Week in Review

[8 April 2021]

For our Easter week we see Global Dairy Trade prices hold steady which increases confidence for sustaining the current higher price-level.

Carbon reduction stays in the headlines with research on green house gas reduction in sheep, a coal commitment from Fonterra, and a pay-as-you-go electric bike offering for farms.

Internationally meat substitutes and blends reveal some interesting insights with challenges in their protein content and marketing angles. 

Blog: A VUCA Squared world: Today’s reality

This week’s article “A VUCA Squared world: Today’s reality” was written by Ian Proudfoot.

Read the full article here

Spotlight Stories

Agri-technology Spotlight


Fruit-harvesting machine could be a game changer for Central Otago [6 April, NZ Herald]

The new NZ$155,000 fruit-harvesting machine (Tecnofruit CF-105) may be the solution to the horticulture sector’s labour shortage. Ten orchard representatives gathered to watch the machine in action and Hollandia Orchard manager, Murray Booth, said he immediately saw the productivity and efficiency of the machine, as well as improvements in the quality of apples harvested. The platform can easily be converted for harvesting, pruning, tree training and thinning - eliminating the use of ladders and picking bags.

Tag: Horticulture, Agritechnology

Trade & Export Spotlight

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Jump in amount of Northland kiwifruit exported out of Northport [7 April, NZ Herald]

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) service has increased their volume container traffic through Northport, offering a one-stop-shop for both importers and exporters. Approximately half of all kiwifruit exported from Northland leave on this service and they go from Brisbane and Singapore to the rest of the world. "Even logs are now being containerised to take advantage of the MSC service, allowing exporters to reach new niche markets more efficiently through the hubs of Brisbane and Singapore," Northport said.

Tag: Trade & Exports

This Week's Headlines

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1 in 4 meat substitutes ‘do not contain enough protein to be considered a source of protein’ [31 March, Food Navigator]

According to an Ireland-based study by Safefood, over 25% of vegetarian meat-substitute products are not a source of protein. EU nutrient labelling rules state that if the percentage of energy that comes from protein is between 12-19.9% the product can claim to be a source of protein. 354 meat-substitutes were investigated and only about 1 in 4 of products sampled was between the percentage bracket. These products included meat-free burgers, steaks, mince, meatballs, nuggets, sausages and fish substitutes.

Tag: International, Red Meat

headline 2

Westpac says the dairy industry is in a 'sweet spot' that's set to continue [7 April, Stuff]

The global dairy trade price index gained 0.3% within a fortnight, showing a higher volume in dairy products than normal this year.  These prices are 44% higher than last year’s figures which have been driven by increased health awareness after Covid-19 and a wealthier population desiring better nutrition. Westpac senior agri-economist, Nathan Perry, expects Fonterra Co-operative to raise their forecasted milk price for their 10,000 farmer suppliers and also expects demand to remain strong without a significant increase in global supply.

Tag: Dairy, Trade & Exports


A new study has found out how we could grow more crops with fewer fertilizers [1 April, World Economic Forum]

Researchers in Singapore are studying the ability of high-tech urban farmers to produce more crops with less chemical fertilisers. The team extracted the microbes and their genetic material in the soil and on the plants for analysis. They discovered that microbes could benefit the vegetables by providing nutrients, stimulating growth and suppressing pathogens. They plan to build on this research to cultivate these microbes which could sustainably improve crop production and increase food security.

Tag: International, Research & Development, Horticulture

Top stories

For sheep, a big dinner may be better for the climate than a big brekkie [5 April, Stuff]

A study done by NZ Journal of Agricultural Research suggests that moving sheep to a new paddock in the late afternoon could reduce nitrous oxide. According to the study, 60% of the nitrogen in the animals’ urine came during the 12 hours following their big meal, and shifting sheep would result in more nitrogen entering the soil at night when it is cooler. Lead scientist, Beverly Thomson, said, soil bugs produce 10- 40% more nitrous oxide in warm conditions, thus, this would reduce the amount of nitrous oxide being produced.

Tag: Environment & Emissions, Research & Development

Silver Fern Farms hold strong despite Covid uncertainty [1 April, Rural News]

Silver Fern Farms Co-operative continued its high financial performance, despite the global pandemic, with a reported net profit after tax of NZ$32.4 million for the 2020 financial year. Additionally, a net profit after tax of NZ$65.4 million was reported for their investment, Silver Fern Farms Limited, in the same year. Silver Fern Farms Limited chief executive, Simon Limmer, reported that the co-operative remained debt-free and had $22.3 million of cash on hand.

Tag: Red Meat, Agribusiness

Red meat exports to China back on track [1 April, Rural News]

According to the Meat Industry Association (MIA), red meat exports to China have normalised to pre-covid numbers at NZ$906.7 million in February 2021. “Ultimately, the February 2021 results show a return to more recent ‘business as usual’ levels of demand with ongoing high volumes to China and steady exports to other markets as we come into the peak of the processing season” said MIA chief executive, Sirma Karapeeva.

Tag: Red Meat, Trade & Exports

Demand sees fertiliser prices soar [7 April, Farmers Weekly]

Strong international demand has pushed DAP prices to a five-year high and is impacting farmers and growers from all over the world. DAP prices have increased by US$200 per tonne since January and other fertilising products like Urea, SustaiN, PhaSedN are also increasing by US$99/t, US$35/t, US$15/t respectively. “The expectation is that when international prices drop, farm prices will drop too in response” Federated Farmers board member, Colin Hurst, said.

Tag: Farmers & Producers, Agribusiness

Entries open for Young Achievers competition [6 April, Farmers Weekly]

The Young Achiever of the Year competition allows young people involved in plant production to gain entry to the prestigious Young Horticulturist of the Year competition. This is set for July 14-15, 2021. Current trophy-holder, Rico Mannal, said “Entering Young Achiever definitely opened my eyes to the wider industry... The competition exposed me to the wider issues like policy decisions that affect the industry. It’s good to be able to see the latest in the industry and in technology.”

Tag: Honours & Rewards, Horticulture

NZ Pork slams ‘blanket’ emissions policy [6 April, Farmers Weekly]

The pork industry is calling for the Government to adjust the emissions policy approach as the “one-size-fits-all” approach does not take into account non-ruminant livestock such as pigs. New Zealand Pork chief executive, David Baines, said that the pork industry doesn’t have the same level of resources for greenhouse gas policy implementation that the pastoral sector has. Therefore, other alternatives such as larger, pen-based systems and selective breeding to reduce litter sizes should be implemented to reduce the impact the policy has on farmers.

Tag: Pork, Environment & Emissions, Policy and Regulation

Fonterra to end coal use in factories by 2037 [31 March, Farmers Weekly]

Fonterra Co-operative plan to replace their coal and natural gas with wood biomass to fuel their processing factories by 2037. They aim to start transitioning their 76 gas boilers and air heaters and 481 diesel-operated tank fleet to renewable alternatives. Additionally, they plan to make one-third of their 820 vehicle fleet electric over the next three years. Fonterra Co-operative said the scale of behaviour and practice change required by farmers is “both challenging and ambitious.”

Tag: Environment & Emissions, Dairy

Pay-as-you-go electric biking option [1 April, Farmers Weekly]

Tauranga-based electric motorbike company, UBCO, aims to increase the number of electric bikes for farms as well as restaurants, freight and postal companies. The company received an investment of $5.8 million from the New Zealand Green Investment Finance fund to accelerate the uptake of low emissions investment in NZ. The UBCO bikes claim 80% less CO2 emissions than petrol equivalents over their lifetime, and 60% less when allowing for their entire lifetime.

Tag: Environment & Emissions, Farmers & Producers

Does the blended plant-based x meat protein category have legs? ‘The biggest challenge is brand positioning’  [1 April, World Economic Forum]

Major retail stores and start-ups joined the trend and have incorporated hybrid meat products into their own-label ranges. According to FoodNavigator, hybrid products can help consumers reduce their meat intake, and consequently, their environmental footprint. Dr. Max Jamilly said “we have the same goal as the plant-based meat companies that we work with: to remove intensive animal agriculture from our food systems. Consumers understand our mission and are looking for products that taste and perform much better than the current options.”

Tag: International, Food Marketing

Get in touch

Audit – Auckland
Ian Proudfoot
09 367 5882
Management Consulting – Wellington
Justine Fitzmaurice
04 816 4845
Agri-Food – Auckland
Jack Keeys

09 363 3502
Private Enterprise – Hamilton
Hamish McDonald 

07 858 6519
Agri-Food – Auckland
Andrew Watene

09 367 5969
Consultant – South Island
Genevieve Steven

03 307 0761

Farm Enterprise – South Island
Brent Love

03 683 1871

Field Notes Administrator
Angelo Marundan
+64 9363 3624