Archive for December, 2009

Trust and commitment essential to meet the meat industry’s challenges in 2010

December 24, 2009

It’s time for a bit of crystal ball gazing, as we start a new year, although admittedly the end of the calendar year isn’t anything significant in farming terms. After all the pastoral season finishes at the end of September and the dairy changeover happens end June. Calving and lambing are long since over, hay and silage are in the barns and farmers have to continue with routine maintenance, while making sure they make the right decisions on stocking rates heading into the summer. (more…)


Silver Fern Farms still vulnerable

December 19, 2009

As always when the annual results have been published, the new season is already nearly three months old and the die is cast for future profit trends. AFFCO and Silver Fern Farms’ second half performance showed just how tough competition was for available livestock numbers, so the obvious conclusion is Alliance and all other meat companies must have suffered in the same way. The new season doesn’t look as though it will be any easier. (more…)

Joint funding for international meat promotion

December 9, 2009

The recent referendum on Meat & Wool New Zealand’s (MWNZ) future existence has had some far-reaching effects, way beyond what farmers probably expected. The no vote for continued investment in wool has already caused $6.3 million to be cut from the annual budget with the termination of 23 staff positions, a number of projects and $1.35 million less market development expenditure. (more…)

Laos poor but fertile and resource rich

December 8, 2009

We have just returned from two weeks trekking and touring in northern Laos which provided a wonderfully varied experience of amazing countryside, the friendliest people, and food made with the freshest produce. In fact it’s effectively, if not certifiably organic, because the economics of life and farming in Laos make it virtually impossible for it to be anything else. Laos has one of the lowest annual incomes in Asia – US$100 per month is fairly well off – and 75% of the population live in rural communities. (more…)