Federated Farmers President Andrew Hoggard says he’s not surprised frustration and anger about the deluge of new regulations and costs from central government is spilling over into protest meetings.
On Friday farmers in a number of districts around New Zealand are rounding up dog teams and firing up utes and tractors to head into their nearest town for peaceful protest rallies.
In his speech to the Federated Farmers National Council in Christchurch last week, Andrew referred to a “winter of discontent” in rural communities, with the so-called ute tax a straw that broke the camel’s back for many farming families.
The new “fee” on the farm vehicle work-horse to fund electric vehicle grants, when suitable EVs are not yet a realistic option for farmers, “has just highlighted in farmers’ minds that the Wellington Beltway thinkers just don’t get regional New Zealand“. . .
No workers, no growth! – Peter Burke:
Zespri chief executive Dan Mathieson says unless the kiwifruit industry gets more people to work in the sector, it may have to look at slowing down its speed of growth.
Matthieson told Hort News the biggest challenge for the industry is getting a good and consistent supply of people coming through the sector. Those who can help pick the fruit – as well as prepare the orchards for the next season’s crop. He adds the sector also want people to work through the post-harvest facilities to ensure that fruit is being managed well, to get it to market in the best condition.
Mathieson says New Zealanders currently make up about 55% of the kiwifruit sector’s workforce, while backpackers make up about 25% and RSE workers around 15%.
“We have a good mix, but we are certainly looking for more to supplement the migrant workers and the backpackers,” he told Hort News. . .
Canterbury farmer’s only way out under threat – Sally Murphy:
A farmer in the Canterbury high country still cleaning up after last month’s flood is worried the bridge which connects them to the rest of the world could be washed away.
The heavy rain caused significant damage to Double Hill run road up the Rakaia Gorge leaving farmers isolated.
A four-wheel-drive track has since been cut on the road but a bridge near Redcliffs station is still surrounded by shingle.
Station farmer Ross Bowmar said he was still using a generator for power and had five kilometres of fencing to repair, but the bridge was his main concern. . . .
Former Ravensdown Board member Scott Gower is calling for farmers to step up and stay active in participating on boards of their co-operatives despite more demands being placed on farmers’ time.
Scott is a third-generation hill country sheep and beef farmer from Ohura near Taumarunui and retired from the Ravensdown Board last September after reaching the maximum term.
As an ownership structure, co-operatives contribute 18% of New Zealand’s GDP and one of the most important characteristics according to Scott is how they can take ‘the long view’ rather than seeking short-term commercial gain.
“The agsector is served by more co-operatives than most. Participation by working farmers is vitally important especially in the Board’s composition and determining its priorities. They can nominate candidates, they can run themselves and of course elect the directors that best represent how they think things should be governed,” Scott says. . .
The largest rise for vegetable prices in over four years pushed food prices up 1.4 percent during the June 2021 month, Stats NZ said today.
Vegetable prices rose 15 percent in June, mainly influenced by rising prices for tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, capsicum, and broccoli. After adjusting for seasonal effects, vegetable prices were up 8.5 percent.
“We typically see price rises for many vegetables in winter due to seasonal effects,” consumer prices manager Matthew Stansfield said.
“However, we are seeing larger rises than usual for this time of the year and for a greater number of vegetables.” . .
Agritech industry grew over 2020, report shows – Nona Pelletier:
The agritech industry is growing steadily, despite challenges posed by the pandemic.
The Technology Investment Network (TIN) report for 2020 indicates there was growth across all parts of the sector, including the number of start-ups, export revenue, spending on research and development, and investment across all business types.
The top 22 agritech companies generated $1.4 billion in revenue.
Most of the new early stage companies offered information and communication technology, with a growing number offering biotech products. . . .