Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Multi-pronged approach critical to successful environment strategy

October 8, 2018

Since announcing its environment strategy in May, the Beef + Lamb New Zealand team responsible for developing the plans, processes and tools to help farmers achieve the ambitious goals of being carbon neutral by 2050 and every farm having an active farm plan by 2021 has been working flat out to get the right farm planning systems in place. The strategy identifies four areas of focus – cleaner water, carbon neutrality, thriving biodiversity and healthy productive soils – with their own specific goals and a detailed implementation plan, supported by a series of what are termed ‘foundations’. (more…)

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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…)

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…)

Meat companies must be clear about their purpose

March 7, 2018

When I heard KPMG’s global agribusiness head, Ian Proudfoot, on the radio stating the move away from meat to alternative proteins was happening permanently and quickly and meat companies needed to wake up, I wondered whether I had strayed into the Pop Up Globe to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Surely if meat companies need to wake up to alternative protein, this implies their whole business model is broken and farmers should be sitting in front of their horoscopes looking for a magical answer to the inevitable question “what the hell do I do now?” (more…)

How much meat do we actually eat?

February 21, 2018

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics” is a quotation which Mark Twain attributed to British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. Over a three week period the Sunday Star Times is conducting ‘an investigation into how environmental concerns are putting the heat on meat.’ Although much of the first article in the series was balanced and fair in its commentary, the main conclusion was clearly wrong, based as it was on misleading statistics published by the OECD. These appear to show a dramatic drop in the amount of red meat, particularly lamb and mutton, New Zealanders are eating. (more…)

My tips for 2018

February 18, 2018

It’s the time of year for making predictions, some of which may turn out to be close to the mark, but most, like horse racing tips or economists’ forecasts, will end up looking slightly silly, if anybody takes the trouble to remember what they were. The luxury of writing a column is the ability to speculate without being held to account for any inaccuracies. (more…)

Essential to keep close watch on alternative products

November 23, 2017

This is the year when plant based alternatives to dairy and meat have suddenly started to pose a more serious threat to the traditional animal based products on which New Zealand farmers, and our economy as a whole, depend. There is no danger these alternatives will suddenly take over the world, leaving dairy and sheep and beef farmers wondering what to do with their stranded assets. But, to prevent being taken unpleasantly by surprise, it will be necessary for the dairy and red meat sectors to keep a close watch on these competitors and track their progress with global consumers. (more…)