Week in Review
[24th March 2022]
This week we continue to see several stories in the headlines regarding the implications of global conflict. Businesses are facing intense public and political pressure to demonstrate and justify their decision-making as ethical. Where many businesses are in the process of pulling out of Russia all together, companies such as Burger King and Marks and Spencer’s continue to operate due to complicated legal contracts and franchisee rules.
Nestle also faces scrutiny in a public campaign against their operations spearheaded by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy himself, but state in rebuttal that they have scaled down operations to the minimum essential products while seeking to alleviate humanitarian catastrophe.
New Zealand can expect two new innovative businesses in the near future, with food delivery business DoorDash primed to enter the countries market and stated to offer a lower-cost, hyper local service across most of the country. Farm businesses can look out for ProTag, an early-stage businesses out of the Sprout Accelerator programme receiving new rounds of funding for an intelligent eartag with the potential to revolutionise animal health tracking.
It’s not so positive news for our apiculture sector as Varroa mite hive infestations leap for the first time in 20 years, one of the key factors in another record bee colony loss, now counting seven consecutive years.
Week in Review Stories
- DoorDash headed for New Zealand – report
- Smart tags help farmers to track cows’ health remotely
- Bee colony deaths increase for seventh consecutive year - report
- Varroa gains momentum after 20 years
- Nestle Says Not Profiting in Russia Amid Intensifying Criticism
- Burger King Russia partner 'refuses' to shut shops
Foresight Focus Series
As pandemic and conflict-disrupted trade flows continue to cause uncertainty, it is those peering beyond the horizon who will position themselves in the most advantageous way for operating in this ever-changing world.
Alternative Proteins Spotlight:
Miruku replacing animals with plants to create dairy proteins [22 March, TechCrunch]
New Zealand foodtech company, Miruku, are underway in creating plants that can produce dairy proteins. Through selective breeding and engineering for specific traits, Miruku aims to develop dairy foods using their plant-created dairy proteins that taste, smell, and function like real dairy. Founded in 2020, the company expects to grow exponentially into the future, having received NZD$2.4 million in seed funding.
Tags: Alternative Proteins, Food Innovation, Dairy
Environment & Emissions Spotlight:
Seaweed used to clean up waterways in latest Kopu marine precinct trial [17 March, The Country]
New Zealand Seaweed innovation company AgriSea in collaboration with the University of Waikato, is conducting research into using seaweed as a tool to absorb excess chemicals in freshwater streams. The project aims to improve freshwater quality and lessen the threat that algal blooms pose to freshwater species by reducing the conditions that typically promote algal growth.
Tags: Environment & Emissions, Research & Development
Lewis Road launches premium butter at discounted rate for New Zealanders [22 March, Stuff]
After filling US stores for two years, Lewis Road's premium butter finally sees a domestic launch. Typically retailed over NZD$10 in the US, New Zealanders can purchase the butter for NZD$7.49. Lewis Road executive chairmen, Prem Maan, says reduced transportation costs and acknowledging the butter's local origins are reflected in the product's domestic price.
Tags: Dairy, Food Retail
Carbon dioxide shortage could add to rising food prices [22 March, stuff]
The closure of the Marsden Point Oil Refinery may cause further increases for some food & drink products, says a Countdown spokeswoman. The cause of the price increase would result from the domestic decrease of carbon dioxide (a by-product of the refinery process) due to the refinery shut down, in turn driving up operating costs for businesses who use the CO2 to preserve ready to eat foods or for beverage carbonation.
Tags: Food retail, Agribusiness
Free-range eggs no longer available in UK due to bird flu [22 March, BBC News]
As a result of the ongoing bird flu inflicting the UK, free-range egg brands have had to keep their chickens indoors due to government regulations aimed at controlling the virus. Per government regulations, a 16-week grace period allowed farmers to keep their free-range status; however, this ended on Monday. Farmers now must change their branding to reflect the shift to indoor farming.
Tags: International, Poultry, Biosecurity, Animal Welfare
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