Rural round-up

July 18, 2016

Market monopolies a bigger threat to agricultural markets than subsidies – Gerald Piddock:

Market monopolies and not subsidies are the biggest threat to economic sustainability in world agricultural markets, says an international expert.

Belgium-based AgriCord managing director Ignance Coussement said the existence of the monopolies made it difficult for smaller farmers around the world to compete against larger scale “industrialised’ farmers within a nation’s domestic market.

How smaller family farming enterprises competed against these larger scale farms in the market was a tricky issue, he said. . . 

John Key to push for Indonesia to lift beef trade restrictions for Kiwi exporters – Sam Sachdeva:

Prime Minister John Key hopes rising beef prices, as well as a global trade case, will encourage Indonesia to lift restrictions on Kiwi beef imports.

Key has promised to raise concerns with Indonesian president Joko Widodo when the pair meet in Jakarta on Tuesday evening (NZ time).

New Zealand has joined 14 other countries in taking action against Indonesia through the World Trade Organisation over its beef import restrictions and quotas. . . 

When computers became part of NZ farming:

Lincoln University’s role in making the computer one of the essential tools on the farm is told in a new book by Dr Peter Nuthall, an Honorary Associate Professor in Lincoln’s Department of Land Management and Systems.

‘Dare to compute. The early years in the development and uptake of farm computer systems’ is written about the Kellogg Farm Management Unit (KFMU) at Lincoln, which Dr Nuthall founded and was head of for all but two years of its existence, from 1980 to 1995.  

The unit was initially funded by the Kellogg Foundation in the United States, a philanthropic fund. KFMU aimed to develop computer software for farm and horticultural property managers, and train them in its use.  

Dr Nuthall says the history of the unit needs to be told as it played an important part in introducing computer technology and software to primary producers in New Zealand and Australia. . . 

Quarterly tractor sales buoyant despite dairy payout:

“New Zealand Tractor sales are relatively buoyant, despite the current dairy payout,” says NZ Tractor and Machinery Association President, Mark Hamilton-Manns.

The second quarter results of New Zealand tractor sales, compiled by the NZ Tractor and Machinery Association, show tractor sales declined slightly, by 8.5%, compared to the same quarter last year. Several segments saw an increase, however, including the consumer segment which grew by 15%, as more Kiwis bought smaller 20–60hp compact tractors for their lifestyle blocks, hire fleets and some commercial applications. . . 

Early Winter Sees Prices Ease:

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were seven fewer farm sales (-1.5%) for the three months ended June 2016 than for the three months ended June 2015. Overall, there were 472 farm sales in the three months ended June 2016, compared to 489 farm sales for the three months ended May 2016 (-3.5%), and 479 farm sales for the three months ended June 2015. . . 

Manuka honey buzz boosts farmland prices Alexa Cook:

Demand for manuka honey has boosted the value of farmland, with many properties doubling price over the past couple of years, a real estate firm says.

The manuka honey industry has surged, with exports growing by 45 percent last year to $281 million. New Zealand is now the third largest exporter of honey by value.

Bayleys Real Estate rural agent Mark Monckton, who is based in Taranaki, said the growth was good news for some of his region’s more remote farming businesses. . . 

 Landmark merger a win-win for organic sector:

The organic community celebrated the landmark merger of two long-established charitable organisations yesterday. Members of the Soil & Health Association of NZ Inc and the New Zealand Biological Producers and Consumers Society Inc (BioGro Society) voted in favour of the proposal. This means that the Society will transfer its assets to Soil & Health, on winding up on 30 September.

The merger brings together the skills and resources of the two charities into one strong, unified organic sector body.

Soil & Health will become the proud new owner of BioGro NZ Ltd, New Zealand’s largest organic certification agency. This will empower Soil & Health to carry out its vital education and advocacy work for healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people. . . 

Synlait GM Accepts next international role:

Michael Stein, Synlait’s General Manager Quality and Regulatory, has accepted the role of Quality and Food Safety Director, Asia Pacific, with Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition.

“This is a great personal and professional opportunity for Michael and a clear milestone in his international career,” said John Penno, Synlait’s CEO and Managing Director.

Mr Penno was disappointed to learn Mr Stein will depart Synlait at the end of September 2016, but fully supports his decision. . . 


Rural round-up

June 10, 2013

Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries:

The primary industries are continuing to perform well in the face of significant challenges this year, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries, and the medium-term outlook is very positive.

The Ministry has released the annual Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries report, which includes production, trade and pricing statistics for the current season and for three or four years out.

“It’s been a season of two halves for the land-based industries, with many areas impacted by drought in the second half,” says Jarred Mair, Sector Policy director.

“The impacts of the severe drought continue and could continue for several seasons, for example many sheep and beef farms need to build breeding stock numbers back up.” . . .

Vintage year for Zespri Kiwifruit:

The 2013 New Zealand kiwifruit season has already set records for the best-tasting Zespri Kiwifruit ever.

With harvest nearly completed, on-orchard sampling has confirmed what Zespri consumers have been saying – that this year is a vintage taste year for Zespri Kiwifruit.

Carol Ward, Zespri General Manager Marketing, says every block of every Zespri-supplying orchard is tested for levels of dry matter before harvest, with dry matter corresponding to sweetness in ripe fruit. . . .

Synlait Milk Attracts Leading Infant Nutrition Quality Executive:

Michael Stein, a former Director of Quality for one the world’s leading companies in paediatric nutrition will join Synlait Milk as General Manager Quality later this month.

Synlait Milk Chief Executive Officer John Penno says he is delighted that a person of Michael’s experience and reputation will join the Company further reinforcing its reputation as a trusted supplier of ingredient and infant nutritional products.

“The integrity of our products is of paramount importance to us and our customers. It is a task that is constantly evolving to meet customer and regulatory requirements. That has encouraged our decision to seek a high calibre General Manager Quality with a depth of experience in international markets.” . . .

Manuka Health seeks to strengthen links with Japan:

Manuka Health was one of a select group of New Zealand functional food companies to be invited by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to a workshop in Japan to introduce leading-edge research to Japanese food and beverage companies.

The “New Zealand Innovation to Industry Workshop”, was held at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology recently where Manuka Health was invited to speak on the topic of generating intellectual property for natural products and functional foods.

The workshop was the first of its kind organised by MBIE in Japan to help New Zealand’s research-based, innovation to form research and commercial partnerships with another country. . .

Yealands Estate recognised for leadership in sustainability at Green Ribbon Awards

Yealands Estate has won the ‘Large business leadership’ award at the Ministry for the Environment Green Ribbon Awards, at an awards ceremony at the Parliament Buildings, Wellington. The winery was one of 11 winners and the only wine producer to receive an award.

Environment Minister Amy Adams presented the award for the ‘Large business leadership’ category, which acknowledges businesses with over 100 employees who demonstrate an on-going commitment to environmental best practices. . .

Decanter Magazine selects Yealands Estate as best New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc:

Prestigious UK publication Decanter Magazine has recognised Yealands Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011 as “Outstanding” in a review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Of the 91 wines tasted, Yealands Estate Reserve was the only wine to receive the top accolade, with an impressive score of 95 out of 100.

The article praises the overall quality of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with the Yealands Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc coming out on top. The wines were tasted and rated by three experts: Melanie Brown, Roger Jones and Peter McCombie MW. Peter McCombie MW commented ‘my highest scores were all Marlborough in origin, and half of those were from the cooler Awatere sub-zone. The Awatere style is more tomato stalk, rather than overtly tropical wines from the much more planted Wairau Valley, and the best have a degree of restraint that appeals to me.’ . . .

It’s not a fantasy: Seattle to build nation’s first food forest:

Forget meadows. The city’s new park will be filled with edible plants, and everything from pears to herbs will be free for the taking.

Seattle’s vision of an urban food oasis is going forward. A seven-acre plot of land in the city’s Beacon Hill neighborhood will be planted with hundreds of different kinds of edibles: walnut and chestnut trees; blueberry and raspberry bushes; fruit trees, including apples and pears; exotics like pineapple, yuzu citrus, guava, persimmons, honeyberries, and lingonberries; herbs; and more. All will be available for public plucking to anyone who wanders into the city’s first food forest. . .


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