Week in Review

In Aotearoa the latest Arable Industry Marketing Initiative report has been released, and shows the 2022-2023 season saw a 9% increase in cereal grain (wheat, barley, oats) production across New Zealand. The report also highlighted that compared to the same time last year, the estimated unsold stocks of all cereal grains has more than doubled, sitting at 105% higher volumes than October 2022. Three new specialty apricot varieties bred by Plant & Food Research, specifically for the Central Otago region, are about to be exported for the first time over the coming months. The varieties were bred especially for flavour, colour, and shelf-life, with two of the varieties having an ethylene-recessive gene meaning they store longer than other apricots, an ideal trait for exports. Livestock Improvement Corporation Limited, the animal genetics co-operative, has announced it will give a good-will payment to farmers affected by sire semen quality issues, paying out over $2 million to affected farms. The co-operative continues to investigate how two batches of the semen were delivered to 1127 dairy farms in October this year. After increasing demand for its Envy apples, produce company, T&G, is embarking on trial-sized plantings of their Envy apple variety in China with Chinese distribution and orcharding company Joy Wing Mao. T&G is taking measures to protect the intellectual property (IP) of the variety, having already successfully defended its IP in the Chinese legal system against illegally grown fruit.

In international news, the global sugar market could see a 3.5 million ton decline this 2023-2024 season, with dry conditions in India and Thailand resulting in global sugar reserves hitting a 14-year low. Estimates suggest an 8% and 15% decline in production respectively from these two nations, who are the second- and third-largest global sugar exporters. In Australia, extreme weather events coinciding with the harvest season are causing serious damage. Heavy downpours of rain across southern Australia have wiped ‘millions of dollars’ off the value of grain harvests in Victoria and South Australia, with additional crops affected including lentils, canola, potatoes, grapes, and cherries. The full extent of damage will be unknown until the harvest is complete. This comes after freak hailstorms in Queensland caused an estimated $50 million of damage to crops and infrastructure; and destroyed wheat crops across Western Australia’s Wheatbelt, in some instances wiping out whole crops. In Europe, Italian lawmakers have approved a bill banning the marketing and production of cultivated meat, which also restricts how plant-based food can be labelled. In direct contrast, the German Bundestag’s (federal parliament) Budget committee announced this week €38 million (NZ $67.7 million) in funding for a sustainable protein transition in 2024. The funds will promote a focus on future proteins for human nutrition, increased research funding for plant-based foods and cultivated meat, and support for farmers to transition from animal to plant-based farming.

Spotlight Stories

Horticulture & Innovation Spotlight

close up of kiwifruits cut in half

Zespri unveils ZAG, an innovation funding initiative [21 November, Zespri]

Zespri Group Limited has announced the establishment of a new innovation funding initiative. The US $2 million (NZ $3.2 million) contestable fund, known as ZAG, will support future innovation initiatives and global strategic partnerships that strengthen Zespri’s ability to deliver on its purpose of helping people, communities and the environment around the world thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit. Through ZAG, Zespri seeks to collaborate with innovators and problem solvers on projects focused on four core priorities for Zespri which include driving superior quality and orchard productivity, promoting wellbeing through kiwifruit consumption, protecting and enhancing nature, and fostering a thriving kiwifruit industry that benefits growers and their local communities. Zespri has a set on long-term sustainability targets and goals, and ZAG will be closely aligned with Zespri’s sustainability programme.

Tags: Kiwifruit; innovation funding; horticulture

Environment & Emissions Spotlight

looking up at sky from bottom of forest a fern in foreground of shot

Toitū Envirocare to transition away from New Zealand carbon credits to align with global standards [23 November, Toitū Envirocare]

Environmental certification provider, Toitū Envirocare, has announced it will no longer accept New Zealand carbon credits in its carbon certification programmes from early 2024 onwards. This move means that carbon credits issued under the Permanent Forest Sinks Initiative (PFSI), and Permanent Post 1989 Forest category of the Emissions Trading Scheme (PP89) will no longer be accepted for offsetting in Toitū carbon certification programmes. The decision follows international best practice guidelines set by the independent global governance body for the voluntary carbon market, which has defined New Zealand carbon credits as no longer meeting necessary quality requirements. Toitū is hopeful it will be able to accept New Zealand based credits in the future, once carbon crediting schemes that meet best practice become operational in New Zealand. This update does not include carbon removals undertaken by businesses within their own boundaries, as these removals are not tradeable carbon credits.

Tags: Accreditation schemes; certification; carbon credits; climate change

Headline Stories

fishing net being pulled in full of fish

Fishing firms lose sustainability certification, impacting exports [22 November, Newsroom]

Seafood NZ has self-suspended international certification for a key fishery for orange roughy. Certification for orange roughy fish caught off the east and south Chatham Rise has been suspended. New Zealand trawls nine orange roughy fisheries in its territorial waters, and this latest move means only two of the fisheries now have Marine Stewardship Council certification. The east and south Chatham Rise contributes around 80% of the New Zealand orange roughy catch. The sustainability certification is a requirement for North America and European exports, with the United States a substantial market for exporters. Seafood company, Sealord, who hold 37% of the orange roughy quota, made up around half of their orange roughy catch last year from the Chatham Rise. They plan to divert fish caught from the two remaining sustainably certified fisheries to the US to offset Chatham Rise reductions. Uncertified fish will be sent to markets like China, and Sealord is working to get the Marine Stewardship Council certification back for the Chatham Rise fishery.

Tags: seafood; fisheries; sustainability; certification; accreditation; exports

many different national flags flying on flagpoles

What is COP28 in Dubai and why is it important? [30 November, BBC News]

The United Nations 28th annual climate summit (COP28) is being held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30th to December 12th. More than 200 governments are invited to attend and discuss how to limit and prepare for future climate change. It is hoped that COP28 will keep the 2015 goal of limiting long-term global temperature rises to 1.5⁰C. Discussions will focus on transitioning to clean energy sources, providing financial assistance to developing countries, and addressing issues related to health, finance, food, and nature. 

Tags: Climate change; emissions; regulation

beef cattle on pasture in distance

New Rabobank report a tale of two beef markets [24 November, Farmers Weekly]

Rabobank’s latest Beef Quarterly Report shows the global beef market is a tale of two hemispheres. The southern hemisphere is being dominated by low prices and increasing production, while the northern hemisphere is seeing high prices and contracting production. Global beef production is expected to decline by 1% in 2023, with 2024’s production likely to experience a similar trend, as the increases in production in Australia and Brazil have not been enough to offset declines in Europe and the United States. Shifts in trade at individual country levels are expected for 2024, with the United States expected to become a net-importer, benefiting Australia and Mexico especially, with New Zealand also a likely beneficiary. In many markets, particularly in Asia, consumption has not grown as expected due to consumer caution and slower economic growth in 2023, the report suggests this will continue in 2024.

Tags: beef; markets; production; trade; exports

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