New Zealand primary sector nervous over prospect of trade wars – Jamie Gray:
New Zealand’s primary sector is viewing the rising tide of global trade protectionism with trepidation, but escalating trade tensions between the United States and China have yet to spill over into this country’s main exports.
Primary sector and trade representatives welcomed last week’s launch of trade talks with the EU as positive step.
At the time, European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström voiced concerns about trade issues that have plagued markets in recent weeks after the US Donald Trump administration imposed steel and aluminium tariffs and the US and China stepped up their war of words. . .
Guy Trafford traces the implications for agricultural trade flows from the game of poker the US is playing with China. All sides are vulnerable, even those not directly involved – Guy Trafford:
President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping are involved in a high stakes game of poker. Trump played the first hand with a $5 0billion tariff card. Xi Jinping immediately matched it with a similar call and put tariffs on US products, namely sorghum and soya beans.
Trump then matched and raised the stakes by increasing the tariffs to another $200 billion with the threat that if China matched this then another raise to $450 billion would be played.
This threat would put tariffs on over 90% of China’s exports to the US. . .
Clampdown on foreign farm buyers scares off investors with ‘tens of millions’ in funds, agents say – Jonathan Underhill:
(BusinessDesk) – The government’s directive to the Overseas Investment Office to raise the bar in overseas applications to buy sensitive New Zealand land has scared away tens of millions of dollars in investments in rural property and will hurt farm values, real estate firms say.
The ministerial directive in a letter from Finance Minister Grant Robertson last November to Land Information NZ chief Andrew Crisp said the government is concerned to ensure any benefits from overseas investment in rural land “are genuinely substantial and identifiable” and economic benefits must be considered alongside environmental, social and cultural goals. Owning sensitive New Zealand assets was “a privilege, not a right.” The directive came into effect on Dec. 15 last year. . .
Foreign farm buyer applications withdrawn in the past 12 months have tripled, OIO figures show – Jonathan Underhill:
(BusinessDesk) – The rate at which potential foreign buyers of New Zealand farms subsequently withdrew their applications to the Overseas Investment Office tripled in the past 12 months, OIO figures show.
The data captures the period since the government’s directive to the OIO to tighten rules for overseas applications to buy sensitive New Zealand land (which means any farmland over 5 hectares). The ministerial directive in a letter from Finance Minister Grant Robertson last November to Land Information NZ chief Andrew Crisp said the government aims to ensure any benefits from overseas investment in rural land “are genuinely substantial and identifiable” and economic benefits must be considered alongside environmental, social and cultural goals. Owning sensitive New Zealand assets was “a privilege, not a right.” The directive came into effect on Dec. 15 last year. . .
Bayer Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018 announced:
Congratulations to Jonathan Hunt from Delegats, Crownthorpe Vineyard, who became the Bayer Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018 on Thursday 21st June.
This is the third year Hunt has competed and he is thrilled to have won the title and to be going on to represent Hawke’s Bay in the National Final.
Congratulations also goes to Nick Putt from Villa Maria who came second and Grace Petrie from Trinity Hill who came third. . .
Creative tea and coffee trends good news for NZ dairy:
It’s tea, but not as you know it. Right now people are adding more than just milk and sugar to their cuppa’s and Fonterra is set to meet the demand for adventurous tea and coffee drinks around the world.
Beverages made with yoghurt, topped with cream cheese and mixed with cream are growing in popularity, leading Fonterra to establish a new channel within its Global Foodservice business, Beverage House.
Almost 600 million cups of tea and coffee are consumed out-of-home daily in the Asia Pacific region, a 22% increase on five years ago. . .
Report Provides Zero Carbon Solution:
Smoke free, plastic free but, more significantly, tillage free.
A report to the Productivity Commission is recommending “bold action” to eliminate tillage or ploughing within the next five to 10 years and replace it with low disturbance no-tillage.
Every time soil is tilled through conventional methods, it releases huge quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere which contribute to global warming.
While the government has introduced a Zero Carbon Bill, it has overlooked the impact of cultivation which causes up to 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and the report challenges the Minister, James Shaw, through the Productivity Commission, to do something about it. . .
In dairy, a cutthroat U.S. business versus a Canadian cartel – Jerry Zremski:
A little comparison shopping goes a long way toward explaining why President Trump decided to wage a trade war with Canada.
A gallon of milk cost $2.89 at the Tops Friendly Supermarket on Niagara Street last week, while the same product at the Avonmart on Garrison Road in Fort Erie cost $3.35 in American dollars. And Fort Erie shoppers are getting a bargain: According to Numbeo, a crowd-sourced comparison price guide, the average cost for a gallon of milk throughout Canada is $6.32 in American dollars, nearly twice the U.S. price.
And it’s all because the United States and Canada operate their dairy industries in ways that are as different as a bald eagle and a maple leaf. . .
World Desertification Day: Stories of Resilience from Somalia :
In observation of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, Meet two farmers and two female entrepreneurs, who—supported by the Somalia Emergency Drought Response and Recovery Project (SEDRP)—share their experiences of grit, hope, and resilience despite years of drought and famine risks. Together with partners, particularly the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the project aimed to scale-up drought response and recovery in Somalia.
1. An impressive harvest, a happy farmer
The story of Saed Mohamud may not typically be expected from Somalia in 2017, two years into a severe drought that put the country in a nationwide state of natural disaster and famine—yet Mohamud is not alone. In 2017, thousands of families beat the odds and produced good yields, thanks to concerted efforts from government and partners, and solid donor investment in building farmers’ resilience against drought. . .