negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council, the only deal signed off this year is the long awaited FTA with South Korea.Although this FTA is good news for our primary sector, it is only a comparatively minor achievement which should have already happened years ago. Even the much vaunted FTA with China appears to have been gazumped by Australia’s more recently signed agreement. . .
Almost half a billion dollars worth of smuggled frozen meat – some of it rotting and more than 40 years old – has been seized in China, reports say.
More than 100,000 tonnes of chicken wings, beef and pork worth up to three billion yuan were seized in the nationwide crackdown, the state-run China Daily newspaper said.
“It was smelly, and I nearly threw up when I opened the door,” said an official from Hunan province, where 800 tonnes were seized. . .
Vegetable growers in the lower North Island may have lost up to 30 percent of their winter crops from the weekend flooding.
The industry body, Horticulture New Zealand, is still trying to build up a clear picture of the damage to market gardens and orchards.
Communications manager Leigh Catley said some vege growers in Horowhenua and Manawatu were reporting heavy losses. . .
Dart Valley track could be closed for moths – Sally Murphy:
The Dart Valley track in Mount Aspiring National park could be closed for the rest of the year after wild weather caused land-slips, and heavy rain and flooding washed away parts of the track.
Hillsides have slipped and trees have been washed away.
Department of Conservation services manager John Roberts said it was frustrating as it had undone months of work on the track.
“In recent months we have toiled to find a new route through very difficult country, we hoped to build a basic track around what used to be Sandy Flat, linking up with the temporary track around a new lake.” . .
The president of Federated Farmers William Rolleston is supporting the Government’s plan for partial return to democracy for the Canterbury Regional Council.
The government is about to confirm its preferred option after consulting on a mixed model of six appointed commissioners and seven elected councillors.
It said the work the commissioners had been doing to bring in a water management plan for the region would be put at risk if there was a full return to democracy. . .
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has awarded funding of $16.65million over the next six years to transform New Zealand’s primary food production into added-value products.
The programme will be hosted by Massey University, with Professor Richard Archer as national science leader, and partner organisations are AgResearch, Plant and Food Research, the Riddet Institute, the University of Auckland and the University of Otago.
National List MP and former member of the FoodHQ board Jono Naylor is delighted by today’s announcement. . .
There are good lessons to be drawn on from the global financial crisis (GFC) for dairy farmers in managing volatility and getting the most from their banking relationship, says Hayden Dillon, Head of Corporate Agribusiness and Capital Advisory for Crowe Horwath.
Major rural banks were expected to support their dairy clients despite many farm budgets indicating negative cash flow positions for the coming year, he said. And post-GFC, banks had undergone significant reforms and were now well-positioned in terms of access to capital. . .