In the news this week (3)

People are key to the success of Riddet Institute’s Agri-Food Strategy wrote Jon Morgan in a Dominion Post opinion piece early on last week. “The prize is too great to abandon,” he said.

So, focus is now shifting to the week-long chief executives’ Primary Sector Boot Camp at Stanford University in California later this month, which will be attended by over 20 chief executives including meat industry leaders Keith Cooper of Silver Fern Farms and Mark Clarkson of ANZCO Foods, alongside Minister of Primary Industries David Carter. On the table for discussion will be the Agri-Food Strategy.

Agmardt is principal sponsor of the private sector-led chief executive forum designed to unlock the global potential of New Zealand’s primary sector. At the time of the sponsorship announcement at the end of April, Jeff Grant chairman of the Agmardt board of trustees said he regarded the boot camp as an ideal fit under the grant body’s new strategic priorities.

“A key outcome of the boot camp is to explore and drive in-market collaboration within New Zealand’s primary sector, which is strongly aligned with Agmardt’s new strategy to fund activities that enable New Zealand agribusiness to identify and explore potential opportunities within the global marketplace.”

Grant said the willingness by senior industry leaders to be involved in the camp to discuss and explore strategies for greater collaboration and alignment across a wide range of primary industries, “is extremely encouraging.”

Other supporters of the Primary Sector Boot Camp, which will comprise leaders from the dairy, beef, sheep, seafood, viticulture and horticulture sectors, include the Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Ministry for Primary Industries and NZ Trade and Enterprise.


Other news appearing over the week included:

Protein sources of the future –A new New Zealand/Dutch study has outlined the coming challenges to meeting future demand for protein. In a review published this week in the journal Trends in Food Science and Technology, Dr Mike Boland from the Riddet Institute and his colleagues at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands have drawn on a range of research sources to peer into the future of the world’s food supply. They say, as demand is outstripping supply of meat, mankind will “need to get creative” with its protein sources, considering competition between humans and pet food industries, noting that rabbits and other novel animal species, “should not be discounted as having an important part to play in future animal protein production systems,” and speculate that there may be ways to derive dietary protein from food waste from biofuel crop leftovers. Whatever happens, consumer acceptance will be key, say the authors.

New NZTE chairman – Interesting to note that former Fonterra chief executive, Andrew Ferrier, has been named as the new chairman of the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) board. Replacing Jon Mayson, he will commence his three year term on 1 November. Announcing the appointment, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says that Ferrier will bring “strong governance and strategic capability to the NZTE board”. Ferrier is a director of Orion Health Ltd and CANZ Capital Ltd. He was appointed to the University of Auckland Council in March 2012. Prior to his work with Fonterra, he was involved with the global sugar industry. Born in Canada, he has been a New Zealand citizen since 2008.

A new Code of Welfare for Meat Chickens came into effect on 26 July, setting out the minimum standards and best practice guidelines for the poultry industry. The new Code replaces the Code of Welfare for Broiler Chickens that was released in 2003. The new Code has a broader scope and includes chickens that have access to the outdoors, says the National Animal Welfare Advisory Council (NAWAC). “Another key change is that farmers will have to take the environment of the chicken into account when deciding how many chickens to keep in a designated area,” NAWAC chair John Hellström says. “Farmers will also be required to stay within the minimum standards for stocking density, but they will now have to also consider things like litter quality, lighting, air quality and temperature when deciding how to house their chickens.” Find out more here.

NZUS Council sponsors MPs visit to Washington – Two MPs Peseta Sam Lotu-Liga and Hon Shane Jones, co-chairs of the New Zealand US Parliamentary Friendship Group, recently returned from a successful NZUS Council sponsored visit to Washington DC. The visit – particularly timely given the stage of the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations – raised NZ’s profile and also gave the MPS the chance to gain valuable insights about US negotiating interests. In a full programme over a four-day visit, the MPs met with members of the Friends of NZ Congressional Caucus and a range of Congressional representatives and had meetings with senior officials in the State Department, Treasury and US Trade Representative’s office. They were also guests of honour at a well-attended lunch hosted by the US NZ Council. Other guests included Congressional staff, senior US company executives and Council members and supporters. The NZ US Council met the costs of the MPs domestic travel in the US and related on-the-ground costs. Arrangements in Washington were made by the New Zealand Embassy.

World price slump put lamb back on Kiwi menus – the NZ Herald reported over the weekend on the news that prices for Kiwi consumers are down too and they are responding enthusiastically. Read more… 

Finally, with the London Olympics in full swing this week, it seems only right to congratulate all of the Kiwi athletes, but particularly B+LNZ Inc’s bronze medal award-winning Iron Maidens Rebecca Scown and Juliette Haigh for their  success in the women’s pairs (rowing) and Alison Shanks (cyclist) for her tremendous efforts in the team event. All the best now to Sarah Walker (BMX) for her event yet to come on the world sports stage. Go Team NZ!!






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