Category Archives: Agribusiness

Fonterra heads towards a new capital structure with scope for unintended consequences

Fonterra’s latest proposals to change its capital structure will be far reaching. If implemented, they will essentially undo the misleadingly named ‘Trading Among Farmers’ (TAF) system set up in 2012. I say ‘misleading’ because in reality that was a scheme … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Fonterra, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sheep and beef farms are getting squeezed

The sheep and beef industry is getting squeezed from all sides, yet export returns exceed $7 billion. I decided recently that it was time to take a closer look at what is happening on sheep and beef farms. The underlying … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Meat Industry, Uncategorized, Wool | 2 Comments

Zespri faces a China conundrum

China is New Zealand’s biggest kiwifruit market. Growth of this market has been spectacular with the Zespri-owned SunGold variety much-loved by Chinese consumers. The problem is that the Chinese are also growing at least 4000 hectares of SunGold without the … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, China, horticulture, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Regenerative agriculture is not redundant but can be misguided

Arguments about regenerative agriculture illustrate the challenges of creating informed debate. More generally, democracies depend on voters understanding complex issues The overarching title to this article, that regenerative agriculture is not redundant but can be misguided, contrasts with a recent … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Land and water, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

It’s time for Fonterra to define the new path ahead

Fonterra has spent nearly three years stabilising its finances. The focus now has to be on finding the path ahead It is now approaching three years since Theo Spierings’ departure from Fonterra was announced. The focus ever since has been … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Dairy, Fonterra, Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Agriculture will change but pastoral agriculture will survive and prosper

Agriculture will change but pastoral agriculture will survive and prosper.  It is all about international competitive advantage, new technologies and managing the environment. It can be done but it won’t be easy. One of the regular questions I am asked … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Dairy, Land and water, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Green-lipped mussels are becoming heavy lifters

Hatchery technologies and open-sea farms provide the platform for new endeavours with green-lipped mussels A little over five years ago, I asked the question as to whether green-lipped mussels could be the next heavy lifter for the New Zealand export … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Land and water, mussels, The economy, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Can strong wool find a new El Dorado?

There are opportunities for strong wool based on quality and sustainability but it needs action plus applied R&D rather than more reports There was a time when strong wool was used widely for garments. That included woollen underwear, woollen shirts, … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Uncategorized, Wool | 4 Comments

Is regenerative agriculture the real deal

Regenerative agriculture is in vogue as a concept but what does it really mean? I often get asked my opinion about regenerative agriculture.  My standard rejoinder is to ask what does the questioner mean by ‘regenerative agriculture’? That typically gets … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Composting mootels, Dairy, greenhouse gases, Land and water, Water | 19 Comments

Government’s food and fibre reset report lacks a core

The Government’s new food and fibre reset document is PR aspirational fluff. The hard work remains to be done On July 7 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern released the Government’s document “Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential”. … Continue reading

Posted in Agribusiness, Dairy, forestry, horticulture | 6 Comments