Week in Review
This week in Aotearoa New Zealand, food price increases have reached a 14 year high for the past 12 month period, following another increase in November.
In dairy, Fonterra Co-operative Group has achieved a first quarter profit up 84%, Australia’s dairy farmers are also seeing accelerated milk prices with forecasts at AUD$9.5-10/kgMS, and New Zealand farmers are getting over 20% premiums for live export animals ahead of the upcoming April ban.
In poultry, low hen numbers are expected to increase egg prices for 2023, while recent drops in international demand for wool are causing further price declines for sheep farmers.
Also this week, a comprehensive review of 800 genetic modification biotechnology studies published in New Zealand has shown no human health issues, but improved environmental and economic outcomes for farmers, published at the same time as the Indian Government has announced a first open-field evaluation of a GM crop in the country.
And in alternative proteins, a world-leading insect producer is expanding into North America with two USD$106m sites, and research highlights gaps in the nutritional value of processed plant-based meat substitutes for human consumption, particularly in relation to ‘antinutrients’.
- Fonterra first quarter profit up 84 percent to $214m
- Inflation and low hen numbers will squeeze egg prices next year
- Farmers get premium for live export cows as ban approaches
- Review finds GM a good bet for safety, profit
- ‘Quite frightening’ drop in wool prices has farmers worried
- Rabobank: Australian milk prices rise rapidly
- Food prices rise at fastest rate in 14 years
- French insect-based ingredients maker Ynsect expands in North America
- Meat substitutes contain ‘antinutrients’ that inhibit absorption of iron and zinc: 'The industry needs to think about the nutritional value of these products'
- GM food in India: Debate reignited after food security and trade concerns drive government to assess rules
- New Zealand farmer confidence plunges to record low - Rabobank
Rural Community Spotlight
Rural telethon launches to supply meat to city missions and foodbanks [15 December, RNZ]
Today, the Meat the Need charity is holding a telethon to raise one million meals to help fill food-banks in rural New Zealand for an entire year. Farmers, growers, and members of the public can pledge to donate livestock, milk, and other produce during the 13-hour event, ending at 7:30 pm this evening. The event is being live-streamed via the charity's social media channels, with many opportunities for people to get involved.
Tags: Rural Communities
More trees, less land: How Brazil’s orange juice sector tripled its productivity [9 December, Food Navigator]
Brazil’s orange juice sector has improved productivity by 210% on 45% less land by planting more citrus trees in the same area. The technique, known as densification, has taken "years” to develop and could be used in other regions such as the UK, where agricultural land is limited. In 2018, each hectare of land averaged 374 trees, while this year, the average is 506 trees per hectare. Brazilin companies are responsible for 75% of all juice traded globally.
Tags: International, Horticulture
'World's first' DNA traceable steak travels from UK to Dubai [14 December, Food Manufacture]
Digital platform provider OneAgrix predicts its new farm-to-fork technology with DNA traceability, alongside other digital infrastructure, could generate up to USD$500b for the global economy by 2030. The technology can track Halal-approved meat from the UK and provides extra security along the supply chain. The development comes ahead of new rules in the US requiring certain foods to have tracking and tracing.
Tags: International, Food Marketing, Red Meat
‘No more wasteful gimmicks’: China issues strict constraints for fruit, meat, egg and seafood packaging [14 December, Food Navigator]
The Chinese government has launched draft standards to govern excessive food packaging, limiting the maximum packaging layers to three-four layers for fruit, meat, egg, and seafood items. The change comes following a viral video where a strawberry gift box was wrapped in seven layers of packaging. The local Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) commented that the problem of excessive packaging is causing too much waste.
Tags: International, Environment & Emissions
The Human Rights Commission in New Zealand has found that workers within the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme are experiencing conditions similar to modern slavery, including poor housing conditions and being banned from travelling or consuming alcohol in their own time. The commission has released a set of recommendations to address these issues, including a review of the RSE scheme with a “human rights lens”.
Tags: Rural Communities, Policy & Regulation, Horticulture
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