It's life Jim,  but not as we know it.




   Keith Woodford Posts   

Keith Woodford is an independent consultant, based in New Zealand, who works internationally on agri-food systems and rural development projects. He holds honorary positions as Professor of Agri-Food Systems at Lincoln University, New Zealand, and as Senior Research Fellow at the Contemporary China Research Centre at Victoria University, Wellington.


Directors Craig McMillan and Greg Terill have collectively over 40 years’ experience in the lining industry, and have been involved in installations throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific region.


New Zealand Grazing is focused on reliably growing dairy heifers to the highest standard, our experience has been gained working alongside thousands of farmers around the country. We were selected by Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms to grow their young livestock.

                   $1.86m training boost for shearing industry


It’s been a tough year for wool, but finally there’s good news – the creation of a new pilot training programme and up to 150 jobs in shearing.


The new initiative was announced in Invercargill by Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development, as part of the Government’s $82 million Provincial Growth Fund.

The Fund is designed to create jobs and support employers in regional New Zealand.


$1.86 million over two years has been committed to develop and deliver a sustainable, integrated training model for the shearing and wool handling industry.


The programme will use micro credentialling, ‘earn-as-you-learn’ on job training, and upskilling for up to 150 new shearers and 120 existing shearers.


It will target school leavers, unemployed and underemployed people, career changers and those in the industry who would like to learn new skills. 


The new training arm, Kaiaka Wool Industry Training NZ, will initially include two pilot schemes in the Tairāwhiti/Hawke’s Bay and Otago/Southland areas, where it will also establish centres of excellence for expert training in shearing and wool handling. The NZ Shearing Contractors’ Association’s (NZSCA) existing online injury prevention initiative Tahi Ngatahi will be part of the new integrated training package.



“The industry has identified a need for more hands-on training to go with the paper-based qualifications currently used in the industry. This project is the first step towards meeting that need,” Shane Jones said.


“We want to support people to learn the skills needed for local jobs while also helping employers meet their growing labour force needs.”


NZSCA chief executive Phil Holden says: “This is great news for the wool harvesting industry. We know there’s a shortage of shearers and the borders are closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.”


“We plan to be up and running by main shear time, so we not only have new trainees coming on, but we’re also upskilling our current workers too so they can step up.”


“The government and the industry both want to revitalize the wool sector by building value and marketing wool’s sustainable, natural qualities over synthetic alternatives. Shearing skills and qualifications are an essential part of delivering a quality, value-add product for farmers.”

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Fonterra revises its 2019/20 and 2020/21 forecast Farmgate Milk Price ranges


Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today revised both its 2019/20 and 2020/21 forecast Farmgate Milk Price ranges.


  • The 2019/20 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range has narrowed from $7.10 - $7.30 per kgMS to $7.10 - $7.20 per kgMS. The mid-point, off which farmers are paid, has reduced to $7.15 per kgMS, down from $7.20 per kgMS


  • The 2020/21 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range has narrowed from $5.40 - $6.90 per kgMS to $5.90 - $6.90 per kgMS.  The mid-point, off which farmers are paid, has increased to $6.40 per kgMS, up from $6.15 per kgMS


Fonterra Chairman John Monaghan says the narrowing of the 2019/20 milk price toward the lower end of the previous range is the result of a strengthening New Zealand dollar versus the US dollar over the past two months.


The Co-operative will announce the final 2019/20 Farmgate Milk Price as part of its Annual Result in September.


Commenting on the 2020/21 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range, Mr Monaghan says the lift to the bottom end of the range was being predominantly driven by improved market conditions in China.


“After an initial shock due to COVID-19, dairy consumption in China is recovering with more people spending on food. We’re seeing customers ramp up promotional activity as they look to catch up on the sales losses incurred over lockdown.  


“Elsewhere, the EU and US Governments’ support measures for farmers are holding up milk production and dairy commodity prices despite the disruption they have experienced so far from COVID-19. While we expect these support measures to end at some point, it is likely they will continue through the peak of the New Zealand season.


“While there is still a high level of uncertainty in our global markets, we do see a lowering level of risk and this supports a decision to lift the bottom end of the price range. 


“It’s very early in the new season and we are keeping a close eye on consumer demand and production from the key milk producing regions. Milk supply from the EU, US and Latin America is increasing despite the impact of COVID-19, and there continues to be uncertainty around how the global recession and the potential for a second wave of COVID-19 globally could impact demand.”


The Co-operative is advising its farmers to continue budgeting with caution.




Fonterra announces Peter McBride as Chairman-elect

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (FCG) has announced that current Farmer Director, Peter McBride has been selected as the Co-operative’s Chairman-elect by his fellow Directors.


Under Fonterra’s constitution, its Chairman is selected by the Board from within its pool of seven elected Farmer Directors.


Mr McBride will replace current Fonterra Chairman, John Monaghan when he retires as a Director of the Co-op at its Annual Meeting this November.


Mr Monaghan says that the early announcement of Mr McBride as Chairman-elect is part of the Board’s  commitment to planned governance succession.


“We have made significant progress over the past two years in our effort to refresh our Co-op’s purpose, strategy and culture. It is important to the Board that we provide stability while Miles and his team continue to embed the changes and maintain our momentum.


“Making this decision now also gives our farmer-owners transparency of leadership prior to this years’ Director elections and allows Peter and I a period of handover before I retire from the Board in November,” says Monaghan.


Mr McBride says he is humbled to be selected by his fellow Directors and is looking forward to leading the Co-op on behalf of its 10,000 farming families.


“I grew up on a dairy farm near Te Aroha and today my wife Linda and I run the family farm milking 950 cows in the South Waikato, so dairy has always been part of my life.


“I’m looking forward to working alongside John for the next few months before leading our Co-op into its next phase and creating value for the benefit of our farmer owners and unit holders.


“When John retires from the Board in November it will mark almost two decades of service to our Co-op, the last 12 years as a Director. He will leave behind a  board culture of shared responsibility, which is something I will look to build on as the new Chairman,” says Mr McBride.




     Fonterra to pay farmers more for sustainable, high value milk


Fonterra farmers producing sustainable, high quality milk will be eligible for a new payment, as Fonterra announces important changes to the way it pays farmers for their milk.


From 1 June 2021, Fonterra is introducing a Co-operative Difference Payment of up to 10 cents per kilogram of milk solids (kgMS) if the farm meets the Co-op’s on-farm sustainability and value targets. It’s part of the Co-op’s strategy to add value to New Zealand milk and responds to increasing demand from customers here and around the world for sustainably-produced dairy. The payment will be funded out of the Farmgate Milk Price.


“The total Farmgate Milk Price will remain the same across the Co-operative, but the amount that each individual farm is paid will vary depending on their contribution under The Co-operative Difference, in addition to the other variables, like fat and protein, which affect the amount that’s paid,” says Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell.


“We’ve always paid our farmers based on the value that milk provides to the Co-operative. The reality is that the drivers of value are changing, and we need to reflect that. Our customers want to know that the products they are buying are not only safe, but also produced sustainably.


“This payment helps us meet the changing needs of our customers, so they continue to choose our milk and enjoy dairy as a sustainable and nutritious choice.


“We want to deliver the innovation, sustainability and efficiency needed to make the most difference to our strategy and our bottom line. It makes sense to financially reward those farmers who go the extra mile to help our Co-op differentiate its milk.”


Last year Fonterra launched The Co-operative Difference – a straight-forward framework to help farmers produce high-quality, sustainable milk and prepare for any changes needed in the future.


The payment will replace the Farm Source Reward Dollars farmers currently earn through The Co-operative Difference and will work on a tiered system. The more a farmer achieves in The Co-operative Difference programme, the higher the payment will be. The precise payment structure will be confirmed over the next few months following discussions with farmers but will be no more than 10 cents per kgMS.


Nestlé’s Robert Erhard says, “At Nestlé how milk is produced matters. Now more than ever, people expect farmers to act as good stewards of the land – safeguarding the climate, enhancing animal welfare and carefully managing water and the health of soils.”


“Farmers put in a lot of effort to produce the best quality milk possible. Over recent years, large numbers of farmers have spent a significant amount of time and money to improve their local environment and waterways to make their farms sustainable for the future. It’s great to see these farmers distinguished and rewarded for their efforts to produce and deliver a product that Fonterra can capture the highest value from. Through The Co-operative Difference, we can get better, together,” says Northland dairy farmer Terence Brocx.


“We’ve created this with our Co-operative principles in mind. All farmers can participate in The Co-operative Difference and we’ll keep supporting them through Farm Source,” says Mr Hurrell.


“We want farmers looking to the future, and The Co-operative Difference encourages them to continue to focus on the things that will create the highest value milk. This helps us create higher value products that stand out in the global market for their New Zealand-ness and the sustainable way they’re produced.”


Key details:

  • Introducing The Co-operative Difference payment for farms that meet Fonterra’s The Co-operative Difference targets, including on-farm sustainability and milk quality targets.

  • Effective from next season, from 1 June 2021.

  • Current Farm Source Rewards Dollars in The Co-operative Difference will be replaced with a c/kgMS payment.

  • The amount and targets will be set annually by the Fonterra Board.

  • The payment will work on a tiered achievement system. The more a farmer completes in The Co-operative Difference, the higher the payment they’ll receive.

  • The payment won’t be more than 10 cents per kgMS for the first season commencing 1 June 2021. Fonterra will work with farmers on the framework over the next few months to achieve the right balance.

  • The total amount available to be paid to farmers does not change, but a proportion of the Farmgate Milk Price will be available to be redistributed between farmers to better reflect the value of the milk from individual farms.

  • Based on achievement under The Co-operative Difference framework.

  • It will be a simple and low cost approach but with robust and straight-forward verification.

Forestry Training

DCANZ welcomes launch of UK-New Zealand FTA negotiation

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) is welcoming the launch of free trade agreement negotiations between New Zealand and the UK as a positive development in the trade agenda. 

 “A high-quality and comprehensive FTA between the UK and New Zealand will further strengthen the historic and close relationship between our two countries” says DCANZ Chairman Malcolm Bailey

“At this time, when we are seeing a number of countries revert to trade protectionist policies and subsidies, it is heartening to see like-minded countries like New Zealand and the UK showing leadership on trade issues”.

Currently, the UK is only a small market for New Zealand dairy exports, accounting for 0.08% of New Zealand’s dairy exports in 2019.  This is despite the fact that the UK is one of the world’s largest importers of dairy products.

“The UK’s previous membership of the European Union (EU), one of the most protected dairy markets globally, has severely limited the opportunity for its consumers to purchase high quality New Zealand dairy products.  Now that the UK is able to negotiate its own trade arrangements, a UK-NZ FTA will provide important commercial opportunities for dairy sector participants in both countries”.

The New Zealand and the UK dairy sectors are complementary, with counter-seasonal production systems and a shared interest in managing price volatility globally.  Both countries also place a high level of importance on food safety, animal welfare and environmental outcomes.   The UK dairy industry is also efficient, with a long-history of competing against highly subsidised dairy exports from across the EU.

“An FTA between the UK and New Zealand will ensure that unsubsidised New Zealand dairy products have the same level of market access as has been enjoyed by European dairy products over the past four decades”.

A high-quality FTA between the UK and New Zealand will be an important pathway for the UK, should it wish to join the wider Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“This is also an opportunity for NZ and the UK to demonstrate that not only can a high-quality FTA be negotiated in the current environment, but that it can be negotiated quickly and to the mutual benefit of both Parties” says Bailey.

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