Week in Review

This week insects hit international headlines with a multi-million dollar snail farm investment in Nigeria, the ‘Bug Burger’ seeking to follow the footsteps of Beyond Burgers success, and another international study showing concerning results for global bee species populations.

In New Zealand we see several stories of tight policy and regulation. This includes a government rejection to the horticulture sector in defining December’s destructive hailstorms as an adverse event, King Salmon’s recent and more comprehensive seafloor testing denied relevance due to previously agreed timelines and methodology, and Zespri given an initial rejection from Kiwifruit NZ in their attempt to work with Chinese counterfeit growers.

Blog: Time to ensure food experiences match the majesty of our natural attractions when the borders open

This week Ian Proudfoot challenges our food and hospitality sectors to invest in revolutionising both their visibility and storytelling while our borders are still closed. We have an opportunity to structure the country as a spectacular food destination, merging scenery and food experiences that will not only earn tourism dollars from the first waves of international travellers once borders begin to open again, but produce long-term and loyal international customers. Read the full article here.

Spotlight Stories

Innovation spotlight

New Way Of Sensing Becomes Commercial Reality [26 January, Scoop]

With support from Sprout Agritech’s Accelerator and Plant & Food Research, business start-up Scentian Bio was formed to create a novel sensor technology for commercial use in medical, food or industrial settings. Led by Dr Andrew Kralicek, the research is based on the biological smell receptors in insects and how they could be combined with electronics to create new sensor technology. Scentian Bio is also the first recipient of a $1 million Sprout grant.

Tag: Agritech, Food Innovation, Research & Development

Trade & Export spotlight

New Zealand and China upgrade free trade agreement [26 January, NZ Herald]

New Zealand and China have signed an upgrade to the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, which includes environmental considerations, eliminations of tariff and other benefits to make trade easier and cheaper. “The upgraded free trade agreement is part of the government's Trade Recovery Strategy, in response to the economic shock of Covid-19,” minister for trade and export growth Damien O'Connor said. 

Tag: Trade & Exports 

This Week's Headlines


Cow toilet collects gold [22 January, Rural News]

Cow Toilet, designed by Dutch firm Handkamp, received the Gold Award at the 2021 Digital Eurotier Livestock Machinery Event. The toilet features a suspended bowl to collect the 15-20 litres of urine produced by a typical housed European cow per day, and it separates manure from urine at source to help reduce ammonia emissions. Additional benefits of separation are said to be cleaner floors, improved hoof health and better air quality.

Tag: Research & Development, Environment & Emissions, Dairy, International


Bug burger aspirations: Ento looks to emulate Beyond Meat success with launch of first insect burger patty [21 January, Food Navigator]

Ento aims to emulate Beyond Meat’s strategy of B2B before B2C with its new bug-based burger patty. Developed in conjunction with a two-star Michelin chef in Singapore, Ento’s insect-based burger patty was launched in Malaysia last month in partnership with the firm’s strategic partner Sunway Group. Ento CEO Kevin Wu hopes to launch the burger regionally through South East Asia within 12 months.

Tag: Food Innovation, Alternative Proteins


Zespri's bid to buy counterfeit Chinese kiwifruit slapped down by regulator [26 January, Stuff]

In a draft decision, the Government-appointed regulator Kiwifruit New Zealand (KNZ) has declined Zespri’s proposal of buying counterfeit Chinese golden kiwifruit from some of the 4000ha of stolen and unlicensed vines. Proposed to stem illegal growing in China, KNZ deemed the proposal as a risk to the interests of New Zealand’s kiwifruit growers. Zespri has withdrawn its proposal in order to rework it before the KNZ’s final decision could be made public.

Tag: Horticulture, Policy and regulation

Top stories

Ekiti attracts $100m agric investments in two years – Fayemi [20 January, WorldStage]

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi has stated that his administration has attracted significant investment into the State in the last two years including a multi-million-dollar integrated snail farm which will produce 2,600 tons of snail per annum. The Governor said many investors are attracted to the state for the ease of doing business, policy of the administration, and sundry support offered to prospective investors, including land and tax holidays.

Tag: International 

New initiatives aim to address food security in vulnerable rural communities [21 January, Newshub]

National food rescue charity KiwiHarvest will launch a number of new initiatives to address food security in rural communities, bringing food bank services to more remote regions as well as educating people about the impact of food waste in a bid to inspire small changes to their daily habits. KiwiHarvest has delivered 14.6 million meals to Kiwi families over the past nine years, and it is now aiming to deliver an additional 450 tonnes of food to some more remote parts of the country.

Tag: Food security 

Kellogg, Unilever launch Innovation Challenge [20 January, Food Business News]

Kellogg Co. and Unilever have partnered with the organizers of the Future Food-Tech Summit to launch an Innovation Challenge, calling on startups to help tackle food industry issues. The challenge will culminate in a pitch at the live-streamed virtual event on March 11 and 12. Applications for the Innovation Challenge will be accepted through February at https://futurefoodtechsf.com/innovation-challenge-2021/

Tag: Food Innovation, International

What trends will shape flavour innovation in 2021 [20 January, Food Navigator]

Tastecard, the UK’s largest dining membership organisation, shared insights into the flavour trends in 2021 based on polls and surveys. ‘Sweet and heat’ are expected to grow in 2021, as hot honey was the top pick by polled public and professional chefs. Other expected trends include more adventurous cookings as a result of lockdowns, elevated consumer expectations around provenance and health, and the rise of green consumerism.

Tag: Food Marketing, Food Innovation

Council rejects new test results from King Salmon's team of private scientists [25 January, Stuff]

After council inspectors found five in nine farms were non-compliant, New Zealand King Salmon hired private scientists to investigate the matter and found the farm was abundant with life to prove its compliance. However, as the samples were taken outside the annual inspection’s sampling parameters with a different method, the Marlborough District Council has stood by its decision to issue NZ King Salmon two fines and a warning.

Tag: Fisheries, Environment & Emissions, Policy and regulation

Kiwi rotary systems star in Chinese mega dairies [22 January, Rural News]

Waikato Milking Systems is installing four 80-bail Orbit Concrete Rotary parlours for New Hope Animal Husbandry, which has its head office in Chengdu, central China. The four milking plants will be able to milk up to 48,000 cows a day. Waikato Milking Systems China Manager David Morris says there is high demand for reliable, high performing milking technology as China continued to ramp up its herd sizes and milk production. 

Tag: Dairy, Trade & Exports, Agritech

Hui planned for marae-based project teaching Kaipara to grow kai [22 January, Rural News]

The Ministry for Primary Industries is funding a new marae-based project to teach Kaipara residents to grow their own food. As part of MPI's Rural Community Hubs programme, $20,000 funding will be provided to Māuri Orā Ngāti Whatua Charitable Trust for developing the community education programme. "The aim of this project is to help build resilience in Kaipara's rural communities, equipping them with the skills to be more self-sufficient."

Tag: Rural Communities, Food security

Covid 19 coronavirus: Virus found on fruit packaging in China, NZ growers reassure customers [24 January, NZ Herald]

After China reportedly found Covid-19 on fruit packaging of imported cherries with unclear origin, the industry body for stonefruit growers is reassuring international customers of New Zealand's Covid-free status. "With strict food safety and quality processes in place, and the country free of Covid-19, New Zealand fruit represents the safest possible source of fresh fruit, a reputation our industry strives to maintain," said Summer Fruit chief executive Richard Palmer.

Tag: Covid-19, Horticulture, Trade & Exports

Patented milk-derived ingredient effective against influenza [23 January, NZ Herald]

Research commissioned by New Zealand company Quantec, and completed by an independent US laboratory, has found that its patented milk-derived ingredient IDP (Immune Defense Proteins) is effective against influenza virus species. Testing results found the antiviral activity of IDP was 120% more effective against Influenza A than lactoferrin, and similar in terms of its efficacy against the herpes simplex virus. 

Tag: Research & Development, Food Innovation, Dairy

Live cattle exports: Napier Port sees off another livestock carrier but for how much longer? [22 January, NZ Herald]

Two protests were held at New Plymouth before livestock carrier the Ocean Ute left Napier Port on Friday. A spokesman for Napier Port said it was reviewing the business aspect under sustainability planning. Meanwhile, ports that accept livestock carriers as revenue earners - Napier, New Plymouth and Timaru - along with farmers, animal exporters and activists, are still awaiting the outcome of a Government review on the livestock trade.

Tag: Animal Welfare, Trade & Exports, Policy and regulation

Cannabis pet business launches first natural supplements [24 January, Voxy]

Part-owned by New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis company Helius Therapeutics, Hale Animal Health has launched its first two premium CBD pet supplement products. CBD has been found to effectively treat pets’ anxiety, stress, nausea, skin conditions, arthritis, and seizures - among other conditions. Hale’s Managing Director Ms de Koster says creating NZ’s first range of CBD-based approved veterinary medicines remains absolutely central to Hale’s overall strategy. 

Tag: Food Innovation

New Zealand deep-sea trawling proposal slammed as 'meaningless greenwash' [22 January, Stuff]

There are concerns that New Zealand appears to be the only country pushing for a controversial and destructive fishing practice. Greenpeace ocean campaigner Jessica Desmon believes the delegation will be arguing for more “destructive” bottom trawling in the annual meeting of South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation. “New Zealand has proposed to close additional areas to bottom trawling which would increase protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems,” Fisheries NZ’s director of fisheries management Emma Taylor responded. 

Tag: Fisheries, Policy and regulation

Tyson Foods to pay $221.5 million to settle price fixing lawsuit [20 January, Food Business News]

Tyson Foods Inc. has reached an agreement to pay $221.5 million in the broiler chicken antitrust civil price-fixing litigation brought against the company, along with many other poultry processors. The settlement relates to “In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation” which claimed that poultry processors conspired to fix prices by coordinating production. The claims were made by foodservice, institutional and retail buyers of chicken.

Tag: International, Poultry, Policy and regulation

Boysenberries NZ celebrates inaugural cuisine award winners [25 January, Stuff]

Boysenberries New Zealand’s inaugural cuisine awards were announced on Friday at The Food Factory in Stoke, celebrating the culinary use of the fruit with categories of Restaurant award, Cafe/Commercial award and Made at Home award. Managing director Julian Raine said 50% of the world’s boysenberries were grown in New Zealand, 90% of which were produced in the Nelson-Tasman region.

Tag: Horticulture, Food Innovation

Pledge to end child labour in agriculture [25 January, Rural News]

“This year, we will step up our efforts to strengthen the capacities of a wide range of agricultural actors to include child labour prevention and youth employment in their work,” said the director-general of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Qu Dongyu during the virtual launch of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour 2021. He says FAO will organise a series of regional consultations and events to increase awareness and promote good practices. 

Tag: International, Farming Systems

Northland could become a peanut producer if $90k trial proves successful [26 January, Stuff]

Pic's Peanut Butter partnered with Plant & Food Research to trial growing peanuts in Northland, aiming to produce 100% NZ-made peanut butter which has the potential to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by redirecting the cost of importing peanuts to growing them instead. With $59,000 provided by the Ministry for Primary Industries through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund, a feasibility project has started in October on three Northland kumara farms.

Tag: Arable, Research & Development

Hort sector denied! [26 January, Rural News]

As many orchards were damaged and growers lost millions in the recent hail and rainstorms, HortNZ had written to Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor asking him to declare the storms an ‘adverse event’. However, the Ministry for Primary has turned down the request and said declaring an adverse event would not provide any direct funding to compensate affected growers. Horticulture leaders are planning to meet with officials to discuss the issue of government assistance.

Tag: Horticulture, Policy and regulation

Quarter of bee species haven't been seen in 30 years - research [25 January, NZ Herald]

The number of bee species reported in global records has declined by up to 25% since the 1990s, and this decline is not evenly distributed among bee families, according to a research published on One Earth. "The next step is prodding policymakers into action while we still have time. The bees cannot wait," first author Eduardo Zattara said. 

Tag: International, Apiculture, Research & Development

Online survey starts capital structure consultation [26 January, Rural News]

Regarding the potential change to its capital structure, Fonterra Co-operative Group has started consulting its 10,000 farmer shareholders with a short survey that has nine questions including whether farmers want the capital structure review. Fonterra chairman Peter McBride says the co-op needs a capital structure to ensure it best supports their strategy and long-term vision, and the farmers feedback will be considered in the board’s decision-making process.

Tag: Dairy, Farmers & Producers         

Pavlova made from grass, and other foods of the future [27 January, Stuff]

Food and Beverage group manager at Callaghan Innovation Katy Bluett shares stories of New Zealand foods of the future. These include Kiwi startup Leaft developed a new protein from leafy crops that could be used to substitute a range of foods such as eggs, and it has been successfully whisked into a pavlova. Other innovations from global businesses include making protein products from reaction in the air, and creating seafood from scratch. Dr Laura Domigan of Auckland University is leading our research to explore aspects of scaling cellular foods in New Zealand.

Tag: Food Innovation, Research & Development  

Get in touch

Audit – Auckland
Ian Proudfoot
09 367 5882
Management Consulting – Wellington
Justine Fitzmaurice
04 816 4845
Agri-Food – Auckland
Jack Keeys

09 363 3502
Private Enterprise – Hamilton
Hamish McDonald 

07 858 6519
Agri-Food – Auckland
Andrew Watene

09 367 5969
Consultant – South Island
Genevieve Steven

03 307 0761
Farm Enterprise – South Island
Brent Love

03 683 1871

Field Notes administrator
Nina Guan

+64 9363 3624 ninaguan@kpmg.co.nz