During peak harvest while apple growers across Hawke’s Bay were crying out for workers, there were up to 4000 people of working age on unemployment benefits in the region.
As the kiwifruit vines continued to ripen and the next harvest event rolled round a few weeks later, there were another 3000 across Bay of Plenty.
Ministry of Social Development figures detailthe number of working age people in Hawke’s Bay and Western Bay of Plenty on the Jobseeker Support Work Ready scheme between January 15 and May 15.
It found there were 4113 people on the scheme in Hawke’s Bay in January, dropping to 3684 by May. In Bay of Plenty, there were 3315 in January, dropping to 3177 by May. . .
Fonterra chairperson Peter McBride says relaxing requirements for farmers to hold shares in the co-operative would level the playing field with rival milk processors and increase competition.
The country’s largest dairy company wants to adopt a more flexible shareholding structure, allowing farmers to hold fewer shares and widening the pool to include sharemilkers, contract milkers and farm lessors as associated shareholders.
Its farmer suppliers voted in favour of the proposal in December last year, and the company is now waiting for the Government to approve the changes under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act which enabled the creation of the dairy giant in 2001.
Fonterra is re-shaping its business as a period of rapid expansion in the country’s dairy herd comes to an end as dairy farming faces increased regulation to reduce its environmental impact. . .
A three-year research study into the perceptions of wool has found efforts to build the industry’s sustainability credentials are transforming how millennial consumers perceive the fibre.
Industry experts say the perceptual change is removing significant barriers to the growth of the domestic and export wool markets.
The nationwide Bremworth study, which has tracked changes in attitudes over the past three years, also shows the perception of wool carpet as having a higher cost – when compared to synthetic alternatives – is becoming less of a barrier for most consumers.
While wool was once ubiquitous on the floors of Kiwi homes, over the past two decades synthetic flooring had become dominant in the market, chief executive of Bremworth Greg Smith said. . .
Forward thinking farmer ‘walking the talk’, embracing change – Shawn McAvinue:
The only thing certain in life is change and Southland farmer Kevin Hall wants to be part of it. Shawn McAvinue visits a field day to see how the Ballance Farm Environment Awards regional winner is continuing to keep his dairy grazing and beef-fattening business Hollyvale Farms sustainable.
Be part of the change.
In his closing speech on a field day on his farm last week, 2022 Southland Ballance Farm Environment Awards winner Kevin Hall acknowledged the challenges ahead for farmers.
Farming was a “long-term career” requiring constant change to remain sustainable. . .
Mid-Canterbury farm manager Darryl Oldham has taken out the 2022 Rabobank Management Project Award, a business management prize for up-and-coming farmers.
Selected from a group of New Zealand’s most progressive farmers – graduates of the 2021 Rabobank Farm Managers Program (FMP) – Oldham was recognised for his business management project, which highlighted how he had utilised the lessons from the program in his role as farm manager on the 200ha farming operation he runs in partnership with his wife Anna, and parents Peter and Gael.
The Oldhams’ farming partnership is located in Westerfield near Ashburton. As the farm manager, Darryl is involved in all the day-to-day aspects of running the business which grows cereals, small seeds, peas, maize for silage, and fodder crops for finishing lambs.
Oldham says his management project assessed the viability of converting all or part of the farming operation to sheep milking. . .
My West Country grandad would have called it “letty weather” – rain so persistent you may as well just stay inside. Here on the hobby farm, I call it rainpocalypse; relentless, pitiless, unceasing rain that’s almost broken me this week.
I was once a pluviophile. When I lived in the paved suburban world, there was nothing cosier than that rhythmic patter on the roof at bedtime. Rain was something you wanted for the roses (especially when the sprinkler was Council-banned) but didn’t otherwise think that much about.
I roll my eyes at that person, now. Last year, I moved to the sticks – one of those “Covid evacuees” who made a whole new and different life, albeit within a reasonable commute. Living on my own land has been my dream since I was six years old and we don’t often get to live our life-long dream, do we? And if not in the middle of a global pandemic, then when?
The dream’s been pretty sweet so far. The view is captivating, the community’s lovely, I bought a coffee machine. I rarely sit down during daylight hours. If I owned anything like a fit-bit, my step count would be off the charts. . .