Week in Review

[10th November 2022]

This week in Aotearoa New Zealand, while A2 Milk has received approval to sell its infant formula in the United States Market, the overall recovery for dairy prices is now expected to push into next year as price forecasts begin to drop. Red meat has continued to benefit from high global prices with sales up 21% on last year to reach NZD$777m for September. The 17.4% tariff removal on NZ-sourced honey into Europe has also driven some growth for the apiculture sector exports to Europe, alongside a weakening NZ dollar

An online recipe subscription service powered by artificial intelligence ‘MenuAid’ has also made some headlines with the addition of a recent feature allowing consumers to shop based on a meal’s carbon emissions, while also reportedly helping consumers to reduce food waste and decrease their grocery bill by recommending optimum meals based on individual or family preferences. Innovation is also occurring out in the field, with the announcement of the 65 finalists for Fieldays Innovation awards, and the launch of an unmanned hybrid orchard tractor by company Robotics Plus.

Internationally, stories start appearing from the current United Nations COP27 event in Egypt, with a key early headline being a commitment from 14 major food companies to eliminate deforestation in their supply chains by 2025. At the same time a new UNICEF report has highlighted the increasing child food poverty in the pacific, with 91% of children living in food poverty in Kiribati, followed by Samoa (80%), Tuvalu (71%), Tonga (47%) and Fiji (45%).

The other international theme this week is aquaculture, where Norwegian seafood export value reaches more records, Ireland encourages an acceleration in foreign direct investment to build an aquaculture technology hub, a Japanese business begins retrofitting vacant buildings for land-based aquaculture, and a micro-algae based ice cream has been developed to match the texture of traditional ice-cream while offering a full nutritional profile.

Foresight Focus Series

This week, Matthew Lancaster from KPMG Propagate writes on food waste and loss.

Lancaster explores the global statistics, definitions, and where trends and technologies are heading – will they help?

Food waste and loss: a waste-free New Zealand is within sight | LinkedIn


Spotlight Stories

Food Marketing Spotlight

LA food truck serves a taste of NZ [5 November, Rural News]

A new food truck is hitting the streets of Los Angeles to give residents a taste of New Zealand grass-fed beef and lamb. The truck, launched by Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) as part of a new Taste Pure Nature campaign, will be serving up free samples of First Light Farms 100% grass-fed Wagyu beef and Atkins Ranch lamb at various stops around the city.

Tags: Food Marketing, Red Meat

International Spotlight

Sprouted plant and soil in hands of people

Neoplants engineers devil's ivy to create a houseplant with air-purifying superpowers [28 October, Trend Watching]

French start-up Neoplants has created a genetically modified version of the popular houseplant, Epipremnum aureum, that is up to 30 times more potent at cleaning air than existing air-cleansing plants. The plants work with two new strains of beneficial bacteria, selected and enhanced by Neoplants through 'artificial evolution' to turn volatile organic compounds into water, sugars, amino acids, and oxygen.

Tags: International, Biotechnology, Environment & Emissions 

Headline Stories

Farms being snapped up for forest at 'alarming' rate – report [5 November, Stuff]

The New Zealand Climate Change Commission has suggested that the country could achieve net-zero emissions by planting 25,000 hectares of farmland in pine trees each year. However, a new Beef + Lamb New Zealand report suggests that the amount of land being converted to forestry is already significantly higher than this, with over 50,000 hectares sold for conversion in 2020 and 2021 combined. This trend is likely to negatively impact the sheep and beef farming industry, which contributes 4.3% of GDP each year. The report recommends that the government take action to incentivise native tree planting instead of plantation forestry.

Tags: Farming Systems, Forestry

'Urine could save the world'... The start-up turning pee into greener, cheaper fertilizer [4 November, Food Navigator]

French start-up Toopi Organic has unveiled a urine-based fertiliser to limit the use of chemical ones and make use of valuable nutrients lost when we flush. Toopi Organic claims the solution has many environmental benefits and is cheaper for farmers. Collected human urine is put into biofermentators and used as a growth medium. The finished product, obtained after a few days of fermentation, is bacteria concentrated in a liquid that can be spread directly on the ground.

Tags: International, Research & Development, Environment & Emissions

New Zealand leads new global sustainable agriculture declaration [5 November, Beehive NZ]

New Zealand has agreed to a declaration with other members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that commits members to work together to boost sustainable agriculture and food systems. The Declaration includes ensuring food security and nutrition for a growing global population, along with addressing environmental challenges in an inclusive manner. The full report can be read here.

Tags: Policy & Regulation, International 

Valio leverages AI and dairy proteins for 30% sugar reduction in milk chocolate: ‘The taste remains the same’ [7 November, Food Navigator]

Finnish dairy company Valio has created a new recipe for milk chocolate based on the taste preferences of milk chocolate eaters. The company used the power of artificial intelligence to design chocolate it claims as "future-proof." The new chocolate contains 30% less sugar than regular milk chocolate and is lactose-free.

Tags: Food Innovation, International 

NZ's avocado industry on show to the world [8 Novemeber, Rural News Group]

Despite some challenges plaguing the avocado industry (e.g., poor prices), they look forward to the World Avocado Congress that is being held in New Zealand next year. NZ Avocados has been working on the conference programme for about 18 months and already has a good line-up of speakers, including some from overseas. The congress will be held in Auckland, with several field days and tours also planned for those who want to see some NZ orchards.

Tags: Horticulture 

SDC loses major legal battle against Te Anau Downs Station [7 November, Stuff]

The Southland District Council has lost a four-year NZD$1M legal battle with Peter Chartres of Te Anau Downs Station and now faces the prospect of cost recovery. The council went to the Environment Court in April seeking an enforcement order to prevent further indigenous vegetation clearance on the station.

Tags: Policy & Regulation, Farmers & Producers

Get in touch


Audit – Auckland
Ian Proudfoot
09 367 5882
Management Consulting – Wellington
Justine Fitzmaurice
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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