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Can the dairy industry’s tarnished cousin reinvent itself to help with our ticking time bomb: The opportunities and challenges with establishing a New Zealand Veal value chain.

Executive Summary

The New Zealand dairy industry has a growing risk with social licence to operate due to increased pressure from both customers and the public on the practice of slaughtering between 1.8 – 2.5 million surplus calves at an early age, either as a bobby calf or euthanised on farm.

Internationally there is a significant veal market, with much of the production for this coming from surplus dairy calves. However, despite having the highest global numbers for bobby calves, New Zealand does not yet have a veal industry here to further utilise some of these.

The purpose of this report was to provide some context and further understand the issue with bobby calves and the risk to social licence to operate, and then understand what the opportunities, benefits, challenges, and implications might be at the various points of the value chain with establishing a veal industry in New Zealand as a partial solution to reducing the number of calves slaughtered early.

There were two components to this research. A review of existing literature including research, industry reports, articles and opinion pieces was used in order to evaluate the current international veal systems that exist and how these compare to the opportunity to establish a veal system in New Zealand, where the challenges may be, and what may need to be adapted to suit our country. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with various value chain participants and industry voices including; dairy farmers, calf rearers, finishers, farm consultants, meat processors, dairy processors, research institutes and universities, retail and some international voices. The interviews were used to understand their views on current practices and the associated risks, and then the potential for a veal industry here in New Zealand, how it might fit our systems and what the opportunities and challenges would be.

A veal industry in New Zealand has the potential as a partial solution to help reduce the number of surplus dairy calves slaughtered at a young age. There are a range of benefits and opportunities including a reduction in bobby calves, reduced risk to social licence, improved on-farm mental welfare, improved sustainability outcomes, environmental benefits, and additional revenue for the country through exports of another red meat.

However this a complex topic and includes a number of challenges and barriers that need to be addressed in order to establish a veal industry here including developing the integrated farm systems that suit our country and result in a product that is fit for the desired veal markets, finding sufficient land to incorporate these systems, market development and consumer education, processing capability and capacity, and reduced volatility in pricing to ensure sustainability of supply chain partners.

Further, the whole transition to fewer bobby calves needs to be carefully managed to ensure the current risk to the industry is not further heightened until solutions of scale are available.

The key to any success at scale will be good collaboration between industry sectors and partners. There are a number steps that need to occur for a veal industry to be established here including significant research, modelling and development of farm systems and markets, as well as some trials to develop the supply chain systems. It appears there is movement starting to happen at both industry and commercial levels and it is likely we can expect to see some change in the near future. While there are significant challenges to overcome, I think we may see innovation within the industry and a veal supply chain in New Zealand in the future.

Read the full report:
Can the dairy industry’s tarnished cousin reinvent itself to help with our ticking time bomb? The opportunities and challenges with establishing a New Zealand Veal value chain.

Julia Galwey, Kellogg Course 41, 2020

Hawkes Bay – People, Place, Prosperity: The social impact of land use change in Hawkes Bay

Executive Summary

2020 – a year most of us will never forget – a year of reflection of what truly matters. Our narrative for so long in New Zealand has been about protecting the environment and our beautiful natural assets. But with the onset of COVID-19 we saw the narrative shift and our primary focus became people – people’s health, well-being, and livelihoods. We became a ‘team of 5 million’ and previous perceptions of urban and rural divides became non-existent as growers, farmers, and producers were the ‘essential services’ that got us through.

The below Māori proverb perfectly encapsulates this people-centric view that resonates with me so strongly:

“HE AHA TE MEA NUI RAWA?
HE TĀNGATA, HE TĀNGATA, HE TĀNGATA.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST THING?
IT IS PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE.”

The following research question was subsequently developed: what is the social impact of changing land use in the Hawke’s Bay region?

The objective of the research is to provide another layer of insight and use this as a platform for further collaboration and conversation – understanding the social impacts (real and perceived) of contrasting primary sector investment in rural Hawke’s Bay – comparing sheep and beef, horticulture, dairy and forestry.

Hawke’s Bay is a place of diverse geographies, climate, people, and culture. Qualitative research was undertaken to bring the voice of the people to this report. A wide cross-section of pan sector viewpoints were interviewed inclusive of iwi, corporate, regional/local government, industry bodies and farmers.

Three key themes emerged from the interviews and thematic anlaysis regarding the social impact of changing land use:

  1. Employment and trainng opporutnities
  2. Values and perceptions of changing land use
  3. Māori communities and post settlement land use

It is projected that from 2020 to 2050 Hawke’s Bay will have a 66.8 percent increase in forestry and 35.8 percent increase in horticulture. These are significant shifts and there is a responsibility on farmers, investors, industry leaders and government bodies to collaborate to ensure positive social outcomes.

The following report provides diverse insights coupled with recommendations to enable positive social outcomes in the region. The future is exciting and there is no one single answer. However, we must think holistically to deliver a positive triple bottom line – social, environmental and economic outcomes to sustain for generations to come.

Read the full report:
Hawkes Bay – People, Place, Prosperity: The social impact of land use change in Hawkes Bay

Clare Easton, Kellogg Course 41, 2020

The Protein Debate – understanding the movement to plant-based eating

Executive Summary

The rise of Veganism, and uptake of plant sourced protein in diets is seemingly under the spotlight. The valuable attributes and characteristics of protein has been recognised and sources are up for debate. Traditionally in the western world, the consumption of animal sourced protein such as meat, dairy eggs, fish have sustained and fuelled generations. However, the popularity and rise in diets centred around plant or alternative protein has become circulated. It is hard to quantify the gravity of this message and subsequent impact on animal protein production however it is not to be ignored.

The purpose of this research was to explore the rise in veganism and the factors which influence a shift in perception and behaviour when it comes to consuming protein sources.

Through a study of literature, the role of protein in our diets has been explored as well as production and consumption trends in New Zealand and globally. The relationship with protein sources and the human behavioural aspect towards varying food messages was woven into the discussion. Unstructured interviews were conducted amongst animal and plant protein producers as well as industry partners and consumers. A personal 21-day vegan trial was also conducted with observations of thought, emotions and social attitudes recorded.

The key findings centred around three influencing factors which underpin why people change their diet from animal protein sources to plant or alternative. These are: Animal Ethics, Health and the environment. Each factor is explored with emotional response knitted into the discussion. The disparity in gender was also touched on as well as the influence of information channels.

Compassion for and concern regarding the farming and rearing of animals has been a factor behind the movement towards vegetarianism for years. The application of anthropomorphism which is the attribution of human traits, emotions or intentions towards animals induces feelings of guilt around animal product consumption. Guilt is self-conscious whereas compassion is felt as an expression towards another being. The combination can lead to people eliminating animal protein sources from their diet to avoid and disassociate from these feelings. Women tend to alter their diet based on compassionate grounds more so than men. With consideration of emotions stemming from animal protein consumption, it is necessary for humanity towards animals throughout the supply chain to be shared.

Another factor is an invisible belief system supporting choice to consume animals. The rise of plant-based diets is challenging ideology which explains defensive attitudes towards plant-based eaters. The vegan trial conducted supports theories that socially, people find it confronting when others choose to deviate from consuming animal protein.

Climate change is denoted as the defining issue of our time. Science and media imply animal agriculture has a negative effect on environment and is not sustainable. Overwhelming insignificance in the face of this problem leads to utilising food as a mechanism of control alleviating guilt and stress associated with degradation of natural environments. Disconnection with farming and food production allows room for people to transposition global environmental issues arising from animal protein production to New Zealand pastoral farming.
Health is where people are receiving mixed messages and where the channel of information becomes so important. The medical community have linked red meat to non-communicable diseases. The accuracy of findings in this space are questionable due to lifestyle factors and meat quality, however the message is enough to tarnish red meat protein sources. In contrast, plant and alternative protein are perceived as natural and healthy which is misleading based on various additives and intensive manufacturing processes.

Recommendations have arisen in the form of further questions and consideration for the animal protein industry, its producers and marketers.

Focus on the Three Pillars

A focus on eliminating concerns or stress points regarding food production such as impact to environment and animals will lead to positive eating experiences. Industry, marketers and food producers need to acknowledge, understand and address the factors behind a shift to plant based diets. An option could be to partner with plant-based producers or have plant-based product offerings to extend branding and increase consumer choice. All food producers and marketers need to ask the question: How does what and how we are eat make us feel? The psychological affect and relationship people have with food has a huge bearing on health and wellbeing.

Extend Dietary Guidelines

Existing diet guidelines are centred around physical health however an extension to address stress associated with diet labels/terminology and restrictive eating would be beneficial to consumers. Eliminating mixed messages from the health sector and food producers would reduce confusion. Through identifying and targeting stress factors, industry can enhance a positive relationship with food, which is imperative to health.

It is important to acknowledge that this research only brushes the surface of several facets relating to factors driving dietary change away from animal protein consumption. People are guided by their emotions and there is a gender differentiation response to food messaging

Read the full report:
The Protein Debate – understanding the movement to plant-based eating

Kate Downie-Melrose, Kellogg Course 41, 2020

Where is the Profitability in the Manuka Honey Production in Northland?

Executive Summary

The Manuka honey industry in New Zealand underwent a massive change in December 2017 with the new definition for Manuka honey released by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The new definition of Manuka honey was released in response to the growing concerns of fraudulent honey being sold as Manuka honey and damaging the brand’s integrity. The change in definition caused many Northland beekeepers to have their business become unprofitable due to old fashioned beekeeping practices, which caused the Manuka honey produced to fail when tested.

The change to the Manuka honey definition and the significant challenges Northland beekeepers face in terms of unfavourable spring weather, early Manuka flowering times, swarming, and access to early honey flows has caused many small beekeepers to close their business since 2017.

There is a general belief that beekeeping in Northland is too risky and that there is no profitability remaining in the Manuka honey in the region. This project sets out to determine if the Northland Manuka honey industry is profitable and, if so, how to unlock it. A comparison is made between Northland and Waikato to highlight the risks of beekeeping in Northland and determine the key focus areas that can reduce these risks and deliver profitability.

Using the data provided in MPI’s Apiculture Monitoring Reports from June 2008 to June 2018, it is clear that a ~12% net profit before tax was achieved during these ten years in Northland. At ~12%, this profitability is exposed to significant downward pressure due to overstocking of beehives in the region and unsettled weather.

The findings from this study suggest that Northland beekeepers can improve this profitability to greater than 20% consistently over the long term by doing the following:

  • Reducing beehive stocking rate in the region to one beehive per one and a half hectares of Manuka resource.
  • Stop boundary stacking beehives to reduce poaching of Manuka nectar from neighbouring properties and so reduce the overall land royalty payment per beekeeper.
  • Securing good wintering apiary sites to protect beehives from Karaka and Kowhai poisoning will ensure the healthiest bee colonies are placed into Manuka honey production.
  • As Northland beekeepers experience an increase in operational cost related to the extended honey season, caused by warmer weather conditions year-round, producing the highest $/Kg Manuka honey is critical.
  • An average of 18 kg of honey per beehive is the NEW expected yield per beehive in Northland, and of this 18 kg, only 9 kg would pass as mono-floral Manuka honey. Therefore, the beekeeper must ensure this Manuka honey has a minimum dollar value of $50/kg to ensure profitability year on year.
  • The Northland beekeeper requires a mobile beekeeping operation that allows for beehives to be moved to Central North Island to make a second Manuka honey crop to increase profitability to over 30% in an average honey season.

There is profitability in Northland beekeeping; however, it requires the beekeeper to change from the old methods of beekeeping and ensuring all mono-floral Manuka honey is isolated to capture all the dollar value available. In doing so, the profitability of greater than 20% is achievable for a Northland commercial beekeeping business.

Read the full report:
Where is the Profitability in the Manuka Honey Production in Northland?

Keegan Blignaut, Kellogg Course 41, 2020

Connection: What are the social and cultural outcomes of peri-urban catchments?

Executive Summary

This research explores the value of connection to nature and each other. It explores that state of our connection and contrasts connection with rural disconnect (often referred to as the Urban-Rural Divide).

Peri-urban catchments are catchments that pass through or border an urban centre. This report identifies these catchments as having an opportunity to connect a significant amount of people to each other and nature.

The report starts with a literature review of connection in New Zealand. The study looks at two aspects of connection; the benefits of connection and the current state of connection in New Zealand.

The literature review supports that a heightened connection to nature, food, and each other has positive outcomes for wellbeing.

The literature review shows that our current level of connection is difficult to determine. The definition of nature is an individual perception, and this adds another element to the understanding of connection to nature. It can be influenced by a multitude of aspects, the most significant being childhood experiences in nature.

To understand how these learnings can be applied in a peri-urban environment, three case studies have been observed. The case studies were:

• Volcano to Sea Project (Hawick, Auckland)
• Mangakotukutuku Stream Care Group (Peacocke, Hamilton)
• Common Unity Project Aotearoa (Lower Hutt, Wellington)

Empowering and educating a community through action was a significant theme. When people take action for something they care about, it can be powerful for wellbeing. It can also form strong relationships with others taking action. The case studies indicated that the care for nature, food and each other is a substantial cause to bring people together.

It is clear that the Primary Sector Council’s vision, ‘Taiao ora Tangata ora’ aligns and flows through all three of these projects/groups. There is an understanding that for people to be healthy, our natural world needs to be healthy. That our natural world includes nature, food production and ourselves, that we are interconnected with our natural world, this is Te Taiao.

By comparing the themes from both the literature review and the case studies, Peri-urban catchments can impact social and cultural outcomes in two ways:

1. By bringing people together to action environmental initiatives that strengthen our connection with nature, food production, and each other.
In the peri-urban space, we can take the opportunity to connect rural and urban people. Farmland in the peri-urban space has significant opportunity for ecological initiatives, and we can allow our communities to take action to enhance these. By doing this, we can expose people to food production.

2. Establishing biodiversity in peri-urban catchments so that future communities that may live there live entwined with nature and food production.

There is considerable work happening in urban, peri-urban, and rural landscapes to enhance biodiversity. In the peri-urban space, there is an opportunity to get ahead of urban development. Rather than retrospectively restore nature, nature can be established and entwined with urban living. Urban food production needs to part of this planning. Connection with nature and food production in our everyday lives will enhance our wellbeing.

This research has led to the conclusions;

• True collaboration is an outcome of connection.
• Social outcomes are as significant as ecological outcomes.

To ensure social and cultural outcomes in peri-urban communities are positive, I recommend the community groups:

1. Embrace the principles of Te Taiao.

More specifically, community groups vision should incorporate connection to one another and nature. Community groups should identify cultural and natural significance within a catchment. These should be celebrated, restored/protected and used as a cause to bring communities together. Community groups membership should not be limited to a geographical area. Any person or organisation which shares their cause and values should be embraced. This is especially significant in peri-urban spaces. Consider nature to be diverse and embrace food production and consumption as part of nature.

2. Involve youth in action and education.

3. Engage with all community, including local and central government and NGOs.
  
4. Be opened minded and be vulnerable.

To ensure social and cultural outcomes in peri-urban communities are positive, I recommend the City planners and landowners:
5. Plan long term to establish biodiversity ahead of urban development.

Read the full report:
Connection: What are the social and cultural outcomes of peri-urban catchments?

Richard Ridd, Kellogg Course 41, 2020

National Treasure: Native biodiversity on-farm

Executive Summary

Sheep and beef farms are home to a quarter of New Zealand’s total national native vegetation. This means that sheep and beef property owners make up the second largest native biodiversity land holders, second only to Public Conservation land. As such, a large part of New Zealand’s conservation effort is in their hands.

Many landowners have already taken steps to protect and enhance their slice of native bush. With appreciation for what has already been achieved it encourages more progress to be made by that person and those around them.
By nurturing this connection to the land and amplifying it through our communities we are more likely to gain long term biodiversity gains. Enhancing a culture of kaitiakitanga, guardianship or feelings of being stewards of the land.

This report endeavours to discover:

The quality of the biodiversity held within the bush blocks on New Zealand sheep and beef farms.

What challenges native vegetation faces in these blocks and how best to maintain and/or improve these areas.

Recommendations

1. Manage

Where landowners’ resources are limited a pest control management regime implementation would be a cost-effective use of capital that will produce the fastest benefits. Also changes to stock grazing practices have the potential to slow deterioration until fencing can be put in place.

The problem of funding the conservation efforts around the native bush on farms needs to be quickly addressed. This could be as simple as ensuring the carbon credits of these areas are financially recognised. With an inbuilt incentive to have them fenced off within the first 5years of this financial recognition. This would enable the conservation efforts of landowners to be more easily financed, thus ensuring ongoing pest control and maintenance of these areas.

2. Lead

We need to identify potential leaders who can pass on their knowledge, learnings and techniques to others. This would be best done with a framework in place that helps ensure these leaders are supported. This will help foster a collaborative approach to ensure biodiversity gains.

3. Research

I feel research into stocks role in conservation and how grazing could help enable native regeneration is needed to establish if there are any positive effects as the Allison H.V.A survey and Longlands case study suggests there may be. This would help to decisively answer the stock exclusion argument.

The need for all the ecological significance assessments to be presented in the same way in the H.V.A surveys is a great missed opportunity. I feel that being able to successfully compare and contrast this information over a long period of time would give clarity to how native vegetation is tracking in comparison to where it started from. This would give clearer indications to how our management practices are affecting native vegetation.

The High Value Area surveys are a great source of information. However, I feel they would benefit from having more information about the options for the H.V.A, such as QE11 covenants and a list of potential funding grants that are available to help landowners with the ongoing protection of these areas.

Read the full report:
National Treasure: Native biodiversity on-farm

Catherine Dickson, Kellogg Course 41, 2020

How might government better understand farmer perspectives?

Executive Summary

The New Zealand public service is and must continue to innovate to ensure that it understands the citizens that it serves.

It could also be doing a more robust job of understanding public perspectives, including those of farmers and rural communities.

Through my research, I have sought to understand how government institutions internationally and locally are innovating and experimenting to better understand these perspectives. The value and promise of these innovations is already being demonstrated.

I have also sought to understand farmer perspectives myself, and what matters to them. Through a range of semi- formal interviews, I captured a variety of themes. Views of government, the realities of farming, Māori agribusiness, communication and engagement and community and the importance of people were expressed.

It is this range of research and insight that has informed my recommendations: three proposed solutions that seek to disrupt the status quo of government engagement with the rural sector.

vRural NZ, Rural EQ and Rural Recruit have all been inspired by the people I have spoken to and ideas explored internationally. My aim has been to not only describe their benefits, but how the benefits could operate in a New Zealand context.

I recommend that government and the rural sector:

  • Prototype vRural NZ through the Digital Government Partnership Innovation Fund. This would be led by a government department, who would undertake the role of accountable authority to trial this idea on an issue of relevance and importance to the rural sector;
  • Pilot Rural EQ to trial and test what could work under a more
    full-scale delivery model. This pilot would distinguish what planning, resourcing and co-investment would be required to realise its potential.
  • Commence Rural Recruit through planning and engagement with tertiary institutions, to sell why this proposed solution is needed. This would include identifying which issues facing the rural sector would benefit from Rural Recruit and which agencies graduates would be best placed to join.

Despite the rate of change and challenges facing society, both globally and domestically, there are opportunities to improve the way we collaborate and tackle complex problems.

My recommendations can form the foundation of solutions that address these challenges. They also challenge the public service to innovate and experiment with ideas in the complex environment in which we operate.
If we expect others to change their behaviour, first, we must consider changing our own.

Read the full report: 
How might government better understand farmer perspectives?

Alby Hanson, Kellogg Course 41, 2020

Knowledge + Skills + Networks = Confidence: A suggested approach to help improve farmers’ financial literacy and business management skills on-farm.

Executive Summary

In today’s society there remains a stigma around money and finances, possibly originating from a fear and lack of understanding, and historically this has been thought to have hindered farmers’ ability and willingness to take control of their farming operations without understanding what the figures mean for their business. In an ever-changing world of requirements for freshwater management, biodiversity and climate change policy changes, biosecurity threats, volatile markets due to societal trends and economic fluctuations – a profitable business and a solid balance sheet is crucial in today’s farming operations in order to be prepared for anything. Due to the numerous industry pressures that farmers are faced with, it is important to have a solid foundation of financial literacy and business management skills to complement the practical, industry specific skills in the Food and Fibre industry in order to run a profitable farming business. 

Financial literacy generally is weak for many farmers (Speight, 2018), therefore financial literacy is a crucial element in farmer training in order to pave the way for increases in productivity, income and profitability and improved livelihoods (Musungwini, 2018). The benefits of this financial knowledge and improved livelihoods will overflow into our rural communities, leading to improved mental health in our farmers and collectively contributing to a positive future for generations to come.

Farmers running their day to day farming operations, most being defined as ‘small sized businesses’ in NZ, should be running their farming operations as a ‘business’ and farmers should be treated like business owners. This means structuring farming operations like a business, with a Trusted Team around them for support and guidance, coupled with being highly skilled in areas across the board in finance and business management. This will allow farming operations to effectively plan for the future, striving to meet performance goals and being in a position to make well informed decisions at any point in time.

With the aim of helping farmers by steering them in the right direction on their journey of improving their financial and business management capabilities, this report identifies the specific areas that require focus in order for farmers to competently and confidently run their farming operations like a business. It is essential that the farming operation and farmer’s benefit is front of mind throughout the up-skilling process as this will allow control of the business operations and finances back in the farmer’s hands which will hopefully be met with willingness and curiosity from the farmer. The benefits and value of the farmer taking control over the finances will be a turning point in the industry and confidence will be gained by the farmers to harness their new skills and take the reins of the direction of their farming operations into the future. It is evident there are a number of barriers to farmers’ willingness and ability to up-skill in their financial and business management skills. These are; cost, lack of time, resistance to change and failing to see the value benefit of what these skills could create for them and their farming business. The overarching theme within the suggested approach to improve farmers’ financial and business management capability is the need to navigate potential barriers mindfully and tailor individual farmer’s needs specifically to each farmer. This will assist in broadening their knowledge and transitioning the control over the finances with guidance and support throughout, understanding that every farmer is different.

Through an analysis of data gathered from farmers in the field, from rural advisors in the industry and by carrying out a literature review across four main topics, it is evident there is definite room for improvement to raise the financial know-how of farmers in New Zealand. The positive impact of an improvement in this area will be key, to ensure the NZ Food and Fibre industry keeps up with changing demands and for farmers to be in a position with the skills and control to make informed decisions. This will allow farmers to ride the highs and endure the lows for many generations to come. It is evident that there are already steps being made in the right direction which has lead to an increase in knowledge over the past ten years, but there is an urgent need for this to continually improve given the uncertain times we find ourselves in, in a post Covid-19 world.

It is time to break down the stigma around finances and tap into farmers’ financial and business capabilities. Research shows there is a large web of resources available already, for example the Dairy NZ website, the Beef & Lamb NZ website and the work that the Agri-Womens Development Trust (AWDT) is doing, for example facilitating the Understanding Your Farming Business (UYFB) course for farming women. There is a need to bring out farmers’ willingness and curiosity to learn and take control of their business, which when combined with adequate and relevant training via tutors or mentors will result in a higher level of knowledge across the board. The outcome will be improved confidence in our farm operators and farmers will witness first-hand the value and reap the benefits of what having strong financial and business management skills and control over their financials could create for them.

A recommendation that would hugely benefit farmers is introducing an on-farm tutor or mentor initiative to boost confidence in their financial and business capability by educating farmers step by step through what they can do to be involved in their financial and business management. When farmers are confident in completing financial tasks efficiently themselves, using suitable farm finance software and with adequate training, they will gain control over the financials and be better poised to influence and execute effective business planning and strategic discussions. This entire package will be crucial for farmers to be up to speed at any point in time, with the knowledge to make informed decisions, the skills to implement these with a supportive and trusted team behind them and the confidence to put their best foot forward when seeking finance for business growth.

Knowledge + Skills + Networks = Confidence. A suggested approach to help improve farmers’ financial literacy and business management skills on-farm.

Annie Fleming, Kellogg Course 41, 2020

Sustainable Impact Investing into New Zealand’s Horticultural Sector: Is there an Opportunity and Can We Capitalise on It?

Executive Summary

The global perspective on investment is changing from traditional financial metrics to the relatively recent idea of “impact investing”. This is where investments are made with the objectives of creating a positive impact on environmental and social matters as well as receiving financial returns. The growth in this movement has raised questions on whether there is potential within New Zealand’s horticultural industry to market its perceived sustainability and therefore access this pool of capital. With this theory in mind, this report looks to quantify the sustainability of the sector as well as analysing the ability of the investment sector in New Zealand to take advantage of impact investing theory.

To achieve this aim, this study uses an analytical framework to measure the carbon footprint of orchards and vineyards as a proxy for environmental sustainability. The model uses a case study of six different orchards and vineyards, owned by Craigmore Sustainables, to get an understanding of the variability within the sector. In addition to the carbon footprint modelling, four informal interviews of leading New Zealand primary industry investment managers and large-scale corporate farmers and foresters were performed to get an understanding of the extent to which the primary industry and its investors are concerned and report on sustainability.

Using the purpose-built carbon model, the producing orchards and vineyards were shown to have a net positive impact on the environment through large sequestration by the plants and compost. The two developing apple and kiwifruit orchards were shown to have comparatively high net emissions in their early years. It was shown that there is significant variation in the sequestration potential of different crop types (apples have the greatest potential sequestration per ha). In addition, the impact of organics was tested across the kiwifruit orchards with organic management producing less emissions overall than a conventional orchard.

Across the multiple interviews and literature reviewed, it was shown that there is significant variation in the positioning of investment funds and corporate farmers on the idea of impact investing. In general, foreign, and younger investors appeared to be further advanced in the understanding of impact investment and its opportunities. However, for the New Zealand market to fully appreciate and take advantage of impact investment opportunities that will arise in the primary industry space, there needs to be changes to the consistency and transparency of sustainability reporting and fund raising.

Although this study provides a baseline understanding of the potential sustainability of the horticultural industry, there are several recommendations that need to be considered in either further research or by leading organisations within the sector. These are:

  • Where possible, the increase in establishment and use of other quantifiable sustainability metrics in addition to carbon
  • Provide actual on-orchard data to test the strength and applicability of the carbon footprint modelling.
  • Further research into the environmental sustainability of orchards in an intensity-based approach such as kg CO2-eq per tray produced or per $

In addition, there are also recommendations for the industry’s investment sector to capture the possibilities of the impact investment movement:

  • To increase the measurement and reporting of the sustainability of the industry and therefore utilise the existing foreign impact investment interest as well as being prepared for when the domestic New Zealand investor base ultimately increase their focus on impact investment.
  • For the industry to either create a universal accredited standard of reporting and measurement for sustainability of a business or to align itself to current global reporting standards and initiatives.

These recommendations will help to increase investor confidence in the industry and therefore increase the potential uptake of the opportunity for impact investment.

Read the full report: Sustainable Impact Investing into New Zealand’s Horticultural Sector. Is there an Opportunity and Can We Capitalise on It?

Oscar Beattie, Kellogg Course 41, 2020.

Projection of beef forward marketing; building partnerships between dairy farmer and beef finishers.

Executive Summary

It is time for the dairy industry to stop sweeping the bobby calf issue under the carpet. Approximately 2 million calves are surplus to dairy requirements intended for human consumption and pet food (MPI, 2015). The bobby calf numbers are trending upwards since 2000 and is causing a lot of welfare concerns from animal activists.

I believe there is significent potential for the bobby calf to be reared as quality beef, beef farmers are struggling to source good quality calves that will finish with a profitable value, calf rearers are vulnerable within the markets volatility.  Globally beef demand is rising, and Its becoming more harder for beef finishers to purchase quality young stock to carry through. I put together a questionnaire and had a reply from 30 dairy farmers. The dairy farmers are referring the issue to being to hard and to much risk.

The following was researched

  • How to create a pathway to reduce significant numbers slaughtered at 4 days old in New Zealand.
  • History, Driving force and building trust to form relationships and successful businesses.
  • Dairy beef genetic solutions for quality milk production, ease of calving traits, high carcase weights and quality marbeling.
  • The new generation beef , the dairy- origin steer slaughtered at 10 -12 months.
  • Forward marketing beef agreements, connecting producer, rearer and finisher with marginal prices to allow profitability, build incentives to share risks and gains throughout the production line till processing.

I have considered the relevance of all factors and there is an opportunity  for a beef finisher to provide to order with a dairy farmer and a contracted calf rearer.  Building relationship with incentives along the production line, the calf to be sold at a margin price to the calf rearer at 10 days old, the calf rearer to sell onto the beef finisher at agreed marginal price at agreed weight. Below or under weight the price will differ, this embeds management procedures throughout till finishing.  At finishing every share holder will receive a percentage of the carcase.

I believe zero bobby farm systems are achievable with careful thought and planning into genetics, a focus towards building relationships.  However there may still be a small percentage of bobby calves amongst our country.

 “An increasing proportion of our beef is coming from the dairy industry and there is a growing demand coming from Asia where beef is prepared and consumed in ways that are different to our traditional markets,” Nicola schreurs – Massey University.

Key recommendations

  • A mutual support platform, engaging individual dairy and beef interests.
  • Online auctions with forward marketing beef agreements
  • Rearing calves for profit – An online platform to connect contracted calf rearers with farmers

 

Projection of beef forward marketing; building partnerships between dairy farmer and beef finishers