Week in Review

[29 July 2021]

This week food waste appears again, with global food waste reported to be over a billion tonnes greater than previously expected at a value of US$370b. A separate article on food waste outlines that here in New Zealand, Generation Z and Millennials are the generations with the highest proportions of food waste, with up to 50% wastage from purchase. 

Article of the Week

This week Lincoln Roper, an advisor with KPMG Propagate shares insight into the use of reality TV in the story telling of New Zealand’s Food and Fibre sector, supported by signals of this new possible direction, namely the new hit tv show ‘Clarkson’s Farm’.

You can access the full article here

Spotlight Stories

Trade & Export Spotlight

High log and beef prices push overall exports to record $6 billion [26 July, RNZ]

Beef exports reached a new high of NZ$411 million in June 2021 alongside logs and wood exports which also reached a new high of NZ$561m in June 2021. Forest Owners Association president Phil Taylor said demand is strong domestically, but also internationally with increased orders from China reaching NZ$199 per cu/m. Taylor adds "supply is significantly constrained [globally] and so as a result we've seen very strong pricing over the last nine months.” Additionally, growing demand in the domestic market was keeping forest owners and mills busy.

Tag: Trade & Exports, Forestry, Red Meat

Honours and Awards Spotlight

Tūhoe honey on world stage: Ruatāhuna rewarewa named best-tasting in the world [26 July, NZ Herald]

Honey produced in Ruatāhuna in the middle of Te Urewera forest has been named the tastiest in the world in the Black Jar International Competition held in the US. Chief executive of the Tūhoe Tuawhenua Trust-owned enterprise Brenda Tahi said “our customers have always told us that our honeys taste the best. We entered this contest for the first time this year to see how our honeys stand up against honeys from across the globe." Manawa Honey's product range includes Pua-ā-Tāne, a varying combination of forest nectar like rewarewa, tāwari, tawhero, hinau, kānuka and mānuka.

Tag: Honours & Awards, Apiculture, Food Innovation

This Week's Headlines

headline 1

Healthy plant-rich diets associated with lower COVID-19 risk [27 July, Food Navigator]

Researchers from King’s College London and Harvard Medical school have data providing evidence that a healthy diet - one characterised by ‘healthy plant foods’ - is associated with both lower risk and severity of the novel Covid-19, even after accounting for other healthy behaviours, social determinants of health, and virus transmission measures. Findings in the preprint paper shows that those with the healthiest diets were more likely to be older, female, healthcare workers, of lower BMI and/or engage in physical activities five days per week or more.

Tag: International, Covid-19

headline 2

Farmers to vote on Wools of New Zealand and Primary Wool Co-operative merger [26 July, Rural News Group]

Approximately 2,100 farmers will cast a vote this November on a proposed merger between grower-owned export and marketing company Wools of New Zealand (WNZ) and Primary Wool Co-operative to potentially ‘make a real difference to New Zealand’s struggling wool industry’. Chair of Primary Wool Co-operative and director of CP Wool Richard Young says the proposed merger marks the start of an exciting chapter for the wool sector and will act as a launch-pad for New Zealand to truly realise the full potential of wool.

Tag: Wool, Farmers & Producers


Global food waste “bigger than we thought” at 40% – report [22 July, Food Ticker]

According to a new report called ‘Driven to Waste’, it is estimated that global food waste on farms amounted to 1.2 billion tonnes per year when accounting for crops left on the field due to cancellations, surpluses, or imperfections – a stage often left out of previous calculations. The report noted that ‘Governments should be ambitious in their targets for food waste reduction and support of innovation in order to assist farmers in implementing sustainable agricultural practices.’

Tag: Food Waste, Environment & Emissions

Top stories

Dairy prices fall sharply at global auction, weighing on outlook for farmers [21 July, Stuff]

The global dairy trade price index has dropped 2.9% from the previous auction, making it the seventh consecutive drop in the global auction. NZX dairy analyst Stuart Davison said prices fell for every commodity traded except cheddar, and demand for both types of milk powder was below levels seen at the last auction. “It’s a clear sign that prices are now losing momentum as we get deeper into the season and may reflect the fact that stockpiles are now much better covered after the frenzy earlier in the year” said ASB economist Nat Keall.

Tag: Dairy, Trade & Exports

LIC prospers with higher-value products, services [22 July, Farmers Weekly]

LIC has reported strong results for the 2021 financial year, showing zero debt in the farmer-owned co-operative and an increase in the purchase of premium genetics. As a result, LIC will return NZ$17.8 million in dividend to shareholders, which equates to 12.51 cents a share. LIC Chair Murray King says “we have invested heavily into genomics for our farmers because the DNA of our dairy herd can do a lot of the heavy lifting to help meet our sectors’ climate goals.”

Tag: Dairy, Agribusiness

Shadbolt recognised for agribusiness contribution [22 July, Farmers Weekly]

Massey University professor and farmer Nicola Shadbolt has been named as the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association’s (IFAMA) first New Zealand Fellow. IFAMA Fellows chair president emeritus Walter Armbruster said, “she has demonstrated distinguished achievement in the fields of food and agribusiness management in New Zealand and internationally.” Shadbolt has been with the organisation for more than 20 years and includes roles as a chair, moderator, and presenter of research papers at the annual IFAMA conferences.

Tag: Honours & Awards

Plant protein an option for dairy? [21 July, Farmers Weekly]

According to AgResearch scientist Simon Loveday, dairy factories have the potential to also produce plant protein products, but would need assistance from the arable sector to achieve it. Loveday explains that the arable sector would firstly be required to process the plant protein to remove its fat content before being shipped to a dairy factory where its protein content could be extracted, producing isolate and concentrate, starch and fibre. However many questions arise such as whether the excess capacity in these factories could be better utilised to create plant protein.

Tag: Alternative Proteins, Dairy

Ben & Jerry’s freezes out Israeli-occupied territories with ice cream boycott [22 July, Food Navigator]

This week, ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s announced plans to exit Israeli-occupied territories as selling into ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory’ is ‘inconsistent with its values'. Previously, Ben & Jerry have supported LGBTQ+ equality, Fairtrade practices, the Black Lives Matter movement, and climate justice, and now will show its support by not renewing their license agreement with Ben & Jerry Israel. The BDS National Committee supports their decision and have said “The BDS movement welcomes Ben & Jerry’s decision as a decisive step towards ending the company’s complicity in Israel’s occupation and violation of Palestinian rights.”

Tag: International, Trade & Exports, Food Marketing

France and Germany first countries to ban chick culling [22 July, Food Navigator]

France and Germany have announced they will be the first to end crushing and gassing of male chicks in commercial hatcheries by first determining the gender within the egg, in which farmers can then choose to only keep the female eggs. It is reported that €10 million will be invested into gender testing machines in France. The mass-culling of unwanted male chicks is a common practice in the global industrial as male chicks don’t lay eggs and are also less preferred for meat as they grow slower than hens.

Tag: International, Animal Welfare, Policy and regulation

Crunch time: Why don’t we eat more fruit and veg? [21 July, Food Navigator]

According to nutritionist Barbara Bray, most individuals aren’t getting enough produce in their diets due to a variety of factors including, access and affordability, how people shop, the advertising people are exposed to and what’s on the supermarket shelf in front of them. Bray believes government intervention can play a pivotal role through direct support schemes and taxation systems that incentivise employers to support their workforce through nutrition programs. Additionally, she agrees that innovation has an important role to play in shaping consumption patterns.

Tag: International, Food Security

Frustrated farmers 'giving up' on costly native land restoration [26 July, Stuff]

Members of the Banks Peninsula Native Forest/Climate Change group met with Climate Change Minister James Shaw to outline the difficulties they face regarding complying with the Emissions Trading Scheme’s (ETS) guidelines. Concerns were raised regarding the Ministry for Primary Industry’s reliance on grainy, historic aerial imagery to determine whether land contained bush before the cut-off date in 1989. The group also worried the ETS was oriented towards planting projects, making it a poor fit for irregular, multi-age, multi-species forests.

Tag: Environment & Emissions, Farmers & Producers, Policy and Regulation

Methane vaccine for cows could be 'game changer' for global emissions [25 July, Stuff]

According to the chairman of the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium, Professor Jeremy Hill, New Zealand is developing a methane vaccine for cows that could be a big breakthrough for animal emissions globally. Hill says the developing methane vaccine aims to introduce antibodies into a cow’s saliva to bind with the methanogens which convert hydrogen into methane, a potent greenhouse gas. It is reported that the vaccine could be used across different types of farming systems and, unlike other potential solutions, would not be reliant on a certain type of feeding system.

Tag: Research & Development, Environment & Emissions

Dairy exports could hit $22b [23 July, Farmers Weekly]

NZX is forecasting New Zealand dairy exports to reach NZ$22 billion by 2030 as the country’s processors and farmers are shifting NZ’s milk to higher-value products, doing the right things on-farms, and maintaining their focus on offshore markets. NZX head of insight Julia Jones says if supply is reduced but the quality of the product increases, this provides opportunities for better pricing. She adds NZ farmers are agile and focused on their animals with there still being opportunities to produce good volumes of milk within tighter environmental boundaries.

Tag: Dairy, Trade & Exports, Agribusiness

NZ importing record amount of coal to power homes and businesses [26 July, NZ Herald]

The New Zealand Government is projecting to import more than 1 million tonnes of coal this year to power mainly homes and businesses, making it the largest amount in the past 15 years. The two main problems causing the need to import more coal are hampered hydropower generation and unexpectedly low natural gas supply. Climate Change Research Institute director professor Dave Frame said the unexpected increase in the use of coal means NZ will need to cut back future emissions even more than projected for NZ to meet its climate targets.

Tag: Environment & Emissions

Sunny South joins NZ oat milk line up [26 July, Food Ticker]

New Zealand’s newest oat milk company ‘Sunny South’ plan to open a proposed NZ$50 million Southland production facility, but is currently producing offshore to help launch its product. The new production facility is expected to be carbon-neutral and was initiated by economic development agency Great South. Southland-based founders explained that a shift to NZ operations was dependent on when manufacturing capacity was available. They added, “freight is pretty challenging at the moment too – to produce locally makes a lot of sense from a brand perspective but financially as well.”

Tag: Trade & Exports Rural Communities

Zespri looks to Horizon with $160m upgrade [26 July, Food Ticker]

According to Zespri, their Horizon Programme to upgrade its ageing internal systems and processes, including their finance, supply chain, sales and planning and grower enablement functions, will cost around NZ$160 million over the three-to-four-year life of the project. Zespri chair Bruce Cameron said “the programme will modernise our systems, some of which are 20 years old. The investment is essential for our ability to supply the highest quality kiwifruit to our customers and consumers and to continue to enable us to optimise returns to the industry.”

Tag: Horticulture

Hawke’s Bay’s $18m Foodeast – ‘where the magic will happen’ [26 July, Food Ticker]

Hawke’s Bay’s new NZ$18 million food innovation hub Foodeast is scheduled to open in late 2022 and will include commercial and industrial spaces for lease, a showroom, collaborative spaces and cafe over two buildings. It will be geared towards food producers from the region and also have a small in-house team linking businesses to mentors and advisors to enable them to commercialise new products. Foodeast is estimated to add NZ$100m to the region’s GDP over 15 years and bring 500 new full-time jobs to Hawke’s Bay.

Tag: Food Innovation, Rural Communities

Survey reveals young Kiwis our biggest contributors of food waste [26 July, Voxy]

The KANTAR survey of over 1,500 New Zealanders revealed that younger generations throw away a significantly higher proportion of their household food than older New Zealanders. Additionally, fruit and vegetables were shown to be the product they dispose of the most, making up nearly two thirds of all food waste. United Fresh President Jerry Prendergast explained the need to manage our fresh produce more effectively and that "eating a diet high in locally-grown, in-season fruit and vegetables is one of the best choices we can make for the health of ourselves and the health of the planet.”

Tag: Food Waste

Carbon footprint labels becoming the norm [26 July, Farmers Weekly]

Food companies are increasingly shifting towards placing carbon labelling on their products which is a move Fonterra Co-operative says will only grow as consumers are demanding more information about the environmental footprint of their products. Fonterra Co-operative’s senior manager of sustainability solutions Lara Phillips believes Fonterra Co-operative would be put in a good position with this new carbon labelling as NZ farms are quite sustainable. She adds “consumers are wanting sustainable nutrition so we will need to keep demonstrating that. It will be driven around the world, not just from large multinational customers”.

Tag: Environment & Emissions, Trade & Exports

Arla builds training farm in Nigeria [21 July, Rural News Group]

European dairy co-operative Arla Foods is building a state-of-the-art commercial dairy farm in Northern Nigeria and plan to use it as a training base for 1,000 local dairy farmers with a scheduled opening in 2022. Arla Foods chairman Jan Toft Nørgaard said "to collaborate with farmers in many parts of world, sharing knowledge and supporting local dairy industries is a key part of our cooperative mindset and our farm in Nigeria is the next important step.” It is reported that Nigeria is among the fastest growing nations in the world and there is already a growing consumer demand for affordable dairy nutrition in the country.

Tag: International, Dairy

Food policy fight over UN summit [26 July, Science Development Network]

A UN summit aiming to tackle food insecurity has become the scene of controversy and disagreement as one group held a parallel event in protest and says the ‘top-down’ summit ignores ecological farming approaches. The group is concerned about the make-up of a scientific panel who have been instrumental in setting the agenda for the UN summit. The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems said the group was “imbalanced in its composition and biased in its perspectives and sources of knowledge” and said the selection process for members was unclear.

Tag: International, Policy and Regulation

Research reveals Gen Zs want healthy snacks that prioritise their mental health instead of calories [27 July, Bakery and Snacks]

According to research commissioned by EIT Food, young Europeans between the ages of 18 to 24 want an overhaul of how they can access, discuss and learn about healthy food. The research shows that 55% of young Europeans think that including calorie counts on food labels and menus could be detrimental to mental health - a figure that rises to 62% in the UK, 60% in France and 61% in Germany. Additionally, while most are focused on counting calories, Gen Zers - with the majority being women - are actively seeking out healthy snacks to priortise their mental health.

Tag: International, Food Security

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