Archive for the ‘Dairy’ Category

Social licence to operate just as important as methane reduction

September 6, 2019

Amid all the debate about agriculture’s responsibility to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets, and the appropriate levels for those targets, it may seem counterintuitive to claim an equally pressing problem is to earn a licence to operate. Just as great a threat to agriculture’s future is not whether it faces a potentially unachievable government imposed target, but a business environment in which consumers make their decisions based on their perception of the acceptability of the food they eat. (more…)

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More dairy beef unlikely to flood the market

July 1, 2019

Meat processors have tried for years to encourage dairy farmers to up their numbers of beef cross calves and either keep them or onsell to rearers at three months old. Rearing white face dairy beef calves has long been an option for dairy farmers to generate more income, with rearers looking to buy bull calves to put weight on and sell to bull farmers targeting the US lean beef market. But the lure of higher profits from maximising milk production has until recently made it a relatively unattractive option. (more…)

Agricultural sector committed to meeting realistic targets

May 31, 2019

The negative reaction to the methane target range in the Climate Change Amendment (Zero Carbon) Bill should not be taken as an indication the rural sector is at all opposed to the purpose of the Bill, nor does it suggest unwillingness to be part of the solution. Industry bodies, including DairyNZ, B+LNZ, MIA and Federated Farmers, are fully committed to seeing their members do all that is realistically possible to achieve the overall greenhouse gas reduction target. (more…)

Unforgettable tour of the country

May 21, 2019

I have just returned home after two weeks touring New Zealand, mostly the South Island, by train and coach and can honestly say it was the most stunningly beautiful trip I have ever made. It even beat Sicily, Turkey, India and Japan, all of which at various times seemed to have taken the prize for the best trip ever. (more…)

Cooperative model not ideal for all business types

May 8, 2019

Cooperatives emerged in the 19th century as an important business structure designed to protect the interests of a group of members, based on the principle of equitable distribution of benefits related to use or supply. The first New Zealand cooperative was formed in 1871 by eight cheese making settlers on the Otago Peninsula; by 1890 40% of dairy factories were cooperatives and by 1925 there were about 500, of which only three remained after the formation of Fonterra in 2001. (more…)

Reflections on the year that was

December 19, 2018

2018 is nearly over and it’s now time to reflect on what were the most notable events and issues of the year. It is also time to think about the implications for the future. (more…)

Fonterra – right question, wrong answer

November 21, 2018

Fonterra’s trials and tribulations have led to a rising crescendo of criticism of the cooperative’s performance since the release of the 2018 annual report. Declining share value and dividend payments, fluctuating milk price, inadequate return on capital, failure to match international and domestic competitors’ financial performance, failed investments, rising debt ratio and overpaid staff are the most notable criticisms. (more…)

World not yet falling apart

September 6, 2018

Much to a lot of people’s surprise, the global economy is resisting the dire predictions of many commentators, just as the New Zealand economy continues to perform much better than businesses are prepared to accept. But it is far from certain whether this just a question of timing or the genuine possibility the predictions are exaggerated. Speculation, based on suspicion and anecdote, appears to be an unreliable guide to what is actually happening, so, while planning for an uncertain future is essential, it would pay not to ignore present realities. (more…)

China presents opportunity and complexity

August 2, 2018

Rabobank’s China expert and GM Food and Agribusiness across Australia and New Zealand, Tim Hunt, provided Red Meat Sector Conference attendees with an in depth analysis of the enormous opportunities that China offers agricultural exporters, as well as the complexities of doing business there. (more…)

Decision made, but important to find the cause

May 31, 2018

The Government decision to eradicate rather than contain Mp. Bovis has the merit of drawing a line under the first stage of the disease outbreak. There were three options under consideration: eradicate, manage or do nothing; the third was clearly not seriously considered, but there must have been a serious debate between the first two. In the end the eradication course of action was chosen because it gives ‘the best shot’ at eliminating the disease to the benefit of the New Zealand agricultural sector, particularly the dairy industry, and the economy. (more…)