Week in Review

[18th August 2022]

This week in Aotearoa New Zealand we get a mix of stories in Dairy. Despite a fifth consecutive drop in the Global Dairy Trade Auction, Fonterra Co-operative Group have released a positive full-year profit forecast with a positive outlook for dairy. The past 12 months have also seen a record low in dairy effluent offences for 2021/2022 year across the country.

In horticulture expectations are less positive for both kiwifruit and avocados. Zespri’s grower update explained the sector challenges in poor fruit quality and increasing costs this season with prices potentially to be below previously anticipated ranges. Avocado exporters are also bracing for another season of lower prices but looking to target greater volume into the Asian markets with a continued challenge of lower volumes in the previously largest market of Australia.

In other sectors, researchers plan to more accurately define the flavour and chemical characteristics of honey produced from the country’s various unique flowers. The pork industry has released an alternative to the ‘unworkable’ government animal welfare proposal and Sir Peter Gluckman urges for a citizens assembly to update the outdated genetic technology regulations, targeting 2024.

Internationally, we see several stories from the UK this week. Supermarket Iceland and charity Fairy for You are partnering to provide interest free micro-loans to people following a pilot where 92% of people were able to reduce their use of foodbanks. In a large scale consumer survey it was discovered that 41% of UK consumers would try lab-grown meat, 42% had never heard of GE food, and 86% had eaten less red meat in the past 12 months.  

Foresight Focus Series

After a trip to India last month, this week KPMG Propagate Agri-Advisor Pratik Bhanage imagines what the news headlines of India and New Zealand could be 10 years from now if the two countries unlocked future opportunities of strong and genuine collaboration.

India Collaboration: Headlines for 2032 | Linkedin

Spotlight Stories

Biotechnology Spotlight

Hi-Tech success from sea to cellulose [12 August, Farmers Weekly]

Agrisea New Zealand, a Paeroa-based seaweed company specialising in biostimulant products, has won the 2022 Māori Company of the Year Award for its collaborative efforts with Scion in creating nanocellulose from seaweed. As most nanocellulose is produced using harsh chemicals and wood pulp, the discovery of using seaweed in its production is significant thanks to its environmental benefits. Nanocellulose has applications ranging from batteries to biomedical supplies and cosmetics.

Tags: Biotechnology, Research & Development 

Food Retail Spotlight

Woman with basket in supermarket, low section

Rising costs force Kiwis to change food purchases [14 August, Rural News]

Recent findings released by NZ meal kit company Hello Fresh show that more than 45% of kiwis have changed their diet because of increased costs, sustainability, or health factors. This comes as Stats NZ reported a 7.5% increase in annual grocery food prices and a 10% increase in fruit and vegetable prices during July.

Tags: Food Retail

Headline Stories

FamilyMart deploys restocking robots to ease staffing crunch [10 August, Free Malaysia Today]

Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart plans to trial restocking robots that monitor refrigerated beverage shelves as the company looks at increasing productivity and solving labour shortages. The robots will work behind store shelves and use image recognition technology to restock products when needed. FamilyMart estimates the machines will save stores 10 hours of labour costs a day; however, the cost of the machines has not yet been revealed.

Tags: Robotics & Automation, Food Retail, International

New Zealand trade deal to hit UK meat producers [12 August, Food Manufacture]

Economic modelling conducted by the UK levy board AHDB predicts that if China were to ban imports of NZ red meats, UK red meat producers would experience modest negative effects. The findings suggest that NZ exporters would likely redirect their exports to the UK, which could see a potential 29,000-tonne increase in lamb imports and a 7,000-tonne increase in beef imports.

Tags: Trade & Exports, Policy & Regulation

Yealands and a global effort to decarbonise wine [11 August, Rural News]

Yealands, NZ’s first winery to join the International Wineries for Climate Action group (IWCA), has committed to becoming a carbon-positive business by 2050, with an additional 50% reduction target by 2030. Already a prominent supporter of carbon reduction with many initiatives already in place, such as utilising renewable energy sources, General Manager Michael Wentworth commented that the target requires a greater focus on long-term thinking.

Tags: Viniculture, Environment & Emissions

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