Week in Review

In Aotearoa state farmer Pāmu are supporting three charities: Meat the Need, Rural Change (Will to Live), and IHC Calf and Rural Scheme, as part of their commitment to supporting the communities in which they farm. Pāmu has donated calves and provided financial donations to support these charities. Dairy farmers’ incomes are being impacted by the third fall in global milk prices since the start of the season, with the Global Dairy Trade index hitting a three-year low. Milk pay-outs are expected to be below the cost of production, causing financial pressure for farmers. Rabobank predicts that global production will weaken due to profitability decreasing in the EU and US, and Westpac Bank predicts ongoing price declines due to slow China demand. Subsequently, ANZ Bank lowered its forecast to $7.75 per kg of milk solids. According to data from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as of May 2023 the amount of debt in the dairy industry was $36.8 billion, with approximately half of that being interest-only debt. Increased summer rains and pasture growth has led to healthier ewes and is resulting in more triplet pregnancies in some regions. These flocks are expecting approximately 20% triplets, requiring farmers to provide additional care and feeding, with triplet lambs being smaller in size.

In international news, due to a decrease in crop yields from heavy rains, India’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs announced the decision to ban the export of non-basmati white rice in an effort to prevent domestic price hikes. The non-basmati white grain represents approximately a quarter of India's rice exports, and the ban could result in an increase in global food prices. In Australia a trial has found feeding seaweed asparagopsis to feedlot Wagyu cattle can reduce their methane emissions by 28% without affecting the taste or marbling of the meat. The study has also determined that it is safe to use asparagopsis as a feed over an extended period of time. Further trials will continue into the 2023-24 milking season. Rabobank has warned that chocolate makers may struggle due to high cocoa and sugar prices. Cocoa prices have risen 27% in the past year due to poor growing conditions, and prices are expected to remain high until 2024. Raw sugar prices have also increased by 20% this year, a significant rise for a product that makes up 60% of a chocolate bar's weight.

Spotlight Stories

Environment & emissions spotlight


Netherlands – Warning For All Textile Companies: The Dutch EPR System Is Here On 1 July 2023.  [26 June, Conventus Law]

The Dutch Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Textiles Decree came into effect on July 1 2023, requiring fashion companies and businesses that bring textile products to market in the Netherlands to comply with new regulations. The new EPR regulations will require producers to take measures aimed at using recycled textile fibres, ensure that an increasing percentage of their textile products are prepared for reuse or recycling, and set up a suitable collection and processing system for discarded textile products. Companies have 6 weeks from July 1 2023 to set out how they will comply, and sanctions will be imposed for non-compliance.

Tags: Environment & Emissions

Policy & regulation spotlight

milk powder

“Imported raw ingredients” and similar terms banned in China’s infant formula product labelling from Oct 1 [17 July, Nutra Ingredients Asia]

Starting from 1 October 2023 a new amendment to the China standard for infant formula will require standardised product labelling. New rules will ban terms like "imported milk source" in infant formula and tighten health claims for domestic and imported products, with the aim to provide clearer information to consumers. Products need to be clearly named, and during manufacturing on-site sampling must be conducted before sale.

Tags: Policy & Regulation

Headline Stories

New Zealand farm

Sainsbury’s exec heaps praise on NZ farmers [21 July, Farmers Weekly]

New Zealand livestock farmers are leading the way in meeting environmental and social requirements of consumers according to Gavin Hodgson, the Director of Agriculture, Horticulture and Aquaculture at the United Kingdom supermarket chain Sainsbury's. Hodgson spoke at the Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Farmer Conference last week stating that farmers in New Zealand are years ahead of other countries and are aligned with Sainsbury's sustainability values. The supermarket's ‘Plan for Better’ strategy sets out specific targets for reducing carbon emissions, food waste, packaging, and recycling, as well as protecting and regenerating nature. Sainsbury's has a large retail footprint in the UK and has introduced a payment structure that rewards suppliers who meet sustainability values.

Tags: Farming Systems

Milk carton production line

Fibre-based caps coming for Arla milk cartons [26 July, Rural News Group]

European dairy co-operative Arla Foods is partnering with start-up Blue Ocean Closures to develop what is believed to be the world’s first fibre-based cap for its milk cartons. The move is part of Arla's goal to eliminate the use of fossil-based virgin plastic packaging by 2030. The cap which accounts for around 23% of the plastic used in Arla's cartons will be made of FSC fibre material and a thin barrier coating, and will be biobased, ocean biodegradable and recyclable. The partnership plans to develop a prototype and complete testing by the start of 2024.

Tags: Research & Development

Farm land

Tesco and Harper Adams launch programme for next generation of farmers [22 July, Farming UK]

Tesco supermarket and Harper Adams University (School of Sustainable Food and Farming) have partnered to launch the Future Farmer Programme, which will provide 75 young farmers with training on sustainable agriculture practices. The course will run for nine months each year for the next three years including events and mentoring sessions on business operations and personal development. The programme aims to support young farmers in implementing sustainable agriculture techniques and help them adapt to the changing landscape of the industry. Tesco will also fund research projects aimed at addressing sustainability challenges in agriculture. The first project will explore land management in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.

Tags: Farmers & Producers

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