Reports this week indicate that New Zealand is getting closer to a free trade deal with the UK. Trade Minister Damien O’Connor says NZ’s negotiators have been working around the clock to reach the shared objective of an FTA agreement in principle by the end of August.
The problem, as Point of Order understands it, is that NZ has been offered the same arrangements as Australia on agricultural products, with a phase-out of tariffs over 11 years.
As NZ trade expert Stephen Jacobi argues:
“It would be absolutely ridiculous if we were to enter into an FTA with the UK that did not put forward the prospect of free trade, zero tariffs in lamb and beef and dairy within a reasonable timeframe.” . .
Farmers consider what would happen should they get Covid-19 – Sally Murphy:
Federated Farmers is working with the government around what would need to happen if a farmer gets Covid-19.
Currently all positive cases are transferred to a quarantine facility – but taking a farmer off their property would create a lot of issues especially in a busy calving and lambing season.
Federated Farmers general manager of policy Gavin Forrest said some farmers have raised concerns about catching the virus especially in rural areas where health care is limited.
He said they are working with the Ministry of Health around what would happen if a farmer tests positive. . .
Farmers will breathe a considerable sigh of relief over news the government has accepted most of the Southland Advisory Group’s winter grazing recommendations, and will now consult on proposed revised rules.
“Everyone wants strong protection for our waterways but from the day they came out Feds had said a number of aspects of the Essential Freshwaters winter grazing rules were simply unworkable,” Federated Farmers environment spokesperson Chris Allen said.
The Southland Advisory Group is testament to how inclusive processes involving local communities and informed stakeholders are able to produce good results.
“It’s good to see the government taking a pragmatic view – a stance we’re also looking for across more of the multitude of issues they are imposing on farmers in the next three years.
“We’ll take this as a win for common sense, and for consistent advocacy for pragmatism by Federated Farmers and others,” Chris said. . .
The poultry industry is feeling the impact of staff shortages during Covid-19 alert level 4, with some processors having to adapt their operations to try and keep supermarkets stocked.
The industry has been grappling with labour challenges since the border closed last year – with the usual supply of migrant workers and backpackers cut off.
Poultry Industry Association executive director Michael Brooks said the problem had been compounded further during lockdown, as some workers had to stay home to look after their children and others were isolating while they waited for Covid-19 tests result.
There was plenty of chicken, but without enough staff some products which required more processing were not being made, Brooks said. . .
Last year’s spring saw a spike in fatalities on farm and Federated Farmers is asking its members not to let history repeat this year.
WorkSafe statistics show 20 on farm workplace fatalities in 2020, with a spike of five deaths in August and September during the busy lambing and calving period.
So far this year five people have died in on-farm workplace accidents. One of these deaths was in August.
Federated Farmers vice president and health and safety spokesperson Karen Williams says enough is enough, farmers need to priortise their own, their children’s and their staff’s safety on farm. . .
Golden kiwifruit orchard with a character house, plus three residential rentals placed on the market for sale
A well-managed kiwifruit orchard producing the fruit’s high-value golden varietal – complete with a character home, three residential rental dwellings delivering multiple revenue streams – has been placed on the market for sale.
The 6.2466-hectare property close to Kerikeri in the ‘winterless North’ is known as Puriri Park, and comprises 1.51 canopy hectares of G3 (gold) kiwifruit vines planted in fertile volcanic soil with a good water supply. The orchard has approximately 869 plants.
Production data for the Northland property at 1349B State Highway 10 for the past four seasons show output has grown from 18,596 trays in the 2017/2018 season -to 26,500 trays in the 2020/2021 cropping year. Early bud counts indicate 24-27,000 trays for the next season delivering a great return to a new owner. . .