Integrated fruit production

Executive Summary

The Consumer
  1. The consumer is king and the world revolves around their wishes and demands.
  2. The news media has the ability to influence the consumer by creating hype and fear in food products.
  3. Consumers have strong views on food safety, production systems, and environmental issues.
  4. Consumers want food to be blemish free, cheap and available all year round.
The Supermarket
  1. Supermarkets respond to consumer complaints.
  2. They are petrified of bad press and the resulting consumer backlash which inevitably leads to financial disaster for the supermarket chain.
  3. Commercial advantage exists where supermarkets initiate and lead consumers to believe they sell safe, quality food, for good value.
The Grower
  1. The principles of IFP is the important framework for growers to concentrate on. The detail will vary from region to region and country to country.
  2. Growers who are involved with the IFP programme building, review and implementation are the most successful. Those growers where IFP is imposed upon them generally have problems.
  3. Growers need to work closely with researchers to develop and have confidence in the detail. Bureaucrats need to keep out of the detail as this can be detrimental and can make the programme unworkable.

IFP is the best response for New Zealand export fruit growers to both consumer trends and environmental concerns.  We are very good at producing fruit with low residue, but as the industry moves down the IFP track, there needs to be a greater focus on justification for every action taken.

Consumers must have confidence in the brands that are attached to our fruit e.g. ENZA and ZESPRI.  These brands must underpin the intrinsic values and enhance the integrity of these value systems.  We must work hard to continually improve these growing systems in the future.  Sustainable production is not only imperative for profitability but essential to feed the world as the world population expands dramatically into the new millennium.

IFP is only part of a change in world trends.  Primary producers are entering a cycle where, if they do not adapt to this changing environment they will be left behind or be completely shut out of entire markets.

Integrated Fruit Production – Julian Raine 1997

Pasture to plate: how farms change to match rapidly changing consumer.

Executive Summary

European agriculture is dominated by small holdings. Like New Zealand declining product prices in real terms are forcing farms to amalgamate and large units are producing an increasing percentage of the output.

Subsidies still play a major part in European agriculture but reductions will occur as subsidies are not sustainable in the long term at present levels.

Crossbreeding within the United Kingdom sheep flock is widely utilised using a 3 tiered structure which focuses on optimising meat output. A wide diversity of breeds are utilised to achieve this and little emphasis is given to wool production.

To remain international competitive New Zealand sheep farmers must produce a product that is better targeted at the market place. Utilising new technology and better genetics will help achieve this aim.

The United Kingdom sheep processing sector is dominated by small abattoirs in comparison to the pig and poultry sector which is dominated by large processors. Processors such as Lloyd Maunder, Brooks of Norwich and Bernard Matthews run large efficient operations where a huge emphasis is put on product development. Supermarket product requirements are becoming more exacting and the convenience food sector is expanding rapidly.

Large supermarkets chains dominate the food retail business in the United Kingdom with inhouse branding widely used by the big players. The large supermarket groups are spreading their influence into Eastern Europe and Asia while the food service sector (hotels, restaurants, institutions, airlines etc.) continues to grow rapidly.

Food consumption habits are changing for the following reasons

  1. People are more health conscientious
  2. Consumers want variety in their diets
  3. Increasingly customers want fresh food
  4. Demand for convenience food is expanding rapidly
  5. Food safety is of paramount importance
  6. Consumers are very aware of welfare issues
  7. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of environmental issues.

The image of lamb needs repositioned with new innovative products and all sectors of the industry need to promote the benefits of eating lamb in a balanced diet.

Food traceability systems are now essential in any food chain from the primary producer through to the final customer. Farm Assurance schemes are now an integral part of the chain to ensure that food is safe and produced in an animal welfare and environmentally friendly way.

The New Zealand lamb processing sector must form close partnerships with the supermarket chains of the world. Our clean green image must be protected, enhanced and exploited as much of the world is heavily polluted.

We must protect the integrity of the country of origin brand “NZ Lamb” because like it or not that is the main brand for our lamb. However where possible new brands would help reposition lamb and lift its image.

New Zealand lamb is a minority meat in world terms. The modem sophisticated consumer seeks new eating experiences. Provided the industry can provide innovative exciting products lamb will be an integral part of these new eating experiences.

Lamb farming has a bright future in the long term.

Pasture to plate: how farms change to match rapidly changing consumer – Doug Brown