Week in Review

[3 June 2021]

This week in New Zealand we start the countdown for Mystery Creek Fieldays starting 16th June, with final announcements of exhibitors, speakers and events – which also includes with the launch of our 2021 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda.

International stories have an environmental focus this week, with pieces on EU-wide environmental labelling, Upcycled food, and a worrying decline of biodiversity in wild Amazon fisheries. 

Article of the Week

This week Jack Keeys releases an article from the future, looking back to today in a piece titled: Remember when New Zealand used to be the World’s Leading food producer?

You can access his full article here.

Spotlight Stories

Food Innovation Spotlight


Project seeks to turn eggshells into next-gen bone regeneration biomaterial [1 June, Food Navigator]

A new approach to extract calcium from eggshells has been perfected by a team of scientists who believe this waste material could be the starting point of creating biomaterials used to regenerate bone. Dr. Harvard Jostein Haugen Professor at the University of Oslo said “synthesised properly in the lab, the calcium from the eggshell can be transformed into ACP, a component that can replace the inorganic part of the bone.” Head of RTU Rudolfs Climdins Riga Danijga Loča added that it can be used to “treat bone fractures and various other diseases related to the loss of bone mass.”

Tag: Food Innovation, International

Agribusiness Spotlight

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New regional fund announced [27 May, Farmers Weekly]

According to Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash, the Government has launched a NZ$200 million regional strategic fund to replace the provincial growth fund and play a vital role in the post-covid recovery efforts. The fund has three goals: to work in local partnerships to enable economic and business development, to accelerate Māori economic aspirations, and to support sector transformation. Nash said the “central government will partner with local government, iwi, businesses, and other agencies” to give each region the scope to help decide its own priorities.

Tag: Policy and Regulation, Agribusiness, Rural Communities

This Week's Headlines

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Fieldays 2021 is set to impress [31 May, Farmers Weekly]

Fieldays 2021 is back after being cancelled last year due to Covid-19 to showcase the latest and greatest agriculture. It is now a hybrid event to cover the best of both worlds- the physical event at Mystery Creek and Fieldays Online. The Fieldays team anticipate the Health and Wellbeing Hub to be busily occupied, with a greater focus under the current climate. Additionally, the Innovations Hub also has some exciting exhibitors focusing on issues facing the primary sector such as labour shortages and other Covid-19 implications.

Tag: Agribusiness, Farmers & Producers

headline 2

Boost for Bay of Plenty: Zespri marks record 2020/2021 kiwifruit season [27 May, NZ Herald]

Bay of Plenty kiwifruit growers hit another record Zespri season with fruit sales generating a total global revenue of NZ$3.58 billion in the 2020/21 financial year – up 14% from the previous year. Zespri chairman Bruce Cameron said the results reflect continued strong demand for its kiwifruit around the world, boosted by the industry's hard work and investment to increase demand and supply. These earnings are spread through several regions including the Bay of Plenty, Northland, Nelson, Gisborne, and the Waikato, providing support to people, communities and businesses.

Tag: Horticulture, Farmers & Producers


Kāpiti olive oil makers win in prestigious New York competition [28 May, NZ Herald]

Waikawa Glen Olive Oil has won a gold medal at the prestigious New York International Olive Oil Competition for its 2020 blend. Their award-winning oil showed excellence across multiple quality dimensions compared to its competitors. Waikawa Glen Olive Oil is committed to sustainable growing principles, with a boutique grove of about 500 trees. Waikawa Glen Olive Oil Owner Lisa Buchan said, they converted to organic five years ago and “mow frequently to keep humidity down, and we mulch our prunings back into the soil.”

Tag: Honours & Awards, Food Innovation

Top stories

Weaning NZ off China depends on diplomacy elsewhere, exporters say [27 May, Stuff]

New Zealand is treading a fine line between satisfying its largest market, China, and reducing trade barriers with the UK and EU. Dairy exporters say New Zealand must make significant progress on tariffs in heavily protected markets before they can reduce their reliance on China. This week, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has continued urging exporters to diversify their markets, as New Zealand faces pressure from Western allies to address China’s human rights record.

Tag: Trade & Exports, Policy and Regulation

NZ could benefit from EU-UK carbon surge [26 May, Farmers Weekly]

Beyond Carbon Director Lizzie Chambers says the European carbon market is being driven in part by major reforms and targets set on reductions. The EU carbon market pushed above EU€50 a tonne (NZ$84) for the first time, and the UK exceeded GBP£50/t (NZ$98). NZ’s carbon market has enjoyed a run of its own, coming off a peak of NZ$39.20 last month to its latest spot price of NZ$36.55. Forest Owners Association president Phil Taylor says the prospects for NZ farmers wanting to participate in the carbon market are highly positive, with integrated farm-forestry looking like an appealing option.

Tag: Environment & Emissions, International

PepsiCo backs EU-wide environmental labelling: ‘Consumers should be supported, and industry incentivised’ [1 June, Food Navigator]

PepsiCo Director of Environmental Policy Gloria Gabellini advocates for an EU-wide harmonised environmental labelling scheme as she says consumers have a right to expect transparency from producers. Gabellini said “consumers are… increasingly interested in knowing more about the environmental footprint of food and beverage products in particular” and environmental labelling will help consumers make informed sustainable choices and incentivise the industry to “do better” in terms of environmental impact.

Tag: Food Innovation, International

Waikeria Prison's dairy farm training helping to break offending cycle [28 May, NZ Herald]

According to Waikeria Prison manager industries Stu Morgan, the prison farm is the largest industry at the Waikeria Prison and provides prisoners with a chance to have industry training opportunities and gain industry-standard qualifications. The aim is for the men to undertake Level 2 Agricultural General Skills through Primary ITO, with a focus on the dairy farming thread. Morgan said they hope the passion for farming and qualifications on offer will see more prisoners joining the industry on release and turning their lives around.

Tag: Agribusiness, Farmers & Producers, Farming Systems

China reports human case of H10N3 bird flu, a possible first [1 June, One News]

According to the Chinese Government, a man in eastern China has contracted what might be the world’s first human case of the H10N3 strain of bird flu, but the risk of large-scale spread is low. The National Health Commission said the 41-year-old man in Jiangsu province, northwest of Shanghai, was hospitalised and is in stable condition. The commission added no human case of H1ON3 has been reported elsewhere.

Tag: Biosecurity

World Milk Day recognises Kiwi dairy farmers – DairyNZ [1 June, Voxy]

World Milk Day recognises New Zealand dairy farmers playing a key role in a post-Covid economy as sustainable global milk producers. DairyNZ chief executive Dr. Tim Mackle said an increase in milk price, this past season, delivered an additional NZ$2.1 billion within the nation’s communities alone, leading to a total economic contribution of around NZ$42 billion. Mackle added, “dairy farmers achieve all this while being the most emissions efficient producers globally.”

Tag: Dairy

NZ-China relations ‘in good shape’ [27 May, Farmers Weekly]

According to Trade Minister Damien O’Connor, there has been no news of China applying measures to New Zealand exports in the near future. O’Connor made the remarks after Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta told The Guardian NZ could find itself at the heart of a “storm” of anger from China, and exporters should diversify to ensure they can “withstand the impact”. O’Connor acknowledged there are “areas where we don’t agree with China”, however, “in a trading relationship of this size and complexity, issues can arise at any time”.

Tag: Policy and Regulation, Trade & Exports

Sweet as! How a Northland family grew New Zealand's first commercial pineapple crop [31 May, Stuff]

A Northland family, Owen and Lina Schafli, are harvesting their first commercial pineapple crop of between 5000 and 10,000 pineapples from their 22,000 plants. Owen explains their pineapple variety ‘Queen’ was preferred over ‘Cayenne’, the main variety imported in NZ, as it has a better tolerance to cold, disease and stress. The Schaflis can see that there is fast-growing demand for locally grown tropical fruits and are “experimenting with other tropicals such as dragon fruit, papaya, sugarcane and coffee.”

Tag: Horticulture, Farmers & Producers, Farming Systems

Logging price boom drives up biofuel price in Southland [28 May, Stuff]

According to Forest Management Group Director David Janett, the price of low-grade logs overseas increased by 40% or NZ$40 per cubic metres, driving up the price of woodchips used as biofuel in Southland. Janett explained that fewer woodchips were available in the country and the price was volatile, making it harder for businesses to switch carbon-efficient fuel sources. The Government had set a goal to move away from coal within the next 15 years, but heavy industries would require large volumes of biofuels to get there, he added.

Tag: Forestry, Trade & Exports, Environment & Emissions

Stringing bells in glasshouses [28 May, Farmers Weekly]

Southern Paprika (SPL) began in a field in Matakana and has now grown into a global operation with a 26ha glasshouse enterprise producing seven million capsicums per year, 80% of which goes to the domestic market and the rest is exported. Production staff harvest the fruit before the company’s packhouse grades by colour, quality and size, and puts through up to 60 tonnes a day at peak. SPL has a further 10ha of land in Warkworth and the company is currently evaluating the potential to develop two more glasshouse complexes.

Tag: Horticulture, Farmers & Producers, Farming Systems

Is the global food system broken, and, if so, will a push towards plant-based diets fix it? [27 May, Feed Navigator]

Meat alternatives have risen in popularity and key leaders explain their perspectives on whether they can cause a substantial change to the food supply chain. Michael Lavin founder of Germin8 Ventures predicts “there will be a threat to those companies that choose not to innovate, that try to protect their domains”. However, Lavin sees a difficult scale-up path and challenging production costs for lab meat. Philip Lymbery CEO of Compassion in World Food Farming International said it is about “moving away from factory farming and heavy meat diets to a food system based around regenerative and agroecological production.”

Tag: International, Farming Systems

Unilever partners with mycoprotein supplier ENOUGH on ‘game changing’ protein innovation [27 May, Food Navigator]

Unilever has partnered with food tech company ‘ENOUGH’, who will supply mycoprotein to fuel innovation behind its plant-based brands, starting with ‘The Vegetarian Butcher’. The Vegetarian Butcher produces a range of products leveraging a “diverse blend” of plant-based proteins to deliver meat-like tastes and textures. The company said plant-based innovations like this will support Unilever’s goal to develop its portfolio in high-growth spaces and contribute towards its targeted plant-based sales of EU€1 billion a year globally by 2025-2027.

Tag: International, Food Innovation, Alternative Proteins

Declining biodiversity in wild Amazon fisheries threatens human diet [28 May, Science Daily]

According to a recent study of several wild fish species commonly consumed in the Peruvian Amazon, people may suffer major nutritional shortages with continued losses in fish biodiversity. The researchers drew up multiple scenarios analysing the effects on people’s future diets with various fish species taken out of the mix and have determined that there will be smaller local species as a result of the shrinking portion. The study’s Senior Co-author Shahid Naeem said “if fish decline, the quality of the diet will decline” and the increasing use of aquaculture and other substitutes may not compensate.

Tag: International, Food Security, Environment & Emissions

Making farming greener more important than eating less meat and dairy – Study [1 June, NZ Herald]

A new study published in AGU Advances has found that improving the efficiency of livestock production will be a significantly more effective strategy for reducing global methane emissions than adopting a plant-based diet. The authors showed that improving the efficiency of livestock farming, especially in some emerging economies, would be necessary to make meaningful cuts to methane emissions. Globally, raising animals for milk, meat and eggs accounted for one-third of human methane emissions, and dairy and beef cows were the top contributors due in part to their large numbers.

Tag: Environment & Emissions, Farming Systems

Upcycled Food Is The Coolest Trend You’ve Probably Never Heard Of [31 May, Forbes]

According to the Upcycled Food Association, upcycled food is sourced and produced using verifiable supply chains and has a positive impact on the environment, water and food security as well as individuals. Food Network Magazine and Whole Foods WFM listed upcycled foods as a top trend for 2021 and a report reveals that the upcycled food market is worth US$46.7 billion with an expected CAGR of 5% over the next 10 years. Upcycled Food Association plan to launch its new Certified Upcycled label to identify authentic upcycled foods in August.

Tag: Food Innovation, International, Food Marketing

Major sting for beekeepers [1 June, Rural News Group]

According to NZ Beekeepers Inc President Jane Lorimer, a mystery disease is currently ravaging parts of the North Island bee population with reported death rates of up to 80% in some hives. Apiarists are unsure of the exact cause but have discussed possible scenarios which include resistant varroa mites, increased wasp predation or a disease that originated in the kiwifruit pollination industry. Large-scale financial losses are expected as NZ honey exports were valued at NZ$505.5 million in 2020, up 46% from 2019.

Tag: Apiculture, Biosecurity

Students get funding boost [1 June, Rural News Group]

120 scholarships have been presented to agricultural and horticultural students at a Massey University presentation evening. The significant horticultural companies offering the scholarships include Zespri, Horticulture NZ and Fruitfed Supplies. Additionally, a total of NZ$40,000 of scholarships were funded by Noeleen Olsen who has been a teacher at Roslyn School for 28 years and was an enthusiastic member of the local horticulture society. Both undergraduate and postgraduate students received funding from a range of sources to help them continue their studies.

Tag: Agribusiness Education

Tough season despite positive profits for Zespri [1 June, Farmers Weekly]

According to Chief Executive Dan Mathieson, the disruptions to shipping and the tight labour supply continue to challenge Zespri and kiwifruit growers, despite positive revenue and profit figures. Zespri has reported a record global operating revenue of NZ$3.89 billion in the 2021/20 financial year, with global fruit sales accounting for NZ$3.58 billion. Mathieson said “while we have built up our charter vessel fleet to take 65% of the crop, we are still relying upon containers for the rest. There are delays, a lack of ships and scheduling and port congestion both here and overseas.”

Tag: Horticulture

Canterbury floods: Adverse event declared, funding unlocked for flood-hit farmers [1 June, Stuff]

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced a medium-scale adverse event for Canterbury, accessing NZ$500,000 of Government support for farmers and growers affected by heavy rain and flooding. He says “the funding will help speed up the recovery of farming businesses, and includes wellbeing support and specialist technical advice.” Federated Farmers Mid-Canterbury senior vice president David Acland said several farms in the district have lost winter feed to the floods, with silage and baleage holding grain inundated, making it more difficult to source feed as summer conditions weren’t ideal.

Tag: Farmers & Producers, Environment & Emissions

Rockit opens new global headquarters [1 June, Voxy]

Rockit Global Limited has unveiled its brand new, leading-edge facility in Hastings and gave the board, shareholders, business partners and dignitaries a first look at the technological innovation it has. With demand growing exponentially across the world, Rockit Global CEO Mark O’Donnell says expansion into a revolutionary, digitally advanced, fit-for-purpose facility was a worthy investment. He adds, "it’s not only a place to call home for our hundreds of growers, investors, staff and industry colleagues, it’s an innovation hub and place of ideating, exploring and excelling."

Tag: Horticulture

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