British agricultural report sees NZ as model for the future

May 16, 2017

A recently published report entitled The Future is Another Country by British consulting firm, Ferguson Cardo, attempts to describe a positive picture of post Brexit Britain, using the example of New Zealand in the 1980s as proof of what is possible. The authors base their hypothesis on certain key events, including the removal of subsidies, dismantling the producer boards’ funding model and compulsory acquisition rights, and a refocus away from the UK towards Asia. Read the rest of this entry »

Climate change report indicates challenges for NZ agriculture

May 13, 2017

GLOBE-NZ, a group of 35 MPs from all the main parties, has released a report by UK firm Vivid Economics which lays out various scenarios for New Zealand to meet the target of zero emissions by 2050. Business New Zealand and the Sustainable Business Council have both welcomed the cross party initiative, saying it gives confidence there will be collective and coordinated action towards meeting the target. It will also help to achieve commitments under the 2030 Paris climate change agreement to reduce emissions to 20% below the 2005 level. Read the rest of this entry »

UK farming looks doomed

May 13, 2017

Two contrasting publications have each given a pretty damning picture of the state of farming and food production in pre-Brexit UK; and despite the conclusions of the Ferguson Cardo report into the future of British agriculture, it is hard to see how this situation will change for the better without a huge amount of pain on the way. But equally it is almost impossible to imagine a continuation of the status quo within the EU, where in 2015 70% of UK farm income came from direct and environmental subsidies. Read the rest of this entry »

Blue Sky left searching for positives after Binxi offer lapses

April 13, 2017

Invercargill based meat processor Blue Sky Meats is trying to put a positive spin on its prospects after being advised by Chinese cattle and meat company subsidiary NZ Binxi Oamaru that its takeover offer would not proceed. The main reason for the decision was failure to receive OIO approval by the 20th March deadline, but Binxi also cited a material adverse change in this season’s performance. As a result Blue Sky has advised shareholders they will continue to own their shares, 96% having already accepted the offer. Read the rest of this entry »

Objective carcase measurement – essential or just nice to have

April 5, 2017

Objective carcase management (OCM) appears to be the holy grail for Meat and Livestock Australia judging by its plan to seek A$150 million from the Australian government to fund the installation of Dual Energy X-ray 3D carcase grading technology (DEXA) in up to 90 slaughterhouses, intended to roll out this year. The loan would be repaid from industry levies, although there are no firm details yet about how the costs would be shared. Read the rest of this entry »

Good trade news for red meat – let’s hope it happens quickly

March 30, 2017

The visit by Chinese Premier Li Kequiang has been very positive in several ways for New Zealand’s trade agreements, except for those people who are anti free trade or closer engagement with China (Winston Peters?). After the excitement about the announcement in April last year during the John Key led trade mission, progress on chilled red meat access to China and an upgraded FTA appeared to have gone onto the back burner, until now. Read the rest of this entry »

Meat companies and union adapt to changing times

March 8, 2017

The heyday of union representation in the meat industry was more than a quarter of a century ago, but the union still has good coverage across the industry. The decline of stock volumes, closure of the old monolithic single shift plants, shorter seasons and the Employment Contracts Act have all contributed to a massive reduction in the number of meat workers. This has had a dramatic impact on the sheer number of union members employed in the industry, but as a general rule the MWU has good representation across most companies. Read the rest of this entry »

Red Meat Story about more than brand image

February 22, 2017

There has been a great deal of progress towards the development of the New Zealand Red Meat Story, but most of it has been happening under the radar. That is all about to change. B+LNZ is holding a workshop on 1st and 2nd March at which a wide group of industry participants – farmers, government, processors and exporters – will gather to start formulating the detail of the story, assisted by a strong line-up of guest speakers with international experience in brand development. Read the rest of this entry »

Trump encourages trade winds to blow cold

February 9, 2017

It hasn’t taken long for the hawkish new US President to throw several cats among the trade pigeons or doves if you prefer. He has wasted no time in signing an executive order to withdraw from the TPP over which 12 countries had slaved for seven years, but now the participant that probably caused the most delay has acted to ensure it won’t happen at all. Read the rest of this entry »

Heavy market share losses affect Silver Fern Farms’ financial performance

January 26, 2017

In recent weeks there has been an exchange of views about PPCS’s acrimonious takeover of Richmond in 2003. Keith Cooper, ex CEO of the renamed Silver Fern Farms, emerged from anonymity in Middlemarch to castigate the appointment of Sam Robinson to the board of Silver Fern Farms as the Shanghai Maling representative. He was critical of Richmond’s rejection of the original approach by PPCS to buy the Freesia Investments shares from the Meat Board in the mid-1990s and Robinson’s role as Richmond’s chairman. Read the rest of this entry »