Week in Review

This week we are saying farewell to our KPMG Agri-food research & insights analyst and Senior Manager Jack Keeys, who has been with KPMG and writing our Field Notes newsletters for the past three years. We’d like to thank Jack for his contributions to the team including the evolution of our Fieldnotes platform and wish him all the best for the future.

This week in Aotearoa New Zealand, we see several dairy stories in the headlines including reduced milk price forecasts across the sector due to a continued weakness in Chinese demand, a counter claim made by New Zealand butter producer Westgold in a packaging lawsuit against Ireland’s Kerigold, and data from the US highlighting an increase in national dairy production.

In biosecurity, the Fall Armyworm which damages various crops including maize has been confirmed in the South Island for the first time with MPI urging farmers to trap and report any sightings, and new research indicates that Mycoplasma bovis may be spreading through airborne transmission following inquiries into recent outbreaks.

Internationally, pet food hits headlines as the sector’s production is reported to have grown 7.25% in 2022 in Alltech’s latest report, and research has shown that consumers are less likely to try cultivated meat if it has first been described as a pet food, with researchers warning innovators to carefully consider go to market strategies as a result. Finally, a small research project in the US has indicated that feeding certain probiotic supplements to chickens can boost their happiness levels, resulting in greater ‘comfort’ and improved weight gain. 

Spotlight Stories

Farmers & Producers Spotlight


Farmers, growers face flooded fields, ruined crops after deluge [30 January, RNZ]

Heavy rains in Auckland and the Coromandel have caused major farm damage, including ruined crops, washed away culverts, feed, and damage to infrastructure. Although milk collection was disrupted, no livestock losses were reported. Farmers are currently cleaning up and bracing for more forecasted rain.

Tags: Farmers & Producers, Environment & Emissions

Alternative Proteins Spotlight


Insect-food makers believe consumers are getting the bug [30 January, Just Food]

Eating insects, once unappealing to westerners, is gaining acceptance, especially among younger consumers. A 2022 survey of over 8,000 people across Europe and the US found that 96% of those who tried insect protein liked it and would eat it again. Surveys showed that younger people are more open to the idea, especially in Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK. Companies within the industry believe environmental, nutritional, and sustainable benefits will drive growth.

Tags: Alternative Proteins, International 

Headline Stories

13% of older adults show signs of food addiction [31 January, Healio News]

According to a survey by the University of Michigan, one in eight adults aged 50 to 80 showed signs of addiction to highly processed foods. The addictive quality of these foods makes it challenging for older adults to cut back. Women, those with poor mental health, and those feeling isolated were found to be more susceptible to this type of addiction.

Tags: International

NZPork concerned about Government’s new direction on highly productive land [31 January, The Country]

The National Policy Statement on Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) in New Zealand poses a threat to indoor pig farming, according to NZPork. The NPS-HPL aims to protect highly productive land, however, indoor pig farming may be considered inappropriate use despite producing natural fertilizer for land and feed crops. NZPork claims no analysis has been done on the impacts of excluding indoor pig farming from highly productive land, and the policy may lead to job losses and industry decline. Two-thirds of commercial pig farms in the country are located on highly productive land.

Tags: Pork, Policy & Regulation 

English Farms to Get Post-Brexit Subsidies for Going Greener [27 January, Bloomberg]

After leaving the EU and its Common Agricultural Policy, the UK government will offer incentives for sustainable farming practices, including hedgerow preservation. This policy aims to provide stability for farmers as direct payments are phased out. Incentives also cover reducing insecticide use, preserving grasslands, and growing specific crops. Although farming organisations view the policy favourably, some farmers feel it does not address rising fuel and fertilizer costs.

Tags: International, Farmers & Producers 

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