Webinar Event Invitation

Leadership. Action. Hope. Shaping the future of food & fibre.

The 2023 KPMG Agribusiness Agenda report was called Energising a World of Anxiety, reflecting the fact that there are massive opportunities in front of Aotearoa’s food and fibre sector.

However, there is a deep sense that people are struggling to connect to what that future looks like, and there is a need for a boost of hope and energy to take action and move forward. As the sector heads into an even more challenging period, the need to mobilise and sustain that hope and energy has become even more critical.

Capturing opportunities in our food and fibre sector, and building resilient leaders to do that is essential. KPMG and AWDT invite you to this free webinar that will explore leadership anchored in the human experience, and what the future of leadership in our food and fibre sector might look like.

Join us Tuesday 10 October at 7.30pm.

Learn more about our facilitator and panellists here.

Register here.

Banner showing the details for the AWDT and KPMG webinar being held 10 October at 7:30pm

Week in Review

In Aotearoa, dairy prices have risen for the second Global Dairy Trade auction in a row. While a positive result, agricultural economists are warning that overall global dairy prices remain low so are cautious on the outlook, these price lifts are increases on the lowest price levels in three-years, in annual terms overall prices remain down by 24%. New Zealand King Salmon have reported a net profit in their interim results for the six months to July 31. Most significantly, fish mortality cost has fallen to $7.8 million compared to $22.3 million in the same period last year. The company has moved most of its fishing away from warmer waters, fallowing sites in Pelorus Sound, and is breeding for thermo-tolerant salmon. Following several months of no infection, Mycoplasma bovis has been confirmed on a new dairy farm in Canterbury. The strain identified is the same strain previously identified on a South Canterbury property in 2017, meaning this infection is likely connected historically to an infected property. With El Niño officially announced this month, and a potentially long dry summer approaching, eastern and lower North Island farmers have responded quickly to offload stock, and saleyards are busier than usual. In contrast, saleyard volumes on the western side and in the South Island are much quieter at normal or below typical levels due to less dairy-beef cattle available for trade and the western side of the North Island traditionally benefiting from El Niño’s weather pattern.

In international news, multi-national food manufacturer, Mars, Incorporated published its Net Zero Roadmap announcing a new target to cut their entire value chain carbon emissions in half by 2030, and net zero by 2050. The company will invest US$1 billion (NZ$1.68 billion) over the next three years to meet their targets and is committed to continue financial resources thereafter as required until they achieve net zero. Australia has decided to stop their efforts to eradicate the deadly bee parasite, the varroa mite. The National Management Group made the decision last week to transition to management rather than eradication 15 months after varroa was first detected in sentinel hives. Non-compliance from beekeepers and illegal hive movement were major factors in the decision. In the United States, Starbucks Corp will face a class action lawsuit after consumers complained that their Refresher beverages did not contain the very fruits in the drink’s names. Starbucks unsuccessfully attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming that a reasonable customer would not expect a product called Mango Dragonfruit to contain actual mango. Farmers in Libya and Jordan face some of the harshest effects of climate change and are seeing unprecedented crop failure which is undermining national food security. These farmers are turning to hydroponic farming to grow their crops, cultivating them directly in water inside temperature-controlled tents, the process uses between 28-60 times less water than traditional farming.

Spotlight Stories

Food Technology Spotlight

two pieces of red meat on a wooden chopping board

Lab-Grown Meat Can Be Kosher or Halal, According to Religious Authorities [14 September, Smithsonian Magazine]

The cultivated meat industry achieved a major milestone in early September, with Islamic and Jewish authorities ruling that some lab-grown meat is permissible under their halal or kosher religious dietary restrictions. Cultivated, or lab-grown, meat is produced using animal cells collected from embryos or painlessly from living animals, the cells are fed nutrients in stainless steel vats and take a matter of weeks to grow the final product. Islamic law scholars reached a decision on the cultivated products of GOOD Meat, a San Francisco based start-up, saying they can be considered halal if prepared with cells from animals slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law. The largest kosher certification agency, the Orthodox Union also recently ruled that another company, Israel-based SuperMeat, met its standards for kosher preparation. These decisions potentially open a global market of over two billion people to cultivated meat, although currently only the USA and Singapore allow the sale of cultivated meat. 

Tags: Lab-grown meat; Cultivated meat; Food innovation

Shipping and Emissions Spotlight

cargo ship entering port tug boat in foreground of shot

EU’s new carbon tax on ships a ‘significant development’ [September 22, BusinessDesk]

From January 1 next year, the European Union (EU) will levy an emissions surcharge on all ships over 5000 gross tonnes, entering EU ports. This is an extension to the EU’s emissions trading scheme legislation which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050 for EU members. The changes will see a 50% levy on CO2 emissions that start or end in EU ports, or 100% of emissions between two EU ports. The rules will apply to all ships regardless of their flag. The cost implications for New Zealand are still unknown, however are likely to add up - currently, EU carbon prices are trading at €82.76 (NZ$ 148.86) per unit tonne of CO2, compared to $66.50 spot price here in New Zealand. 

Tags: Shipping; Greenhouse gas emissions; Regulations

Headline Stories

close up of a spider on a web

Spider silk is spun by silkworms for the first time, offering a green alternative to synthetic fibers [September 20, Science Daily]

Scientists in China have produced spider silk using genetically modified silkworms. The fibres produced were six times stronger tougher than Kevlar, and could have applications as surgical sutures, bulletproof vests and as smart materials for the military, aerospace, and biomedical engineering industries. For some time now, scientists have looked at spider silk as a potential sustainable alternative to synthetic fibres, like nylon. Using genetically modified silkworms offered a solution to produce spider silk, as currently the only animal silk fibre that has been commercialised at a large scale is that of silkworms. 

Tags: Research & Development; Fibre production; Genetic modification

girl in a arable field with a combine harvester behind her

Consultation on introduction of digital passports for crops confirmed [September 26, Agriland]

A consultation process for introducing digital passports for combinable crops will take place over autumn 2023 in Great Britain. Digitisation of existing paper passports to improve food and feed safety data through supply chains has been discussed for decades, and the formal consultation follows the completion of a five-year pilot programme. The new processes will enable live updates of assurance status before hauliers leave farms and will allow for a multi-directional flow of data between farmers, grain merchants and end users. The purpose of the consultation is to ensure industry needs are addressed by the proposal, to highlight any gaps, and to gauge the level of industry support for the project. 

Tags: Arable; Food safety; Agri-technology

table covered in many different groceries

Kiwi food waste bill climbs to $3.2bn [September 27, Farmers Weekly]

The 2023 Rabobank-KiwiHarvest Food Waste survey has found that New Zealand’s total food waste bill has risen in 2023 by 2.6% on last year’s result, to $3.2 billion. The estimated percentage of household food waste actually fell from 13.4% in 2022, to 12.2% this year, however the total value of the food waste rose due to an increase in household numbers and higher food prices. Despite the high level of food price inflation experienced, New Zealander’s food waste attitudes and behaviours have only marginally changed over the last year. The $3.2 billion value of the nation’s food waste is equivalent to feeding 688,000 New Zealanders for a year. 

Tags: Food waste

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