Week in Review

[20th October 2022]

This week in Aotearoa New Zealand, the consequences of climate unpredictability on farming systems are being highlighted across sectors, where the country’s largest organic blueberry orchard lost over 90% of their crop in a one-in-50-year frost, another severe marine heatwave is predicted to further raise ocean temperatures, and initial plans are approved for a NZD$16.7m land-based salmon farm in Twizel to de-risk production.

We also hear about recent innovations across the country, including a Scion biogas study which is looking to convert partially digested grass from processed cattle into bio-energy, a technology solution utilising advanced science to determine proof-of-origin for New Zealand made wines, and the winner of NutraIngredients-Asia Awards 2022 Start-Up prize ‘Yacon’ who have developed and sell prebiotic juice concentrate products.

Internationally global dairy trade auction prices fall 4.6%, Colombian-based ghost kitchen start-up ‘Foodology’ received USD$50m for expansion, and a new research study published in nature medicine criticises weak evidence of associations made between red meat consumption (when unprocessed) and various cancers and diseases; the article highlighted researchers’ concerns that potentially inaccurate information has been shared with public in reports such as the EAT-Lancet Commission publication which recommends very low red-meat intake. 

Initiative of the week: Open Farms

New Zealand’s national open farm day is set for Sunday 12 March 2023!

Open Farms helps urban Kiwis reconnect with our land, food and farmers, and they’re now looking for farmer hosts.

Hosts can be any food and fibre producer, and are provided with planning tools, marketing support and options on size, format and focus of the event.

If you or someone you know may be interested in being an Open Farm host, you can learn more and register here:


Spotlight Stories

Farming Systems Spotlight

Seaweed planting “historic moment” for aquaculture [17 October, Sun Media]

The planting of hatchery-grown native seaweed ‘Ecklonia radiata” in the Haruaki Gulf, part of EnviroStrat’s NZD$5M ocean farming pilot, marks a huge step towards breaking NZ into the NZD$20.5B global seaweed industry. Grown in a hatchery in Tauranga, 220m of the native seaweed has been planted in the Haruaki Gulf. A further 24km is expected to be planted over the next year, with an additional 12km for Tauranga.

Tags: Farming Systems, Aquaculture 

International Spotlight

Robotics use growing “at breathtaking speed” as food & bev industry automation increases 25% – IFR report [17 October, AgFunder Network]

According to a recent International Federation of Robotics report, robot installation in the US food and beverage industry increased 25% in 2021 compared to the prior year, totalling 3,402 new units. Increased demand is attributed to hygiene and labour shortage concerns following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tags: International, Agritech

Headline Stories

NZ in hot seat on China Pacific trade bid [13 October, Farmers Weekly]

With NZ succeeding Singapore as chair of the Comprehensive and Progressive TransPacific Partnership (CPTTP) in 2023, it must deal with applications to join from both Taiwan and China. Some are concerned that Taiwan's ambiguous statehood could incur trade sanctions from China (NZ's largest exporter) if NZ were to accept Taiwan's application. This concern follows trade sanctions faced by Australia from China due to political differences between the countries. 

Tags: Trade & Exports

Alternative protein research should be open access – GFI’s Kell [18 October, AgFunder Network]

Science and Technology manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, Seren Kell, expresses concern that private research within the alternative proteins sector slows the industry’s progression. Kell proposes that “publicly funded open access research is needed to progress the field as quickly as possible,” citing how most innovations within the field are company lead and therefore privatised.

Tags: Alternative Proteins, International 

Council supports landowners in planting millions of trees planted on unproductive land [14 October, RNZ]

Support from the Waikato Regional Council sees unproductive lands within its region repurposed for tree plantation, with the last five years seeing three million trees planted over 5777Ha of land. Waikato and West Coast catchment manager Grant Blackie comments, “all this work… contribute to cleaner water, increased biodiversity and improving the climate resilience of each farm.”

Tags: Farming System, Environment & Emissions

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
Farm Enterprise – South Island
Brent Love

03 683 1871

Agri-Food - South Island
Paulette Elliott
+64 2788 61744

Field Notes Administrator
Demosson Metu
+64 9365 4073