Week in Review

[31st March 2022]

This week, New Zealand food innovation is in the headlines again with several success stories. One in particular sees Raglan Food Co achieve a significant private equity investment to support its plant based yogurts and other products to grow in the US market. We also hear of New Zealand wool that is set to reach the sky as Bremworth secures a deal to supply wool carpets for one of New York’s tallest skyscrapers, Brooklyn Tower.

A Kiwi shopper has also hit headlines after ordering and delivering her groceries from Australia saveing her up to 25% when compared to the same shopping list from her local supermarket. Also in Australia, a Gold Coast business wins its category in the World Food Innovation awards for its vegan baby formula.

Across the rest of the world, China's gold kiwifruit orchards are now reported to have exceeded the hectares of its New Zealand plantations. This is part of an ongoing challenge to protect Zespri's IP of the gold variety of kiwifruit. 

Lastly, the UK announces it has stepped up to support some of the most difficult to reach parts of Ukraine by providing food aid to areas surrounded by Russian troops. As conflict continues, the impact and disruption to businesses and countries continues to grow, but positive stories of proactive businesses in the food and fibre sector also appear through the news media.  



Foresight Focus Series

This week, Lincoln Roper investigates some of the key trends and signals currently being observed in the energy space. In a world of growing conflict, increased geopolitical instability and climate disruption, the future of energy has become a global focus, but also a source of ongoing uncertainty. The food and fibre sector has a opportunity to play in improving energy security, aiding in energy poverty, and building robust and resilient systems of generation.

New Zealand Energy: From reliance to alliance | LinkedIn

Spotlight Stories

Trade & Export Spotlight

US-China sanction threat could hit home [25 March, Farmers Weekly]

Rabobank global analyst Micheal Every reports that NZ exporters should be wary of possible US sanctions over China should they increase support for Russia’s invasion into Ukraine. Every estimates that “60% of NZ trade is denominated and settled in US dollars”, and warns that banks would be unlikely to risk accruing hefty fines or losing their US banking licence for not following the US sanctions.

Tags: Trade & Exports, Policy and Regulation

Fisheries Spotlight

Iwi worry scallop bed closure will concentrate fishing in rāhui area [29 March, Stuff]

Due to significant decreases in the scallop population, Fisheries Minister David Parker announced earlier this week that come April 1st, most scallop fisheries in the Coromandel and all in Northland would shut down. In a NIWA report from last month, the biomass of Hauraki Gulf scallops was estimated at 52 tonnes; comparatively, in 2012, this figure was 776 tonnes.

Tags: Fisheries, Environment & Emissions

Headline Stories

The future of meat: The tobacco plant? [29 March, Food Navigator]

In an attempt to solve the issue of scalability for cultivated meats, Israeli start-up BioBetter suggests tobacco plants as the solution. Current methods for producing growth factors (a necessary component of cultivated meat growth) are limited by price and quantity. BioBetter aims to use tobacco plants to create growth factors on scale and at a significantly lower cost.

Tags: International, Alternative Proteins, Food Innovation

Let there be light: Netherlands probes photonics for food security solution [28 March, Food Navigator]

Researchers from PhotonDelta and OnePlant Research Center believe that photonic technology can aid food security. Photonic technology (the technology of light) is like electronics, but rather than using electrons to transmit information it uses light (e.g., barcode scanners and fibre-optic cables). Current ideas theorise utilising the technology to create sensors capable of tracking the minute details of a product, such as the glucose level of fruit during fermentation.

Tags: International, Food Innovation, Horticulture

Ukraine war: UK to send dried food, tinned goods and water to areas surrounded by Russian troops [26 March, Sky News]

Russia’s entrapment of some Ukrainian towns and cities has prompted the United Kingdom to send GBP$2 million worth of essential supplies (water, dry foods, and tinned goods) into Ukraine. “Our teams are working… to ensure those most at risk get the essential supplies they… badly need”, said UK’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

Tags: international, Food Security

Get in touch

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Hamish McDonald 

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Andrew Watene

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Genevieve Steven

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Brent Love

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Demosson Metu
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