Increasing costs are putting a huge strain on vegetable growers, with some considering hanging up their tools.
Energy costs have almost doubled in the past year, the minimum wage has gone up and the price of on-farm audits are rising – making growing vegetables more expensive.
NZ Gourmet director of production Roelf Schreuder said the business needed to have audits for certification, water quality, chemical storage and health and safety, just to name a few.
“For certification for NZ Gap and Global Gap they come a couple of times a year and charge about $240 an hour to sit down and check the books, so growers are having to spend more time and money preparing for them as well as paying for the actual audit – it’s a big cost. . . .
Annual food prices rose 6.8 percent in February 2022 compared with February 2021, Stats NZ said today.
This was the largest annual increase since July 2011 when prices increased 7.9 percent.
In February 2022 compared with February 2021:
- fruit and vegetable prices increased by 17 percent
- grocery food prices increased by 5.4 percent . . .
After enduring COVID19 and isolating for 10 days, I was asked to give my opinion on how we managed the farm, family and staff. Regardless of how people think of COVID19, whether it’s a she’ll be right mentality or you have ordered a pallet of Vitamin C along with toilet roll, the reality is you’re going to get sick.
We were prepared with a COVID plan. We knew our legal obligations around milk pick up and we knew we needed to be a step ahead. The virus hit us pretty hard and happened within a day of first contact. Within those first 24hrs I had rung our neighbours, our 2IC, Fonterra (area manager and milk collection), our bank, school and thereafter kept everyone updated. We had a designated drop off point for food, medication and anything that was needed for the farm. We were able to work most of the days out of necessity and kept away from our 2IC. We had to amend our milking times to be able to use a relief milker. To put things in perspective, adults were double vaxed with boosters. Kids not vaccinated. We still caught the virus but certainly didn’t need any outside medical intervention or Hospitalisation. COVID will affect people differently.
We got very sick and it was tough watching the kids going through it. We lived on paracetamol, vitamins and electrolytes and we used my “My Food Bag”. We put the farm on sleep mode for about 5 days. We didn’t want to overwhelm staff with the extra workload so we kept the jobs to essential along with milking. I would suggest checking your calendar and canceling all your appointments. We had a shed inspection during COVID but all went well. In hindsight I would have cleared the calendar. We did have people call to the door and had to tell them our situation, most were thankful for our honesty, some were less than pleased. Public perception has shown me people are scared and nervous. At one point when the fever hit hard and the body ached and every orifice was evacuating someone drove into the driveway and I sure I heard, bring out your dead! But after day 6 we were on the mend. . .
- Total Group Revenue: NZ$10,797 million, up 9%
- Reported Profit After Tax NZ$364 million, down 7%
- Normalised Profit After Tax: NZ$364 million, down 13%
- Total Group normalised EBIT: NZ$607 million, down 11%
- Net Debt: NZ$5.6 billion, down 8%
- Total Group normalised Gross Profit: NZ$1,607 million, down 7%
- Total Group normalised Gross Margin: 14.9% down from 17.4%
- Total Group Operating Expenditure: NZ$1,062 million, up 1%
- Normalised Africa, Middle East, Europe, North Asia, Americas (AMENA) EBIT: NZ $250 million, up 25%
- Normalised Greater China EBIT: NZ$236 million, down 20%
- Normalised Asia Pacific (APAC) EBIT: NZ$158 million, down 33%
- Full year forecast normalised earnings per share: 25 – 35 cents per share
- Interim Dividend: 5 cents per share
- Forecast Farmgate Milk Price range: NZ$9.30 – $9.90 per kgMS
- Forecast milk collections: 1,480 million kgMS, down 3.8%
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today announced its 2022 Interim Results which show the Co-op has delivered a half year Profit After Tax of NZ$364 million, a Total Group normalised EBIT of NZ$607 million, and a decision to pay an interim dividend of 5 cents alongside a record high forecast Farmgate Milk Price.
Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell says the Co-op’s results for the first half of the financial year show it is performing well, while creating the momentum needed to achieve its 2030 targets. . .
Chairman, Kingi Smiler has welcomed Mr Gradon’s appointment which followed an extensive search.
“We’re delighted to appoint Karl as our new CEO. He has solid credentials and international experience in business development and strategy across the dairy, agricultural and primary industry sectors.”
Karl spent nearly 20 years in the dairy industry with Fonterra and Kerry Ingredients holding Senior Management positions in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the USA.
Since returning home, he has taken up a range of governance roles and directorships in economic development and business. Karl was also CEO of New Zealand Mānuka Group helping that business grow its Mānuka honey and oil production.” . .
The proposals put forward under the He Waka Eke Noa Partnership are so unworkable that Groundswell NZ is proposing its own alternative, Groundswell NZ leader Bryce McKenzie said.
“None of the options are workable and, like the Emissions Trading Scheme, they will deliver worse outcomes for the environment, farmers, and our country.”
“We back Federated Farmers President Andrew Hoggard’s view, that none of the options are long term solutions and that an emissions tax, without affordable and practical new technologies, would kill off the farming sector.”
“Groundswell NZ’s alternative is an integrated environmental policy framework incentivising and enabling on the ground actions across all aspects of the environment, including freshwater, indigenous biodiversity, and emissions.” . .
Ukraine – how the global fertiliser shortage is going to affect food – John Hammond & Yiorgos Gadanakis :
We are currently witnessing the beginning of a global food crisis, driven by the knock-on effects of a pandemic and more recently the rise in fuel prices and the conflict in Ukraine. There were already clear logistical issues with moving grain and food around the globe, which will now be considerably worse as a result of the war. But a more subtle relationship sits with the link to the nutrients needed to drive high crop yields and quality worldwide.
Crops are the basis of our food system, whether feeding us or animals, and without secured supply in terms of volume and quality, our food system is bankrupt. Crops rely on a good supply of nutrients to deliver high yields and quality (as well as water, sunlight and a healthy soil), which in modern farming systems come from manufactured fertilisers. As you sit and read this article, the air you breath contains 78% nitrogen gas – this is the same source of nitrogen used in the production of most manufactured nitrogen fertilisers.
However, to take this gas from the air and into a bag of fertiliser takes a huge amount of energy. The Haber-Bosch process, which converts nitrogen and hydrogen into ammonia as a crucial step in creating fertilisers, uses between 1% and 2% of all energy generated globally by some estimates. Consequently, the cost of producing nitrogen fertiliser is directly linked to the cost of fuel. This is why the UK price of ammonium nitrate has climbed as high as £1,000 per tonne at the time of writing, compared to £650 a week ago.
Fertiliser inputs to farming systems represent one of the largest single variable costs of producing a crop. When investing in fertiliser, a farmer must balance the return on this investment through the price they receive at harvest. Adding more fertiliser, for a small improvement in yield, might not pay for itself at harvest. . .