Week in Review

In Aotearoa, it was a big week for dairy news. Open Country Dairy (OCD) has reduced their milk forecast range by 50 cents from between $8 to $8.30/kgMS to $7.50 to $7.80/kgMS. Despite the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction last week experiencing the first rise in five auctions, GDT prices are still 6.1% down since the start of the year. Westland Milk Products will invest $70 million to expand their Hokitika factory, which will allow them to treble their production of the dairy protein lactoferrin, making them one of the top producers in the world. The expansion aligns with their plan to focus on high-value consumer goods and specialised ingredients from their milk supply. Fonterra Co-operative Group have received up to $2.5 million from the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Process Heath Contestable Fund at their Hautapu site to convert two coal boilers to wood pellets, a change that will reduce carbon emissions by 15,785 tonnes annually. Westpac economist, Nathan Penny stated rural inflation is expected to fall to 4% by December 2023, down from 15.3% in December 2022. Farm and orchard margins are expected to widen again, as the lower cost inflation will occur alongside higher farm gate returns. In the Hawkes Bay, the local council has recognised ‘Alligator weed’ at Lake Whatumā as a severe threat to agriculture and biodiversity. The extend of the outbreak is still being examined, once known, the council will confirm a plan with the aim of eradication.

In international news, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) opens opportunities for New Zealand meat producers selling meat into Japan. Japan is the world’s third largest meat market, estimated to be worth $88 billion this year, a 3.5% increase on last year. Half of Japan’s grain fed beef imports have previously come from Australia, where drought in recent years has caused volumes to fall allowing New Zealand exports to grow, up 29% to $349 million in 2022 on 2021 exports. In the United Kingdom, the Government, has released its draft Border Target Operating Model which aims to introduce sanitary, phytosanitary and security controls. Salmonella outbreaks in 2020 and 2021 from Polish breaded chicken products is estimated to have affected 5,000 people in the UK, and cost the country $15.7 million. The Border Target Operating Model will be a more targeted, risk-based system and will see the introduction of health certification checks on EU imports from October 2023. Frequency of control will be based on the risk of the product and country of origin.

The Big Check-In: an online evening of support for rural people post-cyclone

Have you registered for The Big Check-in yet?

In tough times like these, farmers, growers, fishers and rural people check-in on each other.

This online evening is all about reconnecting with our rural whānau and mates, sharing a few stories and preparing for the road ahead.

Joining host Te Radar will be Steve Kearney (NZ Defence Force) and Dr Lucy Hone, covering off practical tools and tips for staying on track and lessons about personal resilience after the Christchurch earthquakes. Also joining The Big Check-in will be community leaders Sandra Matthews (Tairāwhiti) and Michelle Ruddell (Tai Tokerau) to share inspiring stories from their regions.

Register for this free, 90-minute online event (May 4, 7pm-8:30pm) at https://bit.ly/TheBigCheck-in