Week in Review

[14 October 2021]

This week New Zealand dairy prices increase again across several bank forecasts, while we also see strong growth numbers and prices in the sheep dairy industry.  

Logistic challenges remain in domestic and international headlines, with congestion at Auckland’s port and a strike in Australia causing further challenges, while large multinationals begin securing their own vessels for the upcoming Christmas peak.

Internationally we see many animal welfare stories this week, with 150,000 healthy pigs expected to be disposed in the UK due to worker and transport shortages, debates on the ethics of octopus farming, and a class-action against Allbirds including claims of animal suffering. 

Finishing off our Agribusiness Agenda 2021 series with the last vodcast of 2021, Ian Proudfoot shares a conversation with Jack Keeys on the world’s dramatic fusion of 17 megatrends, into six global megathemes in addition to a New Zealand specific megatheme, all of which are expected to be driving forces in the future of food. 

Spotlight Stories

Food Marketing Spotlight:

Rockit sales surge during China festival [11 October, Food Ticker]

Rockit says its apple sales jumped 94%, selling around 120,000 Rocket giftboxes in-store and across e-commerce platforms in mainland China for the Mid-Autumn Festival sales period, compared to the same time last year. Rockit global sales general manager Mark Pay said, “our sales on TMall and JD.com increased by an incredible 600%... demonstrating how effective our marketing efforts and e-commerce promotions have been in this market.”

Tag: Food Marketing, Horticulture, International

Agritech Spotlight

NZ agritech startup Hectre attracts $3.5 million in capital raise [13 October, Stuff]

Orchard management startup Hectre has raised NZ$3.5 million for further development in its innovative technology and to hire more staff. The company’s latest technology, Spectre, uses artificial technology to provide data for growers on fruit size and colour and helps estimate crop yields. The technology also helps with decision-making in fruit pack houses regarding storage, packing, sales, and waste reduction. Spectre is now used in 11 countries, including the US, Spain and South Africa.

Tag: Agritech, Agribusiness, Horticulture, Faming Systems

This Week's Headlines

headline 1

New study highlights differences in New Zealand beef [08 October, NZ Herald]

New research conducted by the Riddet Institute indicates differences in meat quality relating to health and digestion when comparing pasture-raised NZ beef with grain-finished beef and plant-based alternatives. The research team found that the digestion of meat from pasture-raised animals released greater levels of “good” fats relative to the generally considered "bad" fats. The digested pasture-raised NZ beef also showed higher total amounts of free long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and lower amounts of free, long-chain saturated fatty acids than meat from grain-finished cattle.

Tag: Red Meat, Research & Development

headline 2

TikTok brings FMCG brands to life with #AdTok [12 October, FMCG Business]

TikTok For Business has launched #AdTok, a new initiative designed to help businesses and marketers create successful advertising campaigns through the platform. As part of the launch, it has partnered with McDonald’s Australia, Vegemite, and Cottee’s Cordial to demonstrate how creativity can be used across the platform. TikTok Global Business Solutions general manager Brett Armstrong says “our community loves it when brands show up and create content that speaks their language and allows for genuine connections. We hope the resources on #AdTok will help make harnessing the power of the wonderful world of TikTok even easier.”

Tag: International, Food Marketing    


Record farm returns predicted [12 October, Farmers Weekly]

According to ANZ economists, global food prices are increasing and the farm gate returns for some of New Zealand’s agricultural commodities will set records this season due to relatively short supply. Most significant among them for New Zealand are milk, sheepmeat, beef and logs, all at high levels in relation to their 10-year averages. The ANZ World Commodity Price index rose 1.5% in September and in NZ dollar terms, increased by 0.4%.

Tag: Farmers & Producers, Agribusiness, Trade & Exports

Top stories

Nestlé, Mondelēz pump out plant-based innovation [07 October, Food Ticker]

International FMCG Nestlé and Mondelēz are continuing the development of their plant-based innovative products to keep up with the “exploding sector.” Their vegan-friendly products include shrimp, tuna, egg, and chocolate. Nestlé says its vegan shrimp is made from seaweed, peas and konjac root, and its vegan egg is made with soy protein and contains omega-3 fatty acids. Mondelēz says its two vegan chocolate products are both made with almond paste instead of milk.

Tag: Alternative Proteins, Food Marketing

ANZ raises forecast for Fonterra milk payment this season [07 October, Stuff]

This season, ANZ has raised its expectation for Fonterra Co-operative Group’s farmgate milk price by 50 cents to NZ$8.20 per kilogram of milk solids as constrained milk volumes underpin high global prices, while the NZ dollar remains stable. ANZ agricultural economist Susan Kilsby said, “while we don’t see further upside in these prices in the immediate term, they are now at a level that delivers a healthy return back to our farmers.”

Tag: Dairy, Trade & Exports

'Containergeddon': Supply crisis drives Walmart and rivals to hire their own ships [08 October, Reuters]

Major retailers, including Walmart, Costco and Amazon, have started chartering their own smaller cargo ships or vessels, usually carrying coal/grains, to deliver toys and other holiday items to the US. It is reportedly an effort to beat the global supply chain disruptions that threaten the retail industry's "make-or-break" holiday season as traditional container ships have become limited. More than 60 container ships carrying clothing, furniture, and electronics worth billions of dollars are stuck outside Los Angeles and Long Beach terminals, waiting to unload, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

Tag: International, Trade & Exports

How Danone deconstructed milk to create a more realistic plant-based option [07 October, Food Dive]

France-based manufacturer Danone says it has deconstructed milk from its taste, nutritional components, molecular composition, and even the nostalgic experience it creates for the consumer, to formulate its two new dairy-like alternatives, Silk Nextmilk and So Delicious Wondermilk. Danone North America executives are optimistic that the products, which took two years to develop, will deliver the necessary taste and texture to attract milk drinkers who have wanted to switch to plants but were finding a lack in these attributes.

Tag: Alternative Proteins, Dairy

Report highlights environmental improvements from genetic gains [07 October, Farmers Weekly]

According to LIC’s inaugural Sustainability Report, 30 years of breeding by dairy farmers using LIC genetics has netted a 13% fall in methane emissions and 16% less urinary nitrogen per kilogram of milksolid produced. LIC chief executive Wayne McNee says, “with the combination of cow numbers reduced by about 1% a year over the past few years and when you add to that increased efficiency, I think it’s very achievable to reach the Climate Change Commission’s reduction target by 2030.”

Tag: Environment & Emissions, Research & Development

Dairy's other export not sheepish about growth [09 October, Stuff]

Food Waikato’s forecast shows that the export value of New Zealand's largest supply of dairy sheep milk for the current and following two seasons showed an increase in export value from NZ$21.2million to NZ$32.9m and NZ$44.6m expected in 2023-24. The forecast reports that Maui Sheep Milk and Spring Sheep New Zealand are entering a new growth phase in their “meteoric rise to fame.” Chief executive Stuart Gordon says both producers have “proven farm systems and profitability; they know how to farm dairy sheep sustainability and how to manufacture.”

Tag: Dairy, Farming Systems, Trade & Exports        

Rookie efforts see Jeremy Clarkson win big farming award [10 October, Stuff]

The UK’s National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has awarded former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson the NFU’s 2021 Farming Champion of the Year. Through his Amazon show Clarkson’s Farm, NFU says he has showcased the realities of farming on his farm in Oxfordshire to millions of viewers who enjoy his outspoken views on farming and no-nonsense approach. The show has also brought an understanding of many of the issues farmers face to the British public – from profit margins to diversification, says NFU.

Tag: International, Honours & Awards, Rural Communities  

New Egyptian halal accreditation may have 'chilling' effect on NZ export market [08 October, Stuff]

Dairy and meat exporters to Egypt will now be required to gain halal accreditation from Egypt’s only approved company IS EG Halal rather than from Ministry for Primary Industries’ approved halal organisations. Critics say the change sets a worrying trend for other countries “imposing” themselves on the market that meat and dairy stakeholders and government regulators have heavily invested in over the years. The added requirements of IS EG Halal will end up costing exporters more, and these costs will be passed on to consumers in Egypt, NZ Halal Management co-owner Gamal Fouda says.

Tag: Red Meat, Trade & Exports, Policy and Regulation      

Will Aussies buy Fonterra? [06 October, Rural News Group]

Freshagenda analyst Steve Spencer claims a planned public listing of Fonterra Co-operative Group’s Australian business will attract investors, including dairy farmers, but believes a buyout by another Australian dairy player looks unlikely due to competition issues. Spencer also claims the Australian business is in a strong position in earnings and reputation with its customers and farmers. However, he believes “there will be investor appetite – depending on the pricing and performance that is laid out in an IPO.”

Tag: Dairy, International

Shortage of NZ wine in the UK amid low grape yields, strong demand [11 October, NZ Herald]

New Zealand’s second-largest export market for wine, the UK, has been hit with a shortage of NZ wine as exporters struggle with low grape volumes and strong demand. A report by the British newspaper The Independent says some of the country's favourite brands of sauvignon blanc could disappear from shelves in the run-up to Christmas. Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens hoped the good reputation that New Zealand wine had established in the UK market would hold it in a good position for when volumes did recover.

Tag: Viticulture, Trade & Exports, Food Marketing

Class Action: Wool Shoe Manufacturer Allbirds Misled Consumers with Sustainability, Animal Welfare Claims [14 June, Class Action]

A proposed class action lawsuit claims Allbirds, Inc., maker of the popular “sustainable” wool running sneakers, has misled consumers regarding its carbon footprint and animal welfare claims. The lawsuit, quoting the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals article, states that the Higgs Materials Sustainability Index calculates that the carbon footprint of wool “accounts for only just over half of wool’s total environmental impact.” It also claims that Allbirds has “skew[ed] the calculations in its own favor” by basing its figures on the most conservative assumptions for each calculation.

Tag: International, Agribusiness, Marketing, Wool

India's Rebel Foods hits valuation of $1.4bn after fundraising [08 October, Asia Nikkei]

Cloud kitchen startup Rebel Foods has become the 31st unicorn to emerge from the Indian startup ecosystem this year and first in the cloud kitchen space after raising US$175 million in its Series F funding round led by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, with a valuation of $1.4 billion. “This round of funding will be reinvested in building our technology, increasing our global presence and also acquiring new brands. Rebel Foods is working towards an IPO in the next 18 to 24 months," said Piyush Kakkad, Rebel Foods' chief financial officer.

Tag: International, Agribusiness

Culling 150,000 healthy pigs shouldn’t ‘just happen’ in a functioning food system, Mr Johnson

The UK’s National Pig Association (NPA) warned that as many as 150,000 healthy pigs could be killed and disposed of amid a chronic shortage of slaughterhouse workers and heavy goods vehicle drivers in the country. President of the UK National Farmers Union Minette Batters says, “here we are facing not only pig farmers going out of business but a welfare disaster. We are putting vets in the most horrendous position of having to shoot pigs on a farm that should be going to be high-quality pork in the food chain.”

Tag: International, Pork, Biosecurity  

The ocean is a $100tln market opportunity [07 October, AgFunder News]

According to BoostVC managing director and Coinbase seed investor Adam Draper, the ocean presents a US$100 trillion market opportunity, the largest untapped investment opportunity in his lifetime. A 2019 study published in Science says the ocean sits at the centre of the climate crisis, absorbing one-third of the human population’s carbon emissions and heating faster than scientists predicted. It reports that protecting the ocean isn’t simply a moral obligation to our planet, but the ocean will play an increasingly critical role in global food security.

Tag: International, Water, Fisheries, Aquaculture

Japanese scientists work up an appetite for lab-grown Wagyu beef [09 October, Reuters]

Japan's famed Wagyu beef, a delicacy that can cost more than US$200 a pound at some top restaurants, could become much more affordable in the form of a lab-grown replica, according to Japanese scientists. Osaka University researchers led by Michiya Matsusaki used 3-D bioprinters and bovine stem cells to replicate Wagyu's distinctive marbling in a solid steak-like piece. Matsusaki says it currently takes about three to four weeks to generate a cubic centimetre of cultured meat, so it's not ready for the grocer's aisle just yet.

Tag: International, Alternative Proteins, Red Meat    

Chefs launch website to showcase Māori kai producers [12 October, Stuff]

Two renowned chefs Rewi Spraggon and Grant Kitchen are offering Māori food producers a platform to share their stories and keep tradition alive. Cathy Tait-Jamieson​, Ngāti Tukorehe, of Biofarm Organics says, “it's a big Kaupapa. A big platform for small to medium businesses to get their name out there. It's a competitive advantage... we fly under the radar all the time.” She adds, “some of the biggest kai providers in the country are Māori and you wouldn’t know.”

Tag: Food Marketing  

Congestion, strike add to global shipping woes [12 October, Rural News Group]

Congestion at the Ports of Auckland and the strikes in Australia are adding to the supply chain shipping problems around the world, which in turn are affecting the shipment of New Zealand primary products to world markets. Hamburg Sud New Zealand head Simon Edwards says his company is trying to alleviate some the supply chain congestion by increasing its container pool, investing in “extra loaders” and positioning empty reefer and food grade quality containers into the country to support agricultural exports.

Tag: Trade & Exports, International                

U.S. raises estimates for corn, soybean production [13 October, Reuters]

The US government reports that soybean and corn production will be higher than previously expected, knocking soybean futures to their lowest price of the year. The US Department of Agriculture estimated the current corn crop being harvested at 15.019 billion bushels and the soybean crop at 4.448 billion bushels in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. The larger-than-expected crops could reportedly ease worries about food inflation globally and will be welcome by meatpackers concerned about high costs of crops used primarily to feed livestock.

Tag: International, Arable       

Octopus farming: Sustainability solution or recipe for disaster? [12 October, Food Navigator]

Plans to develop octopus farming in Europe are under attack from a new report released by Compassion in World Farming which claims this sea animal’s exceptional characteristics make it uniquely unsuitable for intensive farming. The report said that octopuses would not fare well in the crowded conditions and high stocking densities that are typical of factory farm systems. It could “result in very poor welfare and creates the risk of aggression and territorialism that can lead to cannibalism” the report adds.

Tag: International, Fisheries, Aquaculture, Animal Welfare

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