Vineyards, orchards still short of workers – Jared Morgan:
No shows and walkouts are dominating the hunt to find seasonal workers — particularly on vineyards — across Central Otago and the culprits are Kiwis.
Pressure is mounting on the region’s viticulture and horticulture sectors to fill the gaps left by a dearth of backpackers and Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers but finding New Zealanders willing to work is causing headaches at what was now crunch time for vineyards.
The clock was also ticking for orchards.
Misha’s Vineyard director Andy Wilkinson said the same story was echoing across the region. . .
SJS, MPI partner to find students rural jobs -John GIbb:
The Ministry for Primary Industries is helping attract more Dunedin tertiary students to Otago fruit picking and other rural work this summer.
Student Job Search chief executive Suzanne Boyd said SJS was partnering with MPI throughout the country to connect seasonal employers to students looking for rural work.
The partnership had already begun with “Pick this, pick that”, an online marketing campaign which connected students to thousands of summer fruit picking roles jobs, until March.
“With our summer fruit growers relying on New Zealanders to get cherries picked and shipped overseas, and to pick other summer fruit for the domestic market, these roles are more important than ever,” Ms Boyd said. . .
A lack of space in isolation facilities will delay the availability of 210 foreign agricultural machinery operators coming to work for NZ contractors this season.
Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) chief executive Roger Parton says while visas have been issued for these workers, by the time they are available for work, they will be three months too late.
“The current information I have is that we won’t be able to get any isolation facilities until the middle of December, which means they won’t be out of isolation until Christmas, which is absolutely nonsensical because the season’s halfway over,” he said.
“They’ve got the visas, they have got the travel booked, but they can’t get into the country because they can’t get a voucher for isolation. That’s causing a huge amount of stress out there.” . .
Who foots environmental farm bill? – Nicola Dennis:
New Zealand agriculture is facing a raft of environmental reforms under the Government’s Freshwater Management National Policy Statement amendments. These include further stock exclusions from waterways, restrictions around winter grazing, audited farm environment plans and enforcing nitrogen caps.
This is in addition to greenhouse gas mitigation policies and biodiversity measures that are yet to be announced.
In general, farmers are very motivated to reduce their environmental impact, but the cost of doing so competes with rising running costs and servicing debt on land. So, who is footing the bill?
Politicians are quick to point to the export markets, which they believe will pay a premium for clean, green, NZ products. AgriHQ asked a number of NZ exporters if this was feasible. They all thought it wasn’t. . .
At a time of depressed wool prices, more and more sheep farmers are looking at reducing costs – such as shearing and parasite control.
With this in mind, Mt Cass Station will host an open day – on Friday 20 November – to give farmers an opportunity to see how no-shear Wiltshires perform in a commercial environment.
The 1800ha hill country coastal property, near Waipara in North Canterbury, is farmed using organic principles. The farm is run by Sara and Andrew Heard and five other shareholders. It is under this low-input system that Andrew Heard claims the Wiltshires come into their own.
The breed’s inherent internal parasite resistance and resilience means they don’t need shearing, dagging or crutching – and they don’t get flystrike. . .
Riki Kerere, Operations Manager of Countdown Meat & Livestock in Otahuhu, has been awarded the prestigious Christie Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the retail meat industry. Riki was recognised with this prestigious Award at the Alto Butcher, ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice & Pure South Master Butcher live stream event in Auckland this evening.
Riki Kerekere said of his win, “I’m just honoured to have joined that list of amazing people who have paved the way for the industry and made things possible for me and my career. I’m just so happy to have won.
Riki has been involved in the meat industry all his working life. Starting out as a clean-up boy he progressed over time through to a management role becoming instrumental in mentoring and training staff and apprentices at the Countdown plant in South Auckland. Riki has his own unique personal approach and knowledge which is highly respected not only by his own team, but also those in the wider meat industry. . .
Red meat looks to shorten the path to adoption of research – Shan Goodwin:
SHORTENING the path to adoption in order to extract the full value from the millions spent each year on research and development in the red meat game has been a key mission at industry headquarters during 2020.
Service provider Meat & Livestock Australia has led the charge and at a webinar this week, the organisation’s group manager of adoption and commercialisation Sarah Strachan outlined the ‘involve and partner’ strategy that is being deployed.
At an on-the-ground level, incorporating producers into research design and having a clear line of sight to adoption was the approach being taken to accelerate the embedding of research outcomes into commercial businesses, she explained.
Producer demonstration sites were one way this was happening. . .