Field Notes, powered by KPMG, is a weekly news update on news nationally and globally from the agri-food sector.
Rabobank’s latest quarterly report states that beef farmers will increasingly have to prove their farming systems meet sustainability rules. The last 12 months has seen a noticeable step-up in the number and variety of mostly market-led initiatives as beef production comes under more scrutiny over the impact on animals and environment. This is due to consumer trends placing more pressure on food retailers, service companies, processors and producers. New Zealand farmers are already doing most of what is required by markets and Rabobank’s NZ-based Sustainability and Proteins Analyst Blake Holgate reported documenting that might be the biggest challenge. Initial compliance can be at a processor level but for really high-end orders paying the best premiums, verification might require independent audit. Grass-fed farming is seen as a strong health feature and NZ’s extensive pasture farming is strong from an animal welfare viewpoint, compared to grain-fed systems.