Archive for the ‘Politics’ 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…)

Advertisements

Government must provide leadership

August 23, 2019

In contrast to its positive social agenda to improve the average person’s lot by lifting the minimum wage, increasing teachers’ pay rates and attempting to increase home ownership, this government seems to have gone missing in action with respect to the farming sector. Apart from Primary Industries Minister Damien O’Connor’s rather lonely efforts as a cheerleader for agriculture, other government ministers only pop their heads above the parapet when there’s some good environmental news or forestry initiative to crow about, or a new, and scientifically flawed, methane reduction target to ask farmers to meet.  (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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)