Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Meat industry in better shape today to cope with downturn

March 29, 2020

When I started to trawl through possible topics to write about this week, I had the bright idea it might be worth asking meat processors what contingency plans they have in place in case an employee, more particularly one on the processing floor, tests positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus. So far my research suggests it’s not yet an issue that has received a great deal of consideration by many companies, although it’s certainly on their radar. (more…)

Latest coronavirus not the end of the world as we know it

March 15, 2020

Newspaper headlines driving panic buying in Auckland supermarkets suggest either we are facing an existential threat or, more likely, a small percentage of the population is behaving like idiots, presumably stocking up large in case one Covid-19 case so far means they will have to self-isolate. (more…)

Covid-19 a major test for government

March 15, 2020

Newspaper headlines driving panic buying in Auckland supermarkets suggest either we are all facing an existential threat or, more likely, a small percentage of the population is reacting like idiots, presumably stocking up large in case one Covid-19 case so far means they will have to self-isolate. (more…)

Drop in China beef prices not expected to last

January 20, 2020

It is difficult to see any real reason for panic over the sudden pre-Christmas reduction in demand for sheepmeat and beef from Chinese importers which has led to prices coming off their peak. Livestock suppliers will already have noticed a drop in schedules from the elevated levels processors had been paying over the first couple of months of the season. It’s tempting to fear the worst given past experience with high prices paid by meat processors which have inevitably been followed by a sudden crash and a long slow recovery. (more…)

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…)

ANZCO confident no repeat of horror year

July 10, 2019

ANZCO’s 2018 pre-tax loss of $38 million was the worst result in the company’s history. The exporter has traditionally posted a profit, even in difficult years for the meat industry which has always had a chequered history, so it is critical to assess what went wrong and, more important, how to make sure it doesn’t happen again. (more…)

Two reports, two different audiences

July 1, 2019

ANZ Bank’s Red Meat Benchmarking report and KPMG’s 2019 Agribusiness Agenda were both released during Fieldays week and both addressed the challenges facing the agricultural sector and farmers, but that’s just about where the similarities end. The ANZ report focuses specifically on the red meat sector with the objective of providing a stable and consistent basis for assessing and providing options for improving farm performance. In contrast the KPMG Agenda is a much more ambitious document which, in its 10th iteration, seeks to educate the whole sector on the accelerating speed of change and how participants need to adapt to remain relevant. (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…)

Finding the balance between long and short term

March 26, 2019

Every business has to find an appropriate balance between long and short term planning and farming is no exception. But, given farmers are very capable of planning and implementing their annual farm strategy, the long term offers the greater challenge. Forward planning involves a high degree of risk assessment, because decisions must take into account several critical factors over which the farmer has little or no control. (more…)

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…)