Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

No need to panic over Brexit

February 15, 2019

In spite of the fast approaching deadline of 29th March, when the UK is due to leave the EU, not to mention the latest shipment date able to meet that deadline, there may be no need to get too concerned. There is a huge amount of media-inspired speculation about the potentially dire consequences of Prime Minister May’s inability to achieve an improvement of the exit terms leading to a No Deal Brexit, but word from Britain suggests this is highly unlikely. After all, both the EU and the British Parliament have specifically ruled out leaving without a deal. (more…)

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Pace of change keeps getting quicker

January 29, 2019

Perhaps it’s my advancing age, but it seems as though the changes facing agriculture demand ever faster reactions and responses to stay ahead or even just to keep pace with a whole series of challenges: public expectation, government regulation, consumer tastes, changing climate patterns, and new technologies as well as the usual ones like finances, human resources and health pressures, both physical and mental. (more…)

That was 2018 – now for 2019

January 16, 2019

2018 is over and it’s now timely to look at how many of last year’s key challenges will continue into the New Year.

 

From a New Zealand domestic perspective the attempt to eradicate Mycoplasma Bovis has had the biggest impact on farming, most of it focused on the relatively small number of properties forced to cull their entire herd, some of it directed at those properties under surveillance or Notice of Direction, and some of it on the agricultural service industry, including meat processors, cartage contractors, stock agents and saleyards, as well as calf clubs and A&P shows. (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…)

Japan a country of contrasts

October 11, 2018

After three weeks on holiday in Japan, I am still reeling from the enormous contrast to any other country I have ever visited. When I first went there on business 40 years ago, I was getting used to life in New Zealand after immigrating from the UK, so probably didn’t register the size of the contrast, apart from the total lack of any street signs in English and the politeness of the people. All these years later the differences in lifestyle and behaviour have become even more apparent, especially when set against the huge progress in infrastructure and technology around the world, a lot of it invented by the Japanese. (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…)

Red Meat sector confident despite some headwinds

August 11, 2018

Since I attended the 2016 conference, having missed last year’s, several things have changed considerably: two years ago Donald Trump wasn’t President, Silver Fern Farms hadn’t concluded its capital raising with a Chinese investor, alternative proteins and non-meat burgers weren’t on the industry’s radar and there was little recognition of the need for a Red Meat Story. (more…)

Trade outlook still bright, but not without challenges

August 2, 2018

Vangelis Vitalis, Deputy Secretary for trade at MFAT and chief negotiator for the CPTPP due to take effect early next year, gave a very thorough and enthralling presentation on the trade landscape to the Red Meat Sector Conference in Napier on Monday. Free trade and market access are a key area of interest to the New Zealand meat industry and the economy as a whole. (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…)