New Zealand’s five-stage plan to reopen the border has come “too little, too late” for the RSE Scheme and does not spell the end of challenges currently crippling the industry, officials warn.
They say more could and should have been done to avoid the crisis facing the 2021-2022 harvest season.
From 28 February, New Zealanders will be able to arrive back from Australia and expatriates from the rest of the world can return from 14 March.
Aotearoa was expected to open to foreigners from visa-waiver countries such as the United States no later than July. . .
An entrepreneurial approach to primary production has resulted in Rhys Roberts of mid-Canterbury receiving the 2022 New Zealand Zanda McDonald Award.
Rhys Roberts is Chief Executive of the Align Group, who operate 7 farms, a market garden, and are vertically integrated with a yoghurt brand and milk processing facility.
The Zanda McDonald Award, now in its eighth year, supports talented and passionate young professionals in the ag sector from Australia and New Zealand. Rhys will receive an impressive trans-Tasman prize package centred around mentoring, education and training that is 100% tailored to his needs.
Roberts is passionate about food production and future workplaces. He’s currently running a regenerative agriculture project trial to monitor farm productivity, animal health, human health and environmental outcomes. His focus on building a ‘future workplace’ has resulted in creating a market garden that feeds his team through the fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry and eggs from their farms. All of the team are on fully flexible rosters, and can manage their own schedules, choosing shifts that suit them. This frees them up for about 1000 hours combined per year, which they reinvest into the community.
Zanda McDonald Award Patron Shane McManaway says “Rhys is highly ambitious, and he’s prepared to break the mold of the past and do things differently. Some of the results he’s seeing, due to his innovative approach, are nothing short of exceptional. He has a strong environmental and wellbeing focus, as well as creating a significant difference to the company’s bottom line. As judges, we were extremely impressed and inspired by his leadership, and know he has a very strong future ahead of him.” . .
Luring Kiwis back to farm essential amid border closures – Adam Burns:
The agricultural sector in North Canterbury has expressed relief at the Government’s border reopening plan, but those on the ground have highlighted a wider issue farmers are facing – a lack of home-grown skilled labour.
This has been compounded by farmers being unable to secure skilled workers off shore, due to a tightening of restrictions at the border over the past 24 months, causing significant strain for many in the primary sector.
Record low unemployment, which dropped to 3.2 per cent this week, further underlined how competitive the labour market was becoming.
But the agricultural industry is relieved some respite may be on the cards as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern outlined a phased plan on Thursday to reopen the country. It starts with vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible workers from Australia from 27 February. . .
New Zealand’s red meat sector exports reached $10 billion in 2021 despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association (MIA).
The exports represented a nine per cent increase on 2020. The value of red meat and co-products exported in December 2021 was also up 22 per cent year on year, at just over $1 billion.
Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of MIA, said the sector had worked tirelessly in the face of ongoing global logistical challenges to continue to achieve the best possible results for farmers, the 25,000 people working in the industry and for the New Zealand economy.
“Despite all the disruptions and labour shortages, we were able to make the most of the global demand for red meat and generate record export revenue. . .
Kiwi shearers in Western Australia (WA) are already planning to return to New Zealand after the country announced its border reopening plan.
If they do return, WA’s wool industry may be unable to keep up with demands for shearing, putting animal welfare and lambs’ lives at risk.
Aromia Ngarangioni, a shearer in the Great Southern region of WA, estimates 60 percent of shearers working in WA are New Zealanders.
Like many, it has been years since Ngarangioni has been able to go home. . .
With judging for the 11 regional programmes underway around the country, the New Zealand Dairy Industry Award’s attention is turning to the regional award dinners being held in March and April.
After consultation with regional teams and national sponsors, the much-anticipated evenings will continue, following government guidelines for events in Red level.
“We know these award dinners are an important part of the rural community’s calendar on many levels, which is why we will follow government guidelines to deliver an evening where success can be recognised and celebrated,” says NZDIA General Manager Robin Congdon.
“This means the dinners will have a maximum attendance of 100 people, who will be required to show vaccine passes at the venue. . .