Home' Greymouth Star : December 29th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Monday, December 29, 2014
Water accord progress
Dairy NZ and the Dairy Companies
Association of New Zealand released One
Year On, a report outlining the progress the
industry has made during the first year of the
Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord, this
While the dairy industry has met or made
significant progress against some targets and
commitments, it could do better in others.
The water accord is a voluntary dairy
industry-wide list of targets and commitments
for improving water quality.
Dairy NZ’s environmental policy manager
Mike Scarsbrook said the report showed
good progress on key environmental areas,
including stock exclusion from water ways,
effluent and riparian management and
accreditation of expert advisers. Areas needing
more work included nutrient management
data collection, effluent compliance in some
regions and data collation and verification
systems across all dairy companies.
Key targets included that 90% of stock had
to be excluded from water ways by May 31,
2014, and 100% excluded by May 31, 2017.
All stock had to be excluded from significant
wetlands by May 2014.
“Both have big water quality benefits,’’ Dr
“ We achieved 94% against the 90% target,
but that data is not fully verified. ’’
However, the significant wetlands target had
not been achieved, as some regional councils
had yet to identify them in their areas.
All stock crossings must be bridged or
culverted by May 2018.
“ We have 36,000 crossing points identified
(throughout the country), with an average of
three per farm.
“ We think we have got about 99% as there
may be a few extra that need to be picked up,
and the data is not verified.’’
All dairy farmers must have a riparian
management plan completed by May 2020
and planting completed by 2030.
He expected to see about 50% of farmers
with a plan in place by 2016.
Eighty-five per cent of dairy farms
must supply information about nutrient
management and loss by November 30, 2014,
and 100% by the same time next year.
“At 56%, we have found it is an enormous
undertaking and committing to 100% by
2015 is going to be huge challenge.
“It will be important for the dairy companies
to provide more support and resources to
farmers around how they collect and report
All dairy farms were to be compliant with
their regional council’s effluent management
rules by May 31, 2014.
He said data from several regional councils
showed some instances of significant non-
compliance but they were working towards
reducing those figures. Under water use
management and monitoring, 85% of dairy
farms must have water meters by 2020.
“A lot of farms are covered by resource
consent requirement around water meters.’’
He was confident the target would be “done
and dusted’’ by 2020. — Otago Daily Times
Landcorp, New Zealand’s largest
corporate farmer, plans to increase
returns from sheep, signing a three-
year contract with NZ Merino to
manage its entire wool clip and
seeking board approval next month
to build a new shed to trial milking
some of the flock.
indicated last July it was taking a
serious look at milking sheep as a way
of getting a third income, along with
meat and wool, from its flock.
Chief executive Steve Carden said
while milking sheep is common
offshore, most of it is consumed
domestically and there is no real
international player. Landcorp has
been investigating establishing a
premium, niche sheep milk brand
from the 370,000 ewes it farms.
“Fonterra has a lake of milk it
has to take from its farms and then
finds what to do with it and looks
for options in improving what it
produces,” Mr Carden said. “ We
want to start at the other end and not
oversupply and drive prices down.”
Landcorp has been doing market
research on sheep milk demand,
potential for products and where
they would be exported to. It has also
engaged Massey University’s Riddet
Institute, one of the national Centres
of Research Excellence, to experiment
making butter, yoghurt and ice-cream
products. The institute has been
assessing the taste characteristics and
nutritional benefits from the sheep
milk products which are about to
go into in-market testing to gauge
Chef Al Brown has also developed
some high end restaurant dishes
using sheep milk.
Landcorp has purchased 2500 east
Friesian sheep, which are the best
sheep breeds in terms of milk yield
per ewe, for one of its central North
Island farms to pilot the move into
Mr Carden said he will seek board
approval in January for the estimated
$2 million cost of building a milking
shed, which would be retrofitted so
it could be used for milking cows if
Landcorp decides against proceeding
with a sheep milking brand.
It will take seven months to get the
farm operational and begin milking
the ewes in spring, Mr Carden said.
The SOE is not in the business of
owning “stainless steel” and is talking
to potential partners about milk
processing and also with various iwi
which are interested in working with
Landcorp, he said.
The global sheep milk industry is
estimated to be worth $US6.5 billion
but Mr Carden would not be drawn
on its potential value to New Zealand
The major player in New Zealand
is Southland-based Blue River Dairy
which makes cheese and infant
formula powder exported to China.
In a separate move, Landcorp has
just signed a deal with NZ Merino,
the marketing company dedicated
to lifting merino wool out of the
commodity basket through marketing
and differentiation. NZ Merino chief
executive John Brakenridge has been
on the Landcorp board since May
Mr Carden said the three-
year contract allows NZ Merino
to manage Landcorp’s annual
2700-tonne coarse wool clip (15,000
bales) rather than send it to auction.
It is the largest wool clip in the
country and coarse wool is currently
used for hard-wearing fabrics such as
carpets and tennis balls.
NZ Merino has spent the past 16
years trying to boost sheep grower
returns from merino wool by doing
partnerships with various brands,
including New Zealand’s Icebreaker.
Growers pay 4% of their revenue to the
marketing body which aims to deliver
higher prices to the farm gate in return.
NZ Merino marketing manager
Gretchen Foster said this was the
first time it had been involved with
coarse wool (above 30 microns) and
contracts with other like-minded
strong wool growers could follow if
the Landcorp one proves successful.
“It’s a very traditional market and I
don’t doubt there will be hurdles to
jump. When setting up a new course
for merino there were challenges,”
Ms Foster said.
Initial focus will be on the interior
textiles market and also new product
development for strong wool such as
felted products, she said.
Landcorp’s Mr Carden is hopeful of
announcing its first deal with a wool
brand partner in the New Year.
“It’s about telling compelling
stories, that ’s what good brands are
based on,” he said. — NZ ME
Dairy industry meeting most water quality targets
Landcorp in wool deal, milk trial
Deer and cherry farmers have had
different reactions to a free trade
agreement with South Korea signed last
While cherry growers in Central
Otago celebrated the agreement, their
deer-farming neighbours are not happy
frozen deer velvet has been excluded.
Deer Industry New Zealand chairman
Andy Macfarlane said DINZ and New
Zealand exporters had worked tirelessly
in Korea to build markets for deer velvet
antler and foster good relationships with
the Korean deer industry.
“We are simply at a loss as to why
frozen velvet has been excluded.
“Although this free trade agreement
was imperative for some industries, it
clearly falls short of the comprehensive
trade agreements that New Zealand has
Mr Macfarlane said he acknowledged
the overall benefits of the free trade
agreement but said it was much less
than the deer industry thought was
Sheep, beef and dairy farmers are
expected to gain some benefit in the
long run from the agreement.
Korea is New Zealand’s fourth-largest
beef export market by volume, taking
nearly $110 million worth of beef
exports last year. However trade volume
had dropped in recent years.
Beef and Lamb New Zealand
chairman James Parsons said Beef and
Lamb’s negotiations with Korea had
been ongoing since 2009 but for beef
exporters it was a lifeline in a market
they were at risk of losing.
“This deal is great news for sheep and
beef farmers and meat exporters. ’’
Summer-fruit growers would benefit
in the long term but it would be cherry
exporters that would see the biggest
impact. Summerfruit New Zealand
chairman Gary Bennetts, of Roxburgh,
said the free trade agreement with Korea
would benefit Central Otago as the
region was the country’s largest exporter
of cherry crops. At present, cherries
are the only summer-fruit registered to
“ My expectation is that volumes
exported will rise significantly, bringing
about an economic return to growers.’’
Cherry tariffs will be reduced to zero as
soon as the agreement comes into force.
— Otago Daily Times
South Korean trade deal
falls short—deer farmers
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