Week in Review

This week KPMG have launched Field Notes early access registrations for the Food & Fibre Insights course with further details in ‘opportunity of the week’.

We’re also asking you – our audience – to give your feedback in a five-question multi-choice survey to help us inform changes coming to Field Notes in 2022.

In New Zealand high dairy and beef prices are holding while we share some interesting international innovations in food-waste, salmon taste, and vegan nutrition. 

Field Notes Survey

It’s important to us that our KPMG Field Notes delivers maximum value to you, our audience. We have been continually evolving over the past two years, and are intending to launch new material in 2022. By completing this five-question multi-choice survey (approx. 1-2 minutes) you will help to inform us on what content is best for you.

You can complete the short-survey here

Opportunity of the week:

KPMG New Zealand and the University of Waikato have partnered to develop a new and unique Food & Fibre Insights Course.

The part-time six-week course is targeted at working professionals who are seeking to expand their knowledge of topics at the forefront of agri-food systems in New Zealand and around the world.

The course will deliver leading insight collated from experts across New Zealand and the world, covering a different topic each week.

Course structure includes a combination of working through short readings, videos and questions on an online learning platform, in addition to a weekly virtual discussion session.

Further information and the special course link can be found here: Course Special Registration Page

Spotlight Stories

Aquaculture Spotlight:

Scheme aims to establish commercial seaweed farming sector [10 Stuff, 15 December]

The Ministry for Primary Industries and Auckland Council are investing a total of NZ$5 million in a three-year kelp farming pilot project to develop on-water farm infrastructure and growing techniques, and test production to prove the commercial viability of seaweed farming in New Zealand. “Positive findings will provide confidence to new entrants and co-investors, reducing the risk associated with the creation of a new sector,” GreenWave NZ Mawae Morton​ said. It will include hatchery production, on-water farming, seaweed processing, and training programmes for seaweed farmers.

Tag: Aquaculture, Food Innovation, Farming Systems

Food Innovation Spotlight

UK-based vegan gummy supplements startup expands overseas [13 December, Nutra Ingredients]

UK-based Vegums, the multivitamin and supplement for vegans founded by two plant-based pharmacists in 2018, has announced its plans to expand into the USA. The founders said the company was created to address the vitamin and mineral deficiencies most commonly experienced by those following vegan and plant-based lifestyles who are committed to sustainability and animal welfare. Its range includes: a multivitamin, with vitamins B12, B6 and D3 plus folic acid, selenium, and Iodine; a fish-free omega-3, from sustainably sourced marine algae; and a vegan ferrous iron.

Tag: International, Food Innovation    

This Week's Headlines

headline 1

Food and Fibre exports forecast to exceed $50b to hit a new record, MPI says [15 December, Stuff]

According to the Ministry for Primary Industries,  food and fibre export value is expected to increase by 6% and exceed NZ$50 billion in annual revenue for the first time as demand for the country’s primary products drives prices up. Director-General Ray Smith said export revenue is forecasted to grow this year for the dairy, meat and wool, horticulture, seafood, forestry and arable sectors by 10%, 6%, 5%, 2%, 3% and 6%, respectively as “consumers around the world look to healthier food and natural fibres with strong environmental credentials.”

Tag: Agribusiness, Trade & Exports  

headline 2

Ending malnutrition by 2030 is possibled with an Olympian effort [10 December, AgFunder News]

Since 2012, the Nutrition for Growth Summit has been held every four years in the host country of the Olympic Games and serves as a venue for accelerating global efforts towards reducing malnutrition. Malnutrition is said to cause 11 million premature deaths per year, with 3 billion people without access to safe, nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, and animal-source protein. Therefore, if the world hopes to eradicate malnutrition by 2030, the Summit reportedly must continue to channel the same gold-standard dedication, creativity, and investment.

Tag: International, Health & Nutrition, Food Security


MPI calls for urgent action on water storage [09 December, Farmers Weekly]

The Ministry for Primary Industries has released a water availability and security report which urges for better coordination and preparation of an action plan to improve water storage amid climate change. The report indicates that there needs to be a better integration of practices and technologies to monitor, measure, and manage water to improve efficiency and climate-proof water availability and security. It also said that government investment may support storage and distribution and that future storage should be multifaceted, multi-user and complementary within the community visions.

Tag: Water, Policy and Regulation     

Top stories

NZ meat eaters losing appetite [09 December, Farmers Weekly]

It is reported that New Zealand is one of six countries worldwide eating less meat than 20 years ago due to suspected dietary changes and environmental perspectives. New Zealand has seen the biggest fall in meat consumption of the six countries, with an 11% drop in per capita consumption (86kg to 75kg) over the last 20 years. Red meat was most affected, with sheepmeat down from 25kg per person to 3.6kg and beef from 23kg to 11kg.

Tag: Red Meat            

Green light for Fonterra's new capital structure [09 December, Rural News Group]

Fonterra Co-operative Group’s new capital structure proposal received 85.16% of the total farmer votes, out of the 75% needed to pass, showing that farmers are united in their support for the direction of the co-op, says Chairman Peter McBride. “Changing our capital structure is the most important decision we as farmers have made in almost a decade. Our full focus is now on delivering the strategic commitments we have made,” McBride said.

Tag: Dairy, Farmers & Producers      

High beef prices expected to hold [08 December, Otago Daily Times]

According to Agricultural analyst Genevieve Steven, high beef prices are expected to continue with increased demand from Asian markets and low supplies globally due to drought and export disruptions. "With China’s beef imports continuing to grow, import demands from Japan and South Korea remaining firm, and US import requirements increasing, the stage is set for Brazil and other exporters, like New Zealand, to increase their shipped volumes," Steven said.

Tag: Red Meat, Trade & Exports       

California tackles food waste with largest recycling program in US [09 December, The Guardian]

Californian residents will soon be required to use green waste bins to dispose of food, which municipalities will then turn into compost or biogas, in hopes of cutting down on organic waste in landfills and reducing the state’s methane emissions. The director of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, Rachel Wagoner, said, “this is the biggest change to trash since recycling started in the 1980s,” but recycling food waste “is the single easiest and fastest thing that every single person can do to affect climate change.”

Tag: International, Food Waste

Danes prefer farmed salmon over wild-caught, blind tasting reveals [10 December, Food Navigator]

A blind taste test conducted by the University of Copenhagen has revealed that Danes prefer the taste of farmed salmon over wild-caught salmon, but only when they aren’t told the difference. Lead study author Mausam Budhathoki says there could be several explanations for the results with one being that Danes are familiar with the taste and colour of farmed salmon. Another possible explanation may be that “wild salmon has less flavour due to it being leaner than farmed salmon.” He added that “the test demonstrates that people’s expectations about a product are based on information they receive, and that this affects their overall taste and experience.”

Tag: International, Food Marketing, Research & Development, Fisheries

Talley’s Group sues TVNZ [10 December, Food Ticker]

Privately owned agribusiness group Talley’s has filed a court case against TVNZ, claiming it made a series of false and defamatory broadcasts about the health and safety of its employees. Former New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush investigated the claims and found that the assertions were either taken out of context, overstated, or already identified and under action, addressed or remedied prior to the broadcasts. The investigation also found that “management’s commitment to health and safety at Ashburton and other Talley’s sites visited was of a high standard.”

Tag: Policy and Regulation, Food Safety      

Funding boost for biodiversity pilot [14 December, Farmers Weekly]

The NZ Government is investing almost NZ$1 million in a 20-month “Farming with Native Biodiversity” project to help pastoral farmers protect and restore native biodiversity on their farms. “This investment is a first step to improving the quality and availability of advice. It will break down any barriers to farmers taking action on biodiversity management,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says. The project’s findings will reportedly be shared with at least 6000 farmers and will see catchment groups, councils and others helping prepare targeted resources that can be used nationally.

Tag: Environment & Emissions, Farming Systems, Farmers & Producers, Research & Development

OIO approves Waikato's 15th dairy plant, clears Singapore's Olam to build [15 December, NZ Herald]

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has approved Singapore company Olam’s application to build a NZ$100 million-plus dairy processing plant at Tokoroa in South Waikato, creating 50-60 full-time jobs. Olam purchased the land from SicciaDania NZ, a Danish firm that had obtained consents for a dairy plant, and aims to begin operations in the third quarter of 2023. Olam says the new plant will produce dairy ingredients for international foodservice markets.

Tag: Dairy, International, Policy and Regulation        

Labour shortages hurt [15 December, Rural News Group]

According to the ANZ Agri Focus Report, New Zealand’s labour shortage will worsen this season compared to last season due to the lack of backpackers who normally make up 25% of the sector's labour force. It references Zespri’s claims that it will be 6500 workers short – 2500 more than last year. The report also expresses concern about the inexperience of new workers and claims that labour shortages may also impact the quality of the fruit collected.

Tag: Rural Communities, Policy and Regulation       

Record milk price is holding [15 December, Rural News Group]

For the first time in six months, whole milk powder (WMP) prices have surpassed the US$4,000/metric tonne mark as dairy prices continue to rise. Senior agri economist Nathan Penny believes the lower NZ dollar will prove a windfall gain for farmers, and ASB economist Nat Keall suggests the unlikelihood WMP prices will be declining in the near future. As a result, Westpac has lifted its 2021-22 farmgate milk price by 10c to NZ$9/kgMS to the top of Fonterra Co-operative's updated forecast range of $8.40 to $9.00/kgMS.

Tag: Dairy, Trade & Exports, Farmers & Producers  

Tomato prices fell 49 per cent in November compared to October [14 December, NZ Herald]

According to Stats NZ, overall food prices declined by 0.6% in November compared with October 2021, driven by a 49% decrease in tomato prices. "The weighted average price of 1kg of tomatoes fell from NZ$12.04 in October 2021 to $6.16 in November 2021. This compares with $3.99 in November 2020,” consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said. Lower prices for fruit and vegetables were partly offset by higher prices for grocery food (up 0.7%) and non-alcoholic beverages (up 1.6%).

Tag: Trade & Exports, Horticulture     

13 food forests now between Hanmer Springs and Ashburton [15 December, Star News]

According to Kaiapoi Food Forest Trust chairperson Brent Cairns, many community organisations and schools have established food forests between Hanmer Springs and Ashburton with minimal effort and relatively low cost. It is estimated to cost NZ$183.50 to set up a guild of up to eight layers of plants, and it typically starts with a “fruit salad tree” (a tree with up to 11 fruit varieties grafted on to it), a citrus tree, bushes, berries, herbs, ground cover and grape vines.

Tag: Rural Communities

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