Week in Review

[17th November 2022]

This week in Aotearoa New Zealand, there’s a wide mix of stories. In aquaculture, NZ King Salmon has gained council approval for their Blue Endeavour open ocean farm, in horticulture, many Waikato kiwifruit growers could face full orchard fruit losses after severe frost, and labour shortages are still causing challenges for red meat processing, with delays in lamb throughput.

In other news, DairyNZ, Beef and Lamb New Zealand, and Federated Farmers have released a united position in submission to the Government’s emissions proposal as follow up to He Waka Eke Noa, kiwi start-up ‘Kinda’ has secured distribution partnership with Hells Pizza for their new cauliflower ice-cream, and food prices have now reached a 14 year high according to Stats NZ.

Internationally, sales of automated field robotic equipment are projected to soar to USD$11 billion according to new analysis to support growing labour challenges, another start-up has developed a precision fermentation honey substitute, and Canada has responded to New Zealand government’s legal challenge on its tariff-based obstruction of dairy sales, vowing to defend itself strongly but also appearing willing to accept the outcome of arbitration. 

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

Animal Welfare Spotlight

Rows of coconut seedlings ready for planting

HelloFresh accused of selling coconut milk made by forced monkey labour [15 November, Inside FMCG]

Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has accused HelloFresh of using coconut milk obtained from forced monkey labour in Thailand. The animals are chained, whipped, beaten, and forced to spend long hours picking coconuts. HelloFresh has denied these claims and said they had written confirmation from all their suppliers that they do not engage in these practices. Peta calls for a boycott of the meal-delivery service until it adopts more ethical sourcing practices.

Tags: Animal Welfare, International

Alternative Proteins Spotlight

A Lab-Grown Meat Startup Gets the FDA’s Stamp of Approval [16 November, Wired]

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved cultivated meat for the first time in the United States. This means that a company called Upside Foods will soon be able to sell chicken made from actual animal cells grown in bioreactors instead of requiring the slaughter of live animals. The FDA decision means that cultivated meat products may soon be available to the public. However, tastings will likely be limited to a very small number of exclusive restaurants.

Tags: Alternative Proteins, Policy & Regulation 

Headline Stories

Fears milk from hemp-fed cows could make people drowsy [15 November, Stuff]

A new study published in the journal Nature Food suggests that cows fed hemp feed may produce milk that contains THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. This could lead to drowsiness, impaired working memory performance, and mood alterations in humans who consume the milk. The study found that the cows showed significant behavioural changes, including increased yawning, salivation, tongue play, and unsteady movements.

Tags: Dairy

PlantTech liquidated after funding dries up [10 November, Farmers Weekly]

The horticultural sector in New Zealand is set back years after the liquidation of PlantTech Research Institute, a company developing ground-breaking AI technology. The company was forced into liquidation as its research funding dried up, and project revenue had failed to meet costs over the year. According to Brendan O’Connell, chief executive of Agritech NZ, this is a tragic step backward for the sector.

Tags: Agri-technology

Health Star rating system upgraded to be tougher on sugar and salt [14 November, Stuff]

The Health Star Rating system is an opt-in system that rates the health benefits of packaged foods. The system is being updated to better reflect dietary guidelines, including lower ratings for products with high levels of sugar and salt. More than 5600 products in supermarkets had health stars on their labels as of mid-2021, and it may become mandatory for all products if uptake by manufacturers fails to meet a 70% target by 2025.

Tags: Food Retail

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