Irish Farmers seek government intervention

August 30, 2017

Just in case we thought European agriculture had changed its spots, there is some news out of the Republic of Ireland which has caught my attention. The President of the Irish Farmers Association has beseeched the Irish Minister of Agriculture to prevent cuts to the prices being paid for beef by the processors. To this point I have seen no reaction from the Minister, although it’s difficult to imagine he can do very much without contravening the EU’s common agricultural policy which of course will involve farmer subsidies of some sort. Read the rest of this entry »

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First chilled shipments to China

August 30, 2017

According to a press release from SFF the company’s first sea container leaves this week for arrival early next month, claimed by the company to be the first sea freight consignment of chilled product to the Chinese market which has only recently opened up to New Zealand meat exporters. However, I have since been informed that the first shipment from Greenlea arrived on 18th August and a chilled container of AFFCO product is already on the water, arriving on Friday 1st September, with a container of chilled mutton being shipped next week. Read the rest of this entry »

Australia gets closer to objective carcase measurement

July 26, 2017

In March I wrote about Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) plan to seek A$150 million from the Australian government to assist with the introduction of Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) objective carcase measurement (OCM) technology to all Australian meat plants. At that time neither the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) nor the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) were completely persuaded of the logic of committing the industry to such a large investment without further analysis and a robust business case. Read the rest of this entry »

Auckland must face reality to host America’s Cup

July 20, 2017

Emirates Team New Zealand has earned this country the right to host the next America’s Cup, currently scheduled to take place in 2021, and Auckland is clearly the front runner to be the host city. But to listen to Mayor Phil Goff, it seems his great enthusiasm for the winning team on their return after winning the Cup in Bermuda may disappear unless everybody other than Auckland contributes to the hosting costs. Read the rest of this entry »

Dairy beef profitable for beef and dairy

July 20, 2017

For well over 20 years one of the largest challenges in the meat industry has been dairy farmers’ lack of recognition of the opportunity to make more money from their calves by selling them to calf rearers for beef production. There have always been calf rearers willing to stick their neck out and buy calves, but this was highly dependent on both beef and milk price. But for dairy farmers it was easier to select their replacement heifers and put the rest on the bobby calf truck, rather than find rearers to take the bull calves or keep them on the farm for up to three months. Read the rest of this entry »

EU – Japan trade deal ups the ante

July 13, 2017

The FTA announced just before the G20 meeting in Hamburg is touted to bring substantial benefits to EU agricultural producers. It will put EU exporters on a level playing field with countries like Australia which already have an agreement, but notably it will put New Zealand at an even greater disadvantage until our trade negotiators can achieve a similar outcome. Read the rest of this entry »

Beef forecast to stay firm in face of market upheavals

July 4, 2017

Rabobank’s Quarter 2 Beef Quarterly paints a positive picture of global demand and prices for the rest of 2017 in spite, or more probably because, of a series of upheavals and changes affecting the world’s beef trade. Read the rest of this entry »

Rural confidence trends remarkably similar across sectors

June 29, 2017

The latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey shows the highest level of confidence among all agricultural sectors since the survey started in 2003 which is proof of the remarkable success of New Zealand agriculture and commodity prices. At a time when our dollar is also stronger against almost all, if not all, currencies over the same period, this is a surprising fact that most people would say is at least counterintuitive if not downright impossible. Read the rest of this entry »

Steady progress with Primary Growth projects

June 14, 2017

It is eight years since the Primary Growth Partnership programme was announced by the then recently elected National Government. At the end of 2016 there were 20 projects under way and just two completed, but 30th June sees the completion of FarmIQ, the largest of the red meat sector programmes. This seems to be an appropriate point to evaluate the success of PGP, in particular the six meat and two wool programmes which have been allocated total Crown and industry funding of $342 million. Read the rest of this entry »

Meat exports sold to more than 100 countries

May 30, 2017

New Zealand’s meat exporters come in for a lot of criticism, either for selling too cheaply or for not adding value, and certainly because they can’t (or don’t) pay farmers enough for their livestock. This final criticism is presumably a direct result of the first two – the prosecution’s case argues if they sold product at a higher price or added more value, they would automatically be able to pay more for livestock. Read the rest of this entry »