Week in Review

In Aotearoa, last week was a big week for dairy farmers with ‘Moving Day’ on June 1st, with many farming families moving across the country to new farms for the start of the dairy season. Canterbury based milk processor Synlait, is considering divesting their two cheese companies, Dairyworks and Talbot Forest Cheese. The move comes as part of their strategy and capital structure refresh to focus on the company's B2B Advanced Nutrition and Foodservice businesses. The impact of Cyclone Gabrielle is being felt in apple exports, Apples and Pears NZ export crop is likely to be down 5 million TCEs (tray carton equivalents of apples) on early estimates. The organisation is also busy preparing a basic leaflet for orchard reinstatement to support and speed up the official recovery plan for impacted growers and orchardists. In apiculture news, the annual colony loss survey reported a rise in varroa mite losses last year, with almost 40,000 colonies being lost and costing the industry almost $24 million.

In international news, a new report from USA’s Environmental Defense Fund suggests Florida's strawberry industry (the state’s second most valuable crop) is being threatened by climate change. Higher temperatures and water stress are already impacting yields, and the report demonstrates potential decreases in yields of 11% and income by 10% by 2050. In Australia, innovators have collaborated with Monash University's chemical engineering team to create Great Wrap - a compostable cling wrap made from potato waste. The potato waste provides a high amount of starch, which is used to produce a compostable biopolymer that decomposes in a maximum of 180 days. Great Wrap is currently available in Australia and the US, with global expansion plans in the pipeline. 

Spotlight Stories

Food Safety Spotlight

Food  products

World Food Safety Day: ‘Nobody should die from eating food’ [6 June, United Nations]

June 6th was World Food Safety Day, this year’s focus is on the role of established food safety practices and standards to ensure the safety of food. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have highlighted that contaminated food causes 420,000 deaths each year, and leads to 1.6 million people falling ill every day. The agencies have called for action from policy makers and other stakeholders to develop a ‘food safety culture’. FAO will launch a website, described as the ‘toolbox’ to help the food sector adhere to international food hygiene standards, promote fair practices, and protect consumer health, with a focus on small businesses and farmers in developing countries. 

Tags: Food Safety

Research & Development Spotlight

sheep on road

Sheep Facial Recognition: A Game-Changer for the Australian Sheep Industry? [7 June, The Lucas Group]

New Zealand-based company, Genesmith, has developed a facial recognition system for sheep, which uses machine learning and algorithms to improve livestock management and productivity. The technology identifies individual sheep and matches ewes with their lambs to improve bloodlines. It can detect animals from more than 100 meters away and can scan 360 degrees around a paddock. The system is set to be trialled in Australia later this year to showcase its potential in real-world farming situations, with the aim of investigating the practicality and cost-effectiveness of the technology. Genesmith is committed to ensuring that the technology is practical and serves farmers, ultimately changing the game and improving sheep management. 

Tags: Research & Development, Sheep & beef

Headline Stories


Industrial hemp vying to take over Victoria’s timber industry, but not all politicians agree [1 June, ABC News]

Victoria's timber industry is being energised with industrial hemp being hailed by some advocates as a billion-dollar saviour. Hemp has the potential to be processed into a range of building materials, many of them fire-resistant. The Victorian parliament has agreed to an inquiry to expand the hemp industry in the state, with industry leaders calling for investment and support from the government to scale up the industry. The global hemp industry is expected to grow from $7 billion to $27 billion by 2027. Although Victoria passed legislation to cultivate and process hemp in 1998, Victoria lags far behind other Australian states with only six farmers growing less than 200 hectares of hemp in the region.

Tags: Research & Development

red meat

Red meat exports arrest three-month slide [6 June, Farmers Weekly]

Red meat exports for April have been reported as 2% higher than the corresponding period last year, totalling $996 million. The Meat Industry Association (MIA) confirmed this increase has stopped three consecutive months of year-on-year declines for the sector. Beef exports led the increase with a rise of 18% in volume, and a 6% rise in value to $420 million, due in part to increased volumes exported to China and the United States. According to Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of MIA, while some markets performed well, there were declines in all exports to the UK and Japan due to high food inflation and consumer spending constraints. Karapeeva also noted that despite the rise in beef and sheepmeat prices since the start of the year, the global markets remain uncertain and volatile. 

Tags: Red Meat


eFeedLink - Sustainable waste treatment in aquaculture project receives US$6.7 million grant [6 June, eFeedLink]

Terraforming LIFE, a project consortium in Iceland seeking to revolutionise waste management and value creation in land-based aquaculture systems has received a grant of USD $6.7 million from the European Union's Environment and Climate Program (LIFE). The objective of the four-year project is to convert materials such as fish sludge, dead fish, organic waste sludge, and agricultural by-products into valuable resources such as high-quality energy, fertiliser, and biochar. The project will utilise sludge treatments and pyrolysis technology provided by Blue Oceans Technology (a company from Norway) to provide biogas and facilitate efficient carbon capture, providing fertiliser and carbon-neutral fuel to strengthen Iceland's circular economy. This project will also seek to tackle one of the significant challenges faced by Iceland’s farmers in recent years, the increasing price of fertiliser. 

Tags: Research & Development, Aquaculture

Get in touch


Audit – Auckland
Ian Proudfoot
09 367 5882
Agri-Food – Auckland
Andrew Watene

09 367 5969
Management Consulting – Wellington
Justine Fitzmaurice
04 816 4845
Private Enterprise – Hamilton
Hamish McDonald 

07 858 6519
Farm Enterprise – South Island
Brent Love

03 683 1871
Agri-Food - South Island
Paulette Elliott
+64 2788 61744