Week in Review

In Aotearoa, as of the first day of 2024, New Zealand dairy products can now enter the Chinese market ‘duty-free’ after the last remaining safeguard tariffs on milk powder ended. The removal of these tariffs is expected to bring additional savings of approximately NZ $350 million annually. A blueberry farm in the Hawkes Bay has been the victim of a major theft, with hundreds of kilograms of blueberries stolen. The thieves stripped the bushes of all the fruit, even unripe berries. The loss of the crop will have a significant impact on the farm’s income and comes after they lost 70 percent of their crop in Cyclone Gabrielle last year. The a2 Milk Company has launched a new round of grants to support projects that will enhance dairy farm sustainability for farmers supplying A1 protein-free milk for use in a2 Milk Company products. The a2 Farm Sustainability Fund will allocate a further $630,000 to Australian and New Zealand applicants that demonstrate an integrated approach to a sustainable future. Since its inception more than $1.5 million has been awarded to projects by the fund. Mānuka honey company, Comvita Limited has opened a new store at Auckland International Airport. The new store is a multi-sensory experience, bringing the experiential retail concepts of their central Auckland Wellness Lab to the airport where they can connect with millions of tourists and consumers.

In international news, the second Global Dairy Trade auction of the year has seen prices lift higher than expected. Prices rose across all product categories apart from mozzarella. This is good news for farmers with the overall price index is now up more than two percent. In Germany, farmers descended on Berlin with their tractors in protest against plans to cut fuel subsidies. Over 3000 tractors and 2000 trucks gathered on highways and slip roads in the city causing significant disruption to traffic. There were similar protests in early December after the government announced plans to abolish the car tax exemption for farming vehicles and diesel tax breaks in an effort to fill a €17 billion (NZ $30 billion) hole in their 2024 budget. In the United Kingdom, there are now new restrictions in the movement of meat products between Great Britain and Northern Ireland due to European Union regulations. The new restrictions prevent bulk shipments of meat from overseas to be sent to Northern Ireland from mainland Britain further processing. The British Meat Processors Association has warned the rule will have real world ramifications for UK companies as they lose the flexibility to move product between their processing plants in Northern Ireland and their consumers in the UK. Meanwhile, British pork exporters will benefit from a new offal deal with Mexico worth over £18 million (NZ $27 million) over the next five years. Mexico is one of the largest pork importers in the world and this new agreement gives UK pork producers access to another lucrative market for their offal product that is not widely consumed in the UK.


Institute For The Future's Foresights Essentials Course

KPMG has had the opportunity to work with the team at the Institute for the Future over the last five years, learning about the tools they have to utilise foresight to build compelling future scenarios and connect these to strategy. We were pleased to work with IFTF and AGMARDT (The Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust) to run a series of food and fibre foresight workshops in 2021/22 attended by many NZ organisations.

Given the global background that we start 2024 against, we are very pleased that KPMG New Zealand is able to host IFTF's Foresights Essentials course in Auckland on 27-29 February to enable more Australasian based organisations to explore how foresight can assist them in shaping their own plausible futures.

Please email agribusiness@kpmg.co.nz if you are interested in joining the programme and we will provide you with a special code for our agri-food network to secure a discount off the list prices.

More details about the programme and registration information is available on IFTF's website IFTF - IFTF Foresight Essentials.

Spotlight Stories

Trade & Export Spotlight

ship carrying shipping containers on the ocean

Shipping rates soar amid disruptions [15 January, Farmers Weekly]

Military tensions in the Red Sea and drought in central America has caused shipping rates to increase sharply and could cause disruptions to supply chains for the next few months. The average rate for a container on the China-Europe route increased this week from $2400 to $8652 due to the military threat off the coast of Yemen. Eighty percent of container vessels have diverted from the Red Sea to take the longer route around the Cape of Good Hope. Additionally, the Panama Canal Authority has had to reduce daily transit capacity to 18 per day from 38 to 40 transits due to drought. These disruptions mean New Zealand exporters will be increasingly competitive into Asian markets compared to Europe and the east coast of America, however prolonged disruptions may cause shifts in global export destinations which could affect New Zealand meat exporters in particular.

Tags: Food and fibre exports; shipping

Biosecurity Spotlight

Young man farmer stands in a green wheat field with a tablet in his hands checking the progress of the harvest and looking sideway. Boy wearing green shirt and cap on the sunset.

Hunt for invasive pests goes digital [8 January, Rural News]

The Find-A-Pest app has been recently rebuilt and redesigned to make identification and reporting of unwanted pests easier. The app, first launched in 2018, covers all pests found on land and water including fungi and pathogens. The latest version uses artificial intelligence to identify pests and provide information on the pest species, with a team of experts confirming identifications and sending feedback to users. The information collected through the app can be used by organisations involved in controlling and managing these pests, enhancing New Zealand's biosecurity intelligence and protecting native species, ecosystems and export industries. 

Tags: Biosecurity; Agri-technology; digital applications

Headline Stories

a lone sheep standing on top of a ridge with other mountains in background of shot

Wool Impact launches navigator tool [12 January, Farmers Weekly]

Wool industry organisation, Wool Impact, commissioned a review of the wool innovation ecosystem to identify opportunities and barriers to enable greater innovation. Results of this review identified a lack of centralised information and support for innovators to connect them with the right expertise, capability, and resource support. This has led to Wool Impact launching their navigation service and appointing a navigator, tasked with driving innovation and connecting individuals and businesses to the necessary expertise and support. The Wool Impact navigator is tasked with supporting wool innovation is to significantly increase the use and demand for New Zealand strong wool.

Tags: Wool; innovation

group of mushrooms growing out of a log

Native mushroom found to contain brainy compound [9 January, Te Waka]

Waikato mushroom company, Mynd, has collaborated with Callaghan Innovation to scientifically confirm that the native Pekepeke-kiore mushroom (also known as New Zealand Lion’s Mane mushroom) contains compounds that are good for cognitive health. Mynd developed a novel extraction method for specific compounds from the Pekepeke-kiore, and are now selling an approved dietary supplement commercially. At present, most medicinal mushroom products in New Zealand are grown overseas. A Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment report on the global medicinal mushroom market showing it was worth US$3.5 billion (NZ $5.7 billion) in 2022 and forecast to grow 8-9% by 2030. New Zealand’s Pekepeke-kiore is not found anywhere else on the globe, so its novelty could be leveraged in this global market. 

Tags: Fungi; food innovation; medicinal supplements

raw steak on a conveyor belt

Report highlights farmers' concerns about cultured meat [5 January, Phys Org]

A team of researchers from the United Kingdom’s University of Lincoln and Royal Agricultural University recently published a report on UK farmer attitudes towards cell-based, or cultured, meat. The report sought to understand how cultured meat might affect farming. Their study included discussions with 75 farmers across the UK, finding mixed opinions. While some farmers interviewed view the technology as potential competition, others speculated that it could create a premium for pasture-reared meat. The research team is now partnering with nine case study farms to explore how each farm could adapt to the technology. The outputs of the project are expected in late 2024 and will aim to support policymakers and investors in understanding the impacts of cultured meat on farming and rural communities.

Tags: Cultured meat; call-based protein; farmers and growers

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