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Lambs prices high despite low volumes

The latest sheep meat export figures show a rise in lamb prices despite fewer lambs.

Beef and Lamb’s export figures for the first half of the 2013/2014 season show lamb exports down by 2.5% on the same period last year by volume – but process were up by 14%.

The total value of lamb exports was $1.33billion – up 11% on same period of the previous season.

The European Union was our largest exporter of lamb with 42% and Northern Asia the second biggest market taking 33%.

Mutton exports reached record figures in the first half of the season as well, with more than 60,000 tonnes being shipped earning $33 million.

Demand for mutton carcasses in China continue to rise with Chinese taking 72% of total mutton exports.

Beef and veal were stable in volume and market value.

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Saturated fats link to heart disease questioned

A new study suggests advice on saturated fats could be wrong.
The research, published in the Annuals of Internal Medicine, has found no link between saturated fats and heart disease.

An international team has collated and re-analysed data from 72 separate studies involving over 600,000 participants.

Federated Farmers, Jeanette Maxwell says the study could be turning conventional wisdom on its head, but more work needs to be done to determine is validity.

The study considered saturated fats as a standard component in diet and levels in the bloodstream and when they were put side by side, no association could be determined between total saturated fats and coronary disease.

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Dairy Industry needs more degrees

Industry experts are concerned the New Zealand dairy sector won’t have enough qualified staff in coming years as farms grow and demands increase.

DairyNZ estimates the industry will need a thousand new workers every year, each with a diploma or higher qualification.

Strategy and investment leader Mark Paine says the sector needs to team up with educators now to be internationally competitive in the future.
Mark Paine says the focus is not only on tertiary providers, but also secondary schools, encouraging students to pursue appropriate degrees in the agricultural sector.
DairyNZ is also encouraging large dairy farms to look at providing career progression for talented individuals to safeguard the industry’s future.

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Waitoa processing plant up and running

The first products of the new $120 million Fonterra UHT milk-processing plant in Waikato are ready to hit the shelves.
The Waitoa site has produced 25,000 Anchor brand ultra-high temperature cream packs ready for sale.
Fonterra’s UHT operations manager, Donald Lumsden says the first production is a milestone for the site, which has been transformed from paddock to processing plant in just 12 months.

The site will enable Fonterra to double its UHT production capacity over the next few years.

It will process more than 100 million litres of milk a year when all five of its milk-processing lines are running.

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Canterbury arable farmers in trouble

Relentless rain in Canterbury is causing havoc for arable farmer’s most valuable crops.
It’s rained almost every day for the past month in Canterbury making it too wet for harvest and some crops are beginning to sprout and spoil.

Federated Farmers mid-Canterbury President Chris Allen says farmers need to work together in the adverse conditions.
Chris Allen says growers need a window of fine weather to allow ground to dry out for harvesting to take place.

The season was looking good for arable farmers in the region until rain began to fall in March.

Some farmers in the Waimate and  Oamaru areas have not been able to do anything for the past six weeks.. Farmers say every day the rain continues, the worse the outlook for New Zealand’s arable industry.

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Paget stripped of Burghley title

Jock Paget has been officially stripped of his Burghley title as a result of an FEI tribunal partial decision.

His mount, Clifton Promise, tested positive for the banned sedative reserpine after winning the major event last September.

Paget was always going to be stripped of the title, but the early partial decision was requested by the Former Olympian.

Jock Paget wrote to the FEI on April 7 requesting the title be stripped from him immediately and awarded to Andrew Nicholson, the runner up at the event.

The tribunal accepted the point of Paget’s request, saying: “… a ruling on the automatic disqualification from the Event in advance of a full hearing was of importance for the reputation and integrity of the sport …”.

Equestrian Sports New Zealand Chief Executive Jim Ellis says Jock has done the right thing for the sport.

A full hearing of the FEI tribunal is scheduled for June 3 in London, where Paget will submit a comprehensive record of evidence, explaining and supporting his claim of no fault of negligence.

Paget says evidence shows neither he nor anyone else knew of the presence of the banned substance, but that as the person responsible for Clifton Promise at Burghley, he accepts a rule violation occurred.

Jim Ellis says while New Zealand has undoubtedly had some reputational damage, he believes many are looking favourably at the doping case, while  Jock has been seen to do the right thing in the wake of scandal.

The decision paves the way for World Number 1 Andrew Nicholson’s shot at the $407,000 grand slam for winning the three most prestigious four-star events, Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton.

ESNZ’s Jim Ellis says it’s exciting for Andrew Nicholson to have won the Burghley title for the second year in a row and was a well deserved win. He hopes Nicholson will be successful in his bid for the Grand Slam title.
The Grand Slam has only been achieved once before by Britain’s Pippa Funnell in 2003.
The Kentucky event starts in the United States tomorrow, NZ time, and Badminton runs from May 8-11 in England.

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2014 New World Wine Awards open on 12 May

2014 New World Wine Awards open on 12 May

New Zealand  (All New Zealand)

Winemakers encouraged to enter wine awards that deliver commercial benefits

Entries for the 2014 New World Wine Awards open on 12 May and top winemakers are encouraging their peers to enter. In addition to the distinction of an award that recognises quality on the same international scale as all other wine competitions, winning winemakers are guaranteed national distribution in New World supermarkets and extensive brand exposure, driving sustained sales.

Simon Swa from Peregrine Wines, which won two gold medals last year for their Saddleback range, says the promotion of New World Wine Awards award-winning wines is a key point of difference from other wine shows.

“There is a well-planned program of in-store promotions, online publicity and printed media that is triggered by a medal win so the commercial benefits are immediate and meaningful. Without doubt, we have enjoyed a notable increase in sales and a heightened level of brand awareness,” said Swa.

Last year 364,000 bottles of the Top 50 wines, with a retail value of $4.7m, were sold throughout New World supermarkets in the first six weeks of the results being announced; the Champion White Wine, Spy Valley’s Marlborough Chardonnay 2012, sold out in a week. That volume of sales in the first six weeks was over 21% higher than in the corresponding period in the previous year, reflecting increasing awareness among consumers of the integrity of these wine awards.

Julie Ibbotson from Saint Clair Family Estate says that alongside a range of other positive reviews and medal results from wine shows all over the world, Saint Clair values the opportunity to showcase their wines at the New World Wine Awards each year.

“The New World Wine Awards has become another credible fixture in the annual New Zealand wine show calendar. Wine show judging credibility is essential and at the New World Wine Awards this has always been of a consistently high calibre,” she said.

The New World Wine Awards is also the only wine show in New Zealand that has a low alcohol category, providing an opportunity for wineries that are at the forefront of responding to consumer demand for high quality reduced or low alcohol wines to benchmark their wines. In addition, the closing date for entries has been extended, which enables more new vintage wines to be entered.

The New World Wine Awards is judged by an independent panel of 13 expert wine judges who blind-taste each wine over the course of two days, using the same internationally recognised 20-point system as other leading wine competitions to ensure the winning wines are the best examples of their type. The only difference is that all wines entered must retail for below $25 a bottle and there must be at least 6,000 bottles of each wine available for sale, responding to consumer demand for high quality but affordable and widely available wines.

This year the judging panel will include Sam Harrop as the guest international judge. Voted the ‘10th most influential wine consultant in the world’ by Drinks Business in 2013, he is also one of only 312 wine experts globally to hold the prestigious Masters of Wine qualification.

The judges will award Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, and a Champion Red, White and Bubbles overall. In addition to the distinction of an award, the top 50 wines will be showcased in 137 New World stores nationwide, online and in the New World Wine Awards booklet.

Entries to the competition close on Friday 20 June. All details are at


For more information contact:
Alex Beedell

2014 New World Wine Awards Judges
• Jim Harré – Wine Consultant (Chair)
• Sam Harrop – Wine Making Consultant (guest international judge)
• Barry Rewai – Clearview Estate
• Ben Glover – Mudhouse
• Dr. Alistair Leggat – Wine judge
• Jane Boyle – Villa Maria
• Jeff Clarke – Ara Wine Estate
• Kate Radburnd – CJ Pask
• Olly Masters – Misha’s Vineyard, Ata Rangi & Seresin Estate
• Sam Kim – Wine Orbit
• Sarah Kate Dineen – Maude Wines
• Simon Nunns – Coopers Creek
• Terry Copeland – Wine Consultant

More info: