Week in Review

In Aotearoa, the commercial rock lobster fishing sector will voluntarily reduce their catch limits by an extra 10% beyond the government-enforced quota in the CRA 3 East Coast Fishery. Following two major cyclones in 2023, the habitats of the Gisborne Spiny Rock Lobster were damaged by sediment deposition, decreasing their numbers in the region. The industry made this decision to ensure the sustainability of the species in the region, at the same time acknowledging it will come at a cost to businesses. The Waikato Regional Council has signed off on a region-wide aquaculture strategy, "Growing Together - Whakatupu Ngātahi”, which hopes to double regional aquaculture exports to $180 million by 2044. The roadmap is a collaboration between council, industry, iwi and government. Over the last month, Horticulture New Zealand has been running a series of grower meetings around the country. Attendees highlighted that water allocation and storage remain key concerns for the horticulture sector, particularly as the ongoing dry conditions impact growers.

In international news, Australian cell-cultured meat company, Vow, has launched its inaugural product, Japanese quail cell parfait, in Singapore. Vow’s parfait received approval from Singapore's food regulator, making it the second cell-cultured meat offering available in the city-state. Meanwhile, Australian chicken farmers are seeking a mandatory code of conduct to address their concerns around meat processors in the industry. Chicken farmers claim significant hardship despite chicken meat being the most affordable meat in the country. Unlike other meat industries, Australian poultry farmers do not own their chickens. The farmers argue that they are trapped in unfair contracts by dominant processors, that control 70% of the market, making it difficult to sustain their businesses. In the European Union, agri-food exports hit a record €228.6 billion (NZ $408.2 billion) in 2023. The positive result was mainly due to sustained high prices for EU export products and the declining world prices for imported products. Cereal and grains, dairy products, and wine were the most significant products, representing close to 30% of the total exports. German-based fermentation start-up, Reduced, has secured €6 million (NZ $11 million) in funding to scale their upcycled food ingredient platform. Established in 2020, the company uses their proprietary fermentation technology to transform food and agriculture industry byproducts into natural food ingredients, with a particular focus on umami flavour enhancers.

a person writing in a notebook outside in a hay field

Opportunity: Share your views on Training and Assessment in the New Zealand Food and Fibre Sector

KPMG is pleased to be assisting The Food and Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence (FFCoVE), Muka Tangata and Te Pūkenga on a project to review and provide recommendations on the delivery and assessment practices in vocational educational training across the New Zealand food and fibre sector.

The project seeks to identify aspects that could be improved in learning delivered through a food and fibre sector qualification and is seeking your views through an online focus group on how learning is conducted at your learning organisation, for your job, or in the industry you work with.

The online focus groups will explore the current delivery and assessment of learning and training to see if they are fit-for-purpose or identify where potential improvements could be made to meet the needs of the sector now, and in the future.

There will be two online sessions, the times are below.

        Tuesday 23rd April – 11:30am to 1:00pm

        Thursday 2nd May - 11:30am to 1:00pm

If you are interested in attending, please use the link to register (here).

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this project please contact Jackie Lynch, from The Food and Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence on JLynch@foodandfibrecove.nz  

Spotlight Stories

Blue Economy Spotlight:

Fish swimming through a bunch of seaweed

World's first seaweed and offshore wind combo farm gets green light: 'The Formula 1 of seaweed production' [5 April, The Cool Down]

The first ever combination commercial seaweed farm and offshore wind farm will be established in the North Sea this year by trade organisation, North Sea Farmers. The seaweed farm, North Sea Farm 1, will be situated in a wind farm off the Netherlands covering around 25 acres (10.1 ha). The seaweed farm is a collaboration of several organisations, including Simply Blue Group, an Irish renewable energy company. Simply Blue Group have been exploring ways to maximise the utilisation of wind farm area, incorporating solar panels, wave energy converters, and green hydrogen systems onto the turbines. The aspiration of North Sea Farmers and their collaborators is for this to initiate a new industry in Europe and beyond, as seaweed serves as both a food source and can be utilised to produce biofuels. Original full article here

Tags: renewable energy; multiple revenue streams; bio-circular solutions

Supply Chain Spotlight:

Container terminal with a truck, forklift and a plane

Grim, grinding, costly – the supply chain strains again [3 April, Newsroom]

Experts are concerned about global supply chain resilience, particularly given events of the last six months. These disruptions include constrained capacity through the Panama Canal, the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, and Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping. New Zealand exporters are already reporting shipping delays, rising costs and cancellations; the impacts are likely to worsen as April and May are the peak exporting period into Europe. Stress modelling from the Productivity Commission assessed that major supply chain disruptions could reduce New Zealand’s GDP by up to 7.5% and result in job losses of up to 112,000. Supply chain professionals are urging importers and exporters to assess the resilience of their supply chain and pinpoint the critical risks associated with each stage of their supply chain. Despite the concerns, there may be an opportunity for New Zealand exporters – given our relative isolation, they may have a competitive advantage to monetise the guarantee of supply for customers who place an importance on reliability. Original full article here

Tags: trade; supply chain congestion; supply chain resilience 

Headline Stories

birds eye view of arable land

Independent panel to review 2050 methane target, government announces [6 April, RNZ]

An independent panel of experts have been tasked by the New Zealand government to review the available agricultural biogenic methane science and the country’s 2050 methane target. The Climate Change Response Act had pledged to lower New Zealand’s 2017 biogenic methane emissions levels by 2050 to between 24 to 47 percent. The independent panel will offer evidence-based advice on the 2050 targets. This will supplement a review by the Climate Change Commission, also due at the end of the year. There has been mixed response to the news, with the Green Party criticising the government for using this as a delay tactic for climate action, while Federated Farmers welcome the review as they believe previous targets were politically motivated and were not scientifically robust. Original full article here

Tags: biogenic methane emissions;  2050 climate targets; Climate Change Commission 

A bunch of grapes

How climate change could affect the microbes that ferment grapes and give wine its specific flavours [26 March, The Conversation]

A recently published study has investigated the impact of changes to climate on viticulture’s microbial ecosystems, including yeasts, bacteria, and fungi. Microbes are key to the fermentation process, playing a pivotal role in flavour, aroma, and the mouthfeel of wine. The research compared the microbial ecosystems between two vintages of North Canterbury organic winemaker, Greystone Wines. The results showed significant differences in the organisms present in the 2018 and 2021 vintages. Comparisons of climate data led the researchers to conclude that temperature and rainfall variations may have an important role in influencing the composition of microbial populations. Researchers are not yet sure what the impact of microbial diversity had on flavour profiles in these vintages. Original full article here

Tags: biogenic Viticulture; climate change; resilience

a microscope and a tray of test tubes with a red substance in them

Swedish startup Ironic Biotech raises €1M to help 2 billion people suffering from iron deficiency and anemia [4 April, Ironic Biotech]

A Swedish-based startup, Ironic Biotech, has secured funding of €1million (NZ $1.8 million) to further their work with plant-derived proteins containing iron that is highly bioavailable and has no side effects. Ironic Biotech produces these proteins through precision fermentation. Humans get iron from food and supplements, however around 25% of the globe’s population suffer from iron deficiency. Red meat is currently the most typical source of iron, as iron in plants is absorbed poorly by the body and iron supplements cause a variety of side effects like digestive issues and nausea or even organ damage. Ironic Biotech’s plant-derived proteins have iron absorption rates comparable to red meat, are tasteless and have no side effects. The innovation will benefit the food and supplement industry as they tackle a health issue affecting a huge number of the global population. Original full article here

Tags: precision fermentation; supplements

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