Robots is an increasing demand in the agriculture sector in the past few years. Harvesting crops is the traditional application of robots, but technology is revamping the ways to help farmers grow their crops at ease and a lower cost. Apart from harvesting applications, recent years introduce robots or drones for cloud seeding, sowing seeds, weed control, soil analysis, and environmental monitoring. Research says that by 2025, the agricultural robots’ market could potentially reach USD11.58 billion in value.

Agricultural robots can be identified as early as the 1920s, which led to considerable developments in the 1950s to 1960s. Agricultural robotics were based on a cable system, not until the 1980s, where computerized machine vision was developed. Recent developments generate reports on the health of crops, their size, number of fruits, quality, and how much produce will it deliver at the end of the season. Robot developers use sensors that identify weeds, detect and pick crops at the right stages, and estimate the volume of herbicides to be sprayed. Using this method helps agronomists to breed better crops in the future.

Benefits of Using Agricultural Robots

Agricultural robots can now help farmers pick fruits, drive tractors and sprayers, and even shear sheep without human labor, minimizing their time and cost. Robots further have the ability to prune plants, weed, water/spray, and monitoring the entire farm in a single monitor or device. In livestock applications, robots can be used in automatic milking, cleaning, and castrating.

Using agricultural robots not only benefits the farmers/growers but also consumers alike by producing fresh products, decreasing manual labor, which leads to lower production costs. Additionally, robots minimize the danger of hazardous chemicals be in contact with manual laborers. It further reduces the heavy tasks done by farmers while using manual tractors.

The development of drones can provide extensive information on crop health. Its lenses can zoom in on the crop seedlings to detect when the fruits and vegetables are right for picking without the human workforce. Latest robotics surpass the traditional automated weeders in the market by using high-power lasers to remove pests in plants without disturbing the plants and ground.

Every year, technology and robotic firms introduce different approaches to industrialize the responsibilities in the farm. Earlier this year, a robotic firm in the United States announced the flying independent robot that uses artificial intelligence to determine ripe fruits and pick them all day. Drone equipment is becoming more popular, which allows farmers to monitor their crops and livestock from above.

The future of research and development in agricultural robots is a wide analysis yet to be developed. The human population is rising each year and farms are becoming less due to commercialized lands. To feed the population, agricultural giants are now researching to develop robotics or tools to estimate crop yields considering lesser lands, limited resources, and climate change. However, feeding a growing population today doesn’t mean more opportunities in the agricultural professions. Although robotics gives a new dimension to agriculture, it gives a big impact on the farm workforce. By 2029, the agricultural manpower is expected to drop by 6%, which job declines have already started in the US for years.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world a new outlook, especially on how consumers pick their food. Dry beans are one of the many agricultural products forecasted to increase, having a CAGR of 4.3% for the forecast year 2021-2026 due to their long shelf life. Consumers redirect their meal plans to a healthier lifestyle, improving their immune system. Dry beans are regarded as an alternative to protein and provide other nutrients, which led to the increase of product demand across the globe.

Fava Beans Market

The global production of fava bean is forecasted to decline by the end of 2021 at 5,332,875 tons, compared to 5,546,028 last year.


At 40% of total global export volume, Australia tops the biggest producer of fava beans after China sled down the list. Their export volume exceeds what is estimated. The high demand for exports allows the country to increase the prices of fava beans compared to Canadian farmers. Besides being the top exporter of fava beans in the market, Australia also tops its internal consumption.


China was once the biggest producer of fava beans in the market, but due to its concentration in boosting its other products, the country slides down the list. In 2020, China had exported 176 tons of protein concentrates and texture protein substitutes, including soybeans alone. Its total global export reached 600 tons.


Oppositely, Egypt tops the biggest importer of fava beans worldwide, accounting for 70% of the total volume. The other importers that top the lists are Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Norway, Canada, Italy, Spain, and France. With only a few exporters, solid relationships of business owners and buyers with geographical proximity challenge the market’s sustainability. Egypt’s consumption of fava beans generally reaches 550-600 tons, with imports of 200 and 300 tons from Europe and Australia, respectively. The country further reserves more tons of fava beans for the feed industry, more so that beans are the only substitute for yellow peas.


The market competition of fava beans in Canada is tricky and challenging, leading to most produce used as feed and ending up in feed markets. This further causes a decrease in prices compared to its competitors. Although the product competition is tight, Canada guarantees a non-GMO product, which consumers prefer, and is now being tested in the fractionation market. This could lead to an increase in production for the country; unfortunately, due to the dry conditions all over the country, the production might not be at par with the forecasted volume.


UK production is a challenge this year due to the dry and cold weather. The country had produced around 650-700 tons this year, which is expected to increase compared to last years’ produce. The increase in demand is from the feed market, as producers are recommended to feed their milk-producing animals to beans instead of the usual soy-related products. France’s consumption of fava beans also accounts for animal utilization. Although France’s production is impressive with hectares increasing, the total volume does not meet the expected numbers due to the damages made by insects yearly. The volume for human consumption is limited, leading to a decrease in export volumes.

Black Matpe and Pigeon Peas Market

The production of black matpe and pigeon peas is decreasing globally, with the former’s global supply of 2.5M as opposed to its global consumption at 2.58M. The latter’s global supply volume is at 3.7M against its global consumption of 4.18M. Consumers more often opt for short-term crops like corn, carrots, oats, and other healthier alternatives; therefore, pigeon peas’ carry-over is reducing over time. Even black matpe’s carry-over is less and scarcity of the product may arise anytime soon.

Myanmar and India

Myanmar is the largest exporter and second-largest producer of black matpe beans. However, due to the political coup in the country, the production of matpe beans is decreasing. Furthermore, there has been wide crop damage attributed to the heavy rainfall in the previous year that led to lesser carryover stock. The beans market grows around September and December; hence, stock availability will only occur by January. Prices are forecasted to rise due to an increase in freight, claimed to be 5-6 times higher than the standard rate. Additionally, shipping lines are not releasing their container in countries with political unrest.

The import of black matpe beans in India has been disrupted by Myanmar’s political dispute, leading to a rise in prices for the past few months. India imports around 84% of black matpe beans from Myanmar, but the forecast import of 400,000 tons might not be achieved.

Middle East

The Middles East is a growing market for black matpe beans, especially that the consumption rate is increasing yearly. The beans are popular in any Middle Eastern cuisine, and new products like ready-to-cook batter are now available in supermarkets, which is an easier option for consumers to take.

Green Mung Beans Global Market

In 2020, the top exporter of green mung beans is Morocco, with an export value of USD220M, while the top importer that reached USD198M in value was the United States. This year, India tops the list of largest producers of mung beans. The demand for the product keeps increasing and is expected to grow at 4% yearly until 2026. The import process from India has also liberalized, causing a more relaxed process recently. However, due to the Covid-19 lockdown in the country, most stocks are with the farmers.

Argentina is also increasing its forecast from its average export of 60,000 tons to 70,000 tons by the end of this year. Its export countries include Vietnam, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Canada, and other 40 countries. The country has applied for a Chinese certificate to be able to sell the produce in mainland China, which is now under process.

In Brazil, 35,000 tons of pulses were already exported, of which 62% were mung beans. The forecast is increasing as the country has huge domestic market demand. However, like any other country, the weather in Brazil is not favorable to the demands; hence, some farmers shift their crops to yellow peas. Due to the weather conditions, shipping procedures, and Covid-19 factors, the country’s production by the end of 2021 is expected at 47,000 MT, with its last harvest in December.

New Zealand


Fruit sticker ban comes as a surprise to industry

A 2023 deadline to phase out the use of plastic fruit stickers has come as a surprise to the fruit-growing and packaging industry.

Environment Minister David Parker announced that a range of single-use plastic items, including hard to recycle food and drink packaging, cotton buds, straws and fruit labels, would be phased out by 2025. The items will be phased out in three stages between late 2022 and July 2025.

Parker said the timing of the ban was intended to strike a balance between the public’s call for action and the need for businesses to seek alternatives.

But packaging manufacturer Jenkins Freshpac said the 2023 timeline for stickers, used to brand and otherwise identify produce, was too short.

Read More here…


Timaru’s 100% Pure New Zealand Honey supreme winner in National Honey Competition’

A Timaru honey producer is the toast of the beekeeping industry after taking home eight medals at Apiculture New Zealand’s national honey competition, including the supreme award.

“We came so close in 2019, so it feels good to finally win the award,” 100% Pure New Zealand’s operations manager Jarved Allan told Stuff.

“And we’ll do it all over again next year,” he claimed.

“The 18 years I have worked at 100% Pure NZ Honey mastering what we do to showcase this top shelf product has contributed to winning this award.”

Read More here…


Tax hike adds a sour note to small wineries facing tough times

Wine producers already doing it tough now have another hurdle to face, with an excise tax of $2.33 per bottle being added on from July 1.

Reaching approximatively $28 per case (12 wine bottles), the excise take from an average bottle of wine is more than what a grower would get paid for his fruits, said a wine industry head.

A major concern with this increase is the impact it will have on the approximately 300 small wineries who only sell in the domestic market, said New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan.

“They (small wineries) have already been hit hard by the lack of international tourists post-Covid, surging production costs, and the difficulties being experienced in the hospitality sector.

Read more here


Tomato disease halts New Zealand exports to six countries

Pepino mosaci virus (PepMV) – which can affect the yield of plants and delay fruit growth – was found in an Auckland greenhouse in April and has spread to three other commercial sites.

The virus, which is found in China, parts of Europe and the Americas, is highly contagious and can be spread on crates, tools, clothing, and by bumble bees.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has notified Australia, Japan, Thailand, Fiji, Tonga, and New Caledonia about the disease affecting New Zealand tomatoes, because these countries consider PepMV a quarantine risk.

MPI had temporarily suspended export certification to these markets, the ministry’s response controller David Yard said.

Read more here…


Farmer confidence rises as agricultural sector cheered by higher prices

Farmers are feeling more confident on the back of rising prices for agricultural products, according to the latest quarterly Rabobank rural confidence survey.

After 10 consecutive readings at negative levels, the survey turned positive in the first quarter of this year, and edged up further in the second quarter with overall net confidence at 13 per cent, up from 10 per cent.

The number of farmers expecting the rural economy to improve in the next 12 months increased to 32 per cent, from 29 percent, while those expecting it to worsen remained at 19 per cent. Those expecting similar conditions slipped to 50 per cent from 53 per cent.

Read More here…



1000 overseas workers will be needed for harvest

WHILE the Federal government’s announcement of a new agricultural visa has been welcomed by some industries, particularly horticulture, it is not a silver bullet and won’t help to address chronic labour shortages in the grains industry.

The new Seasonal Agricultural Workforce Visa, announced by Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud last Wednesday, would enable workers from the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nations to work in Australia for up to nine months for three years in a row.

News of the visa was met with joy from all facets of the horticulture industry which has been calling for the solution for many years.

However, bringing in fruit pickers and meat packers from ASEAN countries won’t help to address the shortfall of 1000 experienced heavy farm machinery operators which are predicted to be needed for harvest in WA this year.

Read more here


Dollar shifts drive optimism

Last week’s Australian wool market moved up a bit – or a lot, depending on which currency you were operating in.

In local dollar terms, prices were significantly higher due to the Australian currency remaining below the US0.76 cents handle during the selling week.

Overseas customers buying in US Dollars were able to either get more “bang for their buck”, or pay a bit more in Australian Dollars.

The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) lifted 20 cents a kilogram for local growers.

 Read more here

How your dairy farm may benefit from a gas hot water system

If you operate a dairy farm, you’re most likely aware of the fact that not all hot water heating systems are created equal. In fact, as reported by the Australian Energy Foundation, annual running costs for the most common types of hot water systems vary greatly, as do their levels of efficiency.

While all businesses in the agricultural industry have unique energy requirements, dairy farms in particular benefit from adopting reliable energy systems that can be engineered, specified and installed to meet their specific needs. That’s why so many dairy farmers rely on LPG gas as an adaptable fuel to keep their businesses growing.

When it comes to trusted LPG gas providers, companies such as Elgas support Australian dairy farmers by providing access to LPG to help reduce overall costs and emissions. 

Read more here

Southern Qld farmers optimistic of big harvest

Favourable weather has southern Queensland farmers eyeing off one of the best winter crops in several years.

Timely painting times and regular rain through the growing season have allowed crops to flourish across south western Queensland and through the Darling Downs. Many farmers are saying crops are the best at the start of July since 2016, which ended up being a memorable season for the right reasons.

Few areas have missed out. Crops are thick and dense in the expansive cropping areas around Dirranbandi and Thallon where farmers are preparing for a second consecutive big harvest.

Read more here

Australian grain

Aussie grains sector slaps down UK claims on pesticide use

THE AUSTRALIAN grains industry has resounding slapped down allegations from British lobby groups that the proposed Australian – United Kingdom free trade agreement will disadvantage British farmers because of what they claimed were Australia’s less stringent chemical standards.

Groups such as the Soil Association, an organisation with links to the organic sector, and the Pesticide Action Network, came out with claims that Australia’s environmental standards were lower than the UK and pointed to larger numbers of chemical registrations as examples of this.

However, Matthew Cossey, CropLife Australia chief executive said this argument was based on a flawed assumption.

Read more here…

South America

brazilian agriculture

Brazilian Government announces increased funding for agribusiness

The Government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Tuesday launched what was called “The Harvest Plan 2021/2022” for which funding worth R$ 251.2 billion (US $ 50.6 billion) for national agribusiness was allocated.

The new financial support is 6.3% higher than the previous allocation, it was reported.

The announcement was made during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia by Bolsonaro and government officials.

According to Brazilian authorities, R$ 177.78 billion will be for funding and marketing and R$ 73.4 billion will be for investments. The latter portion of the budget was raised by 29%.

Read More here


Argentina expects a 19 million tons 2021/22 wheat harvest, with 12 million tons for export

Argentine wheat exports should reach 12 million tons in the 2021/22 winter harvest, according to a new estimate released by the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange. If confirmed, the volume, the highest since 2016/17, will be 26.3% above this season’s production.

The increase is mainly due to the expectation of production growth, projected at 19.15 million tons, compared to 17 million in 2020/21. In this scenario, the internal wheat milling should also grow in 2021/22, by 8.3%, and reach 6.5 million tons. This also means the country will have a larger than usual surplus for export.

Read More here

Brazil Soy

Demand for soy puts pressure on Pantanal, Brazil’s largest wild wetland
  • Global demand for soybean has seen annual production of the crop in Brazil soar from 30 million tons in 2000 to 125 million tons today. Most of the agrochemicals consumed in Brazil are used on this crop.
  • Soybean farming also accounts for most of the agrochemicals used in Brazil, and the farming activity concentrated in the state of Mato Grosso is now seeing those chemicals washing downstream to the Pantanal wetlands.
  • The planet’s largest floodplain, the Pantanal is relatively untouched by agriculture, with only 0.01% of its area occupied by soy farms.
  • Scientists have shown that waterways feeding the Pantanal are contaminated and silted up, and that fish are growing scarce in certain locations.

Read more here

Food Updates


Top of the flavour charts

Want a taste of what’s trending? New Food’s Editor interviews Kerry Taste & Nutrition’s Christina Matrozou to find out about the current and emerging flavour trends of 2021.

Earlier this year Kerry Taste & Nutrition released its annual Taste Charts, which uncovered the flavours and ingredients that are set to inspire innovation and taste excellence across the food and beverage sector.

“The Taste Charts delivers a tool that enables product developers, marketeers and foodies around the world to unfold the lifecycle of taste,” Christina Matrozou, Marketing Manager Taste Europe and Russia, Kerry Taste & Nutrition, Amsterdam, told New Food.

Read more here

potatop and rice

Potato and rice protein shakes viable alternatives to whey says study

The study claims potato and rice protein could be just as filling as their whey counterparts, yet they reduce insulin spikes for those who need to monitor blood glucose levels carefully.

A study from the Centre for Nutraceuticals at the University of Westminster found that plant-based protein shakes may be potential viable alternatives to milk-based whey protein shakes, particularly in people with need of careful monitoring of glucose levels.

The study, published in the journal Nutrients, suggests that potato and rice proteins can be just as effective at managing appetite and can help better manage blood glucose levels and reduce spikes in insulin compared to whey protein.

Read more here

food is a medecine

Football’s secret weapon: Robson-Kanu talks food as medicine

Former Premier League and international footballer International footballer Thomas ‘Hal’ Robson-Kanu talks about food as medicine and explains how turmeric turned his career around.

Everybody has a theory when it comes to sports nutrition, from marathon runners consuming vats of pasta before a race to aspiring boxers knocking back raw eggs in a bid to build muscle. While the science behind most of these practices is perhaps dubious, there is one ingredient that more and more of the elite sporting world is turning to: turmeric.

Indeed, that vibrant spice that many keep at the back of their cupboard does, in fact, have a range of benefits for athletes and mere mortals alike.

 Read more here

Are all proteins created equal?

New research claims that animal-protein sources provide a greater net gain of protein over their plant-based counterparts, and should therefore not be considered equal.

Protein is essential to human health and nutrition. That won’t come as news to anyone, yet with the rise of plant-based diets seemingly unstoppable, plenty of research recently has been dedicated to assessing how comparable plant-based protein is with its animal counterparts. Yet one group of scientists claims that, based on recent research, plant-based proteins should not be considered equal of a substitute for animal-based protein.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) published an “ounce equivalents” recommendation to help consumers meet protein requirements with a variety of protein food sources.

Read more here


Technology innovation to help end chick culling

An effective combination of innovative technology could be the solution to a global issue in ethical food production – chick culling.

The global demand for animal protein continues to increase. As a result, poultry and egg producers have modified their practices over the years to improve efficiency and boost production. Because of their successful use of technology advances, eggs that might once have been an expensive commodity have become a low-cost, widely available source of protein. As an unintended consequence however, some of the practices used to increase production have introduced ethical challenges that are only now being addressed.Male chicks do not ultimately produce eggs and are not a favoured source of meat. For this reason, hatcheries work to make sure that costly resources, such as food and space, are only used for female chicks that are of the highest value to the industry.  

Read more here

Plant-Based Foods

Plant-based items continue to be a trend into 2021, surveys show a high increase of consumption of protein from plant sources during the pandemic. Sales of plant-based protein and meat alternatives are projected to increase to a whopping $85 billion in 2030. There are many exciting options mentioned below!


1-New plant-based meats 

There are a good number of companies that are using meat protein alternatives, such as chickpeas, fava bean, maize and wheat. In 2021, Heura will be introducing the first plant-based meat burger made with extra virgin olive oil which has the fatty texture of meat but 84% less saturated fat than the first generation of plant-based products.

2-Packaged foods sweetened with fruit  

Reducing added sugar is more important than ever, as we now know that eating a diet high in added sugar may increase your risk of obesity and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Using the natural sweetness of whole fruits enhances the nutritional value of foods with a bounty of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and antioxidants.

3-Chickpea everywhere

In the beginning, there was chickpea pasta. Now, you’ll find chickpea rice, chickpea pizza, chickpea tortillas, chickpea cereal and chickpea puffs. Experts suggest chickpea tofu and chickpea baked goods will be on the shelfs anytime soon, these are great gluten-free, nut-free options.

4-Plant-based probiotics

There are ample food options that are 100% vegan and contain abundant amount of probiotics. Plant-based probiotic supplements are ethically manufactured. Sauerkraut (made by fermenting raw cabbage) is an excellent example of a probiotic-rich vegan food. This pickled food has an even higher probiotic content than traditional yogurt! Further, fermented soy products, kombucha tea and brined pickles are other options that dedicated vegans can include in their diets for increasing their probiotic intake. While it is evident by now, that there are several natural sources of vegan probiotics at disposal.

5- Vegan condiments

2021 is about to get lit up with exciting vegan developments. Fortunately there are a wide variety of plant based condiments to keep up with the vegans cravings. From salad dressings to dipping sauces, whatever finishing touches your vegan food needs, there’s a vegan condiment to get the job done. Spicy chipotle salsa, roasted garlic pasta sauce, French dressing, mushroom gravy, Thai coconut marinade, and dairy-free sour cream are just a few of the vegan options in the condiment aisle.

6-Adaptogenic drinks

As alcohol-free beverages are soaring high, so are drinks featuring adaptogenic ingredients. Adaptogens are substances derived from plants that supposedly help the body counteract and adapt to stress.

Eco-Conscious Packaging

As we move into 2021, earth-friendly packaging alternatives are going to continue to be a hot button issue for environmentally-minded consumers. This might seem particularly unlikely given all the single-use packaging we’ve been seeing amid the pandemic, but that’s exactly why we’re expecting to see more eco-friendly packaging in 2021. For instance, some companies this year use made-to-go containers  that are made from balsa from tree stumps and other innovations include compostable cardboard liners for takeout boxes that combat leaks. This year many brands are aiming to deliver on eco-friendly promises may have to consider a different path that relies on a strategic approach to achieve energy, utility and material savings.

1. Oxo-Degradable Bubble Wrap

It wouldn’t be convenient to ditch bubble wrap completely – after all, protecting fragile items for damage in-transit is a necessity, and this is one of the most effective methods.

2. Recycled Paper & Cardboard packaging

We use paper and cardboard a lot when it comes to packaging, and in comparison to plastic it is seen as a much less harmful material. Despite it not being a pollutant, the environmental effects of deforestation can be devastating, and it’s important to accordingly reduce our use of paper.

3. Compostable Packaging

A great alternative option, there’s a wide variety of compostable packaging products that have a similar feel to plastic, but are made from natural and renewable materials such as corn starch, wood pulp, and other biologically sourced polymers.

 4. Biodegradable Mailing Pouches

A brown paper mailing pouch, usually with a bubble wrap interior for added protection, is a very common way of couriering items and documents both big and small.

5. Space Filler

To stop smaller items from banging around inside a larger box, space fillers are often used, typically made from polystyrene or similar material.

6. Just use less!

It’s not just about using specific types of packaging, but also the quantity you use. Cutting down on wasteful packaging should be a priority when putting a parcel together.

Fast Food

For fast food restaurants, the coronavirus pandemic caused establishments to rethink concepts, tweak menus and adapt to new measures. Trends that started years ago will continue to be accelerated and budding innovations will keep growing.

1- Enhanced Safety Measures

Adjusting to the “new normal” requires an emphasis on safety. Taking necessary precautions not only helps mitigate the spread of the COVID-19, but it also shows that an establishment is serious about keeping customers and staff safe. These measures will continue to be a major emphasis in 2021.

2- More Emphasis on Delivery

While there has been a shift to delivery in the fast-food space for a few years, stay-at-home orders and dine-in restrictions caused many establishments to pivot to delivery almost overnight. Even as things return back to normal, delivery will stay a primary focus.

3- Contactless Curbside & Pickup

As we mentioned earlier, safety is a key component now and heading into next year. Both standard takeout and curbside pickup have been very popular options in response to the pandemic, and it seems like they could stay long term.

4-Accepting Multiple Payment Apps

Remember when debit cards slowly phased out the idea of carrying cash? Well, now payment apps are slowly phasing out cards, and the entire fast-food space needs to be ready next year.

5-Smart Equipment & Robotic Solutions

The idea of a connected kitchen isn’t a new trend in fast food. Over the last decade, multiple food equipment manufacturers have created units that connect to smart devices via an internet connection. This allows kitchen operators and managers to track a wide variety of cooking data, update menus or cooking modes and keep tabs on equipment statuses and maintenance schedules.

6-Digital-only store

One thing COVID did was shove consumers into places they hadn’t been before, or the only places available and safe. That skewed toward online ordering, or delivery, or finding ways to pickup food in-store with as little friction as possible. The pandemic erased many digital adoption gaps. Now the question becomes, how can restaurants differentiate from each other in a crowded pool and keep those users coming back.

Expanding Your Cultural Horizons

Online platforms have allowed creators from all over the world to share what they’re cooking up in the kitchen during the pandemic. In 2021, we expect people will be going further than throwing these videos a simple “like” and will seek out food from cultures they may not have previously been familiar with.

1- Explore New Areas

You learn so much from getting outside of your own community and this is one key way to explore different cultures. By immersing yourself in another world, you can learn firsthand. Whether you go backpacking or venture out on all inclusive cruises, there is so much that you can experience by exploring.

2- Authentic Cuisines

If a fully immersive experience is beyond what you can manage within your budget, some options are a bit closer to home. You can learn so much about a culture through cuisine.

3-Cultural Festivals

Cultural festivals and events that focus on cultural appreciation can be a great opportunity to develop a broader appreciation and understanding.

At-home Restaurant Experiences

In 2021, it will evolve as chefs are creating new and interesting ways to bring the restaurant experience to life at home for guests. Restaurant-style meals packaged for the family will definitely keep trending in the year to come. Plant-based, healthy vegetarian dishes with seasonal ingredients and global flavor are here to stay in the future.

1- Buy Quality Ingredients

When asked for his top tip for making restaurant-quality meals at home, Grosser doesn’t hesitate. “The simple answer is buy good ingredients, which might be what you hear constantly, but it makes a huge difference,” he says. High quality, organic produce, fats, and seasonings can transform even the most basic dishes into menu-worthy meals.

2- Get Organized

This is a constant struggle in any restaurant kitchen where there are many people all cooking together. Some suggestions are to keep small gadgets in reach, use shelves and racks, create designated stations and organize your refrigeration units.

3-Simple is Best

Don’t feel the need to get fancy. Sometimes, the best food is the less-refined, nostalgic foods of our childhood. Made with good ingredients, these simple recipes can be as enjoyable, or more, than a five-star meal

Home Delivery Services

COVID-19 is going to be with us a lot longer than we all want; it has accelerated ecommerce adoption and permanently changed buying behaviour. In 2021, retailers will focus on improving home delivery scale, service quality and, most importantly, differentiated delivery service offerings. Distributors and other B2B companies will also see customers demand more from their last mile capabilities as consumer expectations continue to bleed into the B2B markets.

1- Uber Eats

Uber Eats is an online food ordering and delivery service launched by American ride-hailing giant Uber in 2014. Uber Eats allows customers to browse and order from local participating restaurants using its app or website.

2-Door Dash

Recently ranked the most popular food delivery app, DoorDash has 310,000 restaurants located in 4,000 cities worldwide, 80% of which are in the US, according to the company.


Grubhub (which also owns Seamless) operates in 2,700 US cities, and has partnerships with 140,000 restaurants. The Grubhub and Seamless apps are almost identical. operates in more than 1,800 US cities, with about 15,000 restaurants on the platform. Unlike most other platforms, you can also order groceries, alcohol, and even wash-and-fold services or dry cleaning from your local cleaners, as well as gifts that can be delivered to someone else.

More fermenting, preserving, and canning

Fermentation is becoming really big again, same with canning and preserving. We saw a huge climb in this technique during COVID lockdowns, and it allowed the chefs to still be able to support the farms.

1- Preserving

Preserving is simply a broader term that describes treating food with heat, acid, smoke, or salt (or some combination of those) in order to prolong its shelf life by destroying or inhibiting the growth of active bacteria; freezing and vacuum-sealing are other methods of preservation.

2- Water bath canning 

Water bath canning should only be used for high-acid foods (meaning they have a pH lower than 4.6) such as fruit and tomatoes. (You can use low-acid vegetables if you pickle them first, since that makes them stable before canning.) If you’re not sure about the pH of your produce, test it with some litmus strips à la high school chemistry.

3- Pressure canning

Pressure canning must be used for low-acid foods, including most vegetables and meats (think green beans, cornchili con carne, and homemade spaghetti sauce with ground beef).

 Special Occasion Dining

With all the cooking at home going on during the COVID-19 pandemic, dining out is starting to feel super special occasion again—tasting menus with wine pairings are a fun step in the opposite direction. In response to all that has happened last year, 2021 will bring two polarizing approaches to dining. One that embraces the need for simpler, comforting and soul-nourishing cuisine and the other that functions as an escape and embraces frivolousness.

  • Simpler
  • Comforting
  • Soul-Nourishing

More Virtual Cooking Classes

Online, chef-driven virtual cooking classes—with accompanying chef food boxes for their recipes—will continue to expand in 2021. Many people will keep this fun way to get together with friends and family and be entertained at home while preparing a good meal and cooking along with a chef.

1- Improve Cooking Skills

Enrolling in cooking classes will train you how to cook and will definitely improve your cooking abilities.

2- Promote Self Esteem

High self esteem is one of the key ingredients of successful people. You can do almost anything once you start to believe in yourself.

3- Start a Culinary Career

The easiest way to have a career in the culinary arts is to attend different culinary classes. This will open your mind and will help you set your expectations.

Diversified Businesses

As we quickly started shipping food all over the country and doing zooms regionally and nationally we also were developing products to be sold online or in stores. These businesses are very different to manage and require different skill sets than serving you brunch at Commander’s Palace. So re-organizing businesses in our industry with an eye toward talent with different skills will be a need.

  • Diversification helps to maximize the use of potentially underutilized resources
  • Certain industries may fall down for a specific time frame owing to economic factors. Diversification provides movement away from activities which may be declining.
  • As the economy changes, the spending patterns of the people change. Diversification into a number of industries or product line can help create a balance for the entity during these ups and downs.

Political Advocacy

2021 will see independent restaurant chefs and operators settle into a more long-term form of political advocacy that isn’t just reactive to the pandemic. More than ever before, 2020 presented opportunities to shape conversations on things like economic and tax policies, public health, and food insecurity.

1- Increase education about good, clean, fair food for all

2- Encourage the use of a curriculum that embraces the history, sustainability, and respect for quality food systems.

3- Encourage the flourishing of small and medium local producers to enrich the community around food.

Restaurant Industry Overhaul

Restaurants are unstable and unsustainable. This truth has been being realized for years and reached its current zenith in 2020. What has emerged from the trauma and turmoil of our collective stresses have been restaurants pivoting into models that are more hybrid, take out, and curated grocery. This change is quite possibly permanent. We have seen a refocus on community and combating food access. There has been a recentering; food is human.

1-Focus on Community

2-Combate Food Access

3- Remove barriers to the enjoyment of sustainable, locally grown foods.

If you would like more information, please click here to see our product page!

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Chickpea prices are forecasted to increase due to the global market’s tight supply, including the global industry’s position where production and marketing are not yet completely regained. Although importers hardly get an adequate volume of chickpeas globally, most acres are forecasted to be seeded with other crops this spring instead of Kabuli chickpeas.


In the recent Virtual National Pulses Seminar, India reports an estimated 350,000 MT of Kabuli chickpeas in PAN India for the seeding season in Oct-Nov 2021. Although India is one of the top producers of pulses, the total yields decline by 25-30% this year for chickpeas, desi chickpeas, lentils, and wheat.

Kabuli chickpeas prices are increasing and have now been overpriced in the Indian market, which by August 2021, it is expected to rise at USD300-350. The price increase is mainly attributed to the country’s lesser carry-over and the pandemic’s consistent lockdown again in the first week of April.

India’s export volume of Kabuli chickpeas is expected to slide this year, especially from the Sudan market, owing to the hiked prices and the pandemic effect. Even a few analysts forecasted the country’s local consumption to be lower due to this effect.


Argentina, on the other hand, estimates production of 50,000 MT of chickpeas for the crop year 2021-22. However, the projected number will decrease in case the weather condition doesn’t recover from last year’s water insufficiency; otherwise, around 10 to 20 ha will not be seeded. If this happens, the USA and Canada would have a higher chance of supplying chickpeas but with a lower price of USD800-850 CMF.


Like India, Russia is in a tight supply this crop year, more so that it has no carryover for the end of the year. The country only estimates around 264,000 MT of chickpeas with prices ranging from USD750-800. Due to the tight supply, some farmers are changing their cropland from chickpeas to oilseeds due to the increasing global export demands.


In Turkey, farmers are also having a tough time anticipating for the weather conditions to get better. In fact, the country only estimated a yearly volume of 135,000 MT, a lesser production and lower carry-in stocks from the previous years that will result in lower yields. The government may interfere if the condition gets worse and the prices escalate. Currently, in 2 months, there is a 30% increase in prices at USD800-875, which is forecasted to increase further in the upcoming “Shia Festival”.


Mexico forecasts a 140,000 MT production at the end of the crop year, with 25,000 MT already exported in March and April. The country’s drought condition, especially in Sinaloa Land, resulted in the increase of chickpea production in place of white corn, although farmers seeded mainly 42-44 chickpea sizes with lesser volume of super jumbo size. The increase of chickpeas supply follows the increase in prices due to transportation and export equipment facilities, like the current container crisis in California. Accordingly, big financial companies export and stock Mexico produce for one or two years that led to the country’s big loss for the past two years. If this happens again, prices might escalate at USD600 like last October and November, which is forecasted to rise at a maximum of USD800. To avoid such a price hike, the country is now using small ports for exports to at least maintain the current price of USD400.

USA and Canada

Like other countries’ fear, the USA estimates only 192,000 MT of chickpeas due to drought in some areas. The demand for chickpeas is slowly building up after a decrease in the pet food market, although domestic consumption may still fall due to the pandemic impact. Canada, on the other hand, estimates 214,000 MT, a 30% fall from the previous forecast year, with a carryout of 81,000 MT for the end year 2021-22. The prices for both US and Canada are forecasted at USD900-1,000.

Desi Chickpeas Global Outlook

The desi chickpeas market is significantly affected by the pandemic not only to India but other suppliers. Prices are dependent on the supply and demand, with governments controlling them. India’s production is 15% lesser than the previous years due to the dry weather conditions and sudden rains that affect the crop yields. While India’s carry out is at 50,000 to 60,000 tons, its import produce is at 300,000 tons.

Pakistan forecasts production of 200,000 – 225,000 tons at the end of the crop year but will continue to import at least until the next crop season. Myanmar’s export and import market are stable as their domestic harvest and consumption are fairly good, and their export volume to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan is on average. Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Australia’s production and consumption are also stable due to good weather and average yields.


New Zealand

new technology

Hydroponic tower gives Kiwis easy option to grow up and feed themselves

Mark and Debbie Crarer have presented an idea they hope will grow on urban dwellers looking to become self-sufficient food producers.

The Hamilton couple launched their My Greens initiative at the National Fieldays at Mystery Creek on Thursday, a hydroponic home garden system.

The hydroponic garden tower was created for city gardeners keen to grow and harvest their own fresh produce around their urban homes and apartments.

Salad greens and herbs adorn the frame of the display tower at the Crarer’s site in the Rural Living Marquee, showing how food can grow up, instead of out along the ground.

Read More here…


Fish efficiency research building block for ‘$3 billion industry’

Five years of research into fish feeding efficiency is just the start of cooperation between business and science to grow a billion-dollar industry, sector experts hope.

Cawthron Institute hosted industry leaders from NZ King Salmon, Sanford, and Mt Cook Alpine Salmon for a final conference of the MBIE-funded study into “feed conversion efficiency” – how well a salmon turns food into body-mass – which is coming to its end.

Much of the research was conducted at Cawthron’s finfish research centre, which opened in 2018. The research centre’s co-leader, Dr Jane Symonds, said improving this efficiency was “probably one of the key priorities for the industry”.

Read More here…

agriculture staff in New Zealand

Staff shortage ‘train wreck’ waiting to happen: Dairy farmer

The owner of five Southland dairy farms says the staffing shortage hitting the industry is a safety and environmental disaster waiting to happen.

Abe de Wolde​ owns five Heddon Bush farms which milk 4500 cows and hires between 30 and 35 staff, depending on the season.

For the past two months his HR staffer has been trying to fill three 2IC roles on his farms, but without luck.

“It’s very slim pickings,” de Wolde said, adding his business offered above average pay rates.

Read more here


Pioneering agrichem changes for the NZ rural sector

The agriculture sector has always been the powerhouse of New Zealand’s economy. But for decades agricultural chemicals have been used to kill pests and enrich soil, which, research now shows, has had a negative effect on the environment.

However, the sector is committed to change and Ballance Agri-Nutrients is at the forefront of this. They are currently leading a five-year programme with the aim of significantly reducing the environmental footprint of the sector, at the same time boosting growth. The programme aims to discover how new nutrient enhancing technologies can be used, and the potential impact or benefit they provide.

The science strategy manager for Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Warwick Catto explains that the company is future-focussed, and this new strategy aims to address the sector’s needs as we near the middle of the 21st century.

Read more here…


Wool prices are at rock bottom, the only way is up 

While many of the country’s primary products, including dairy, wood and meat, saw prices rise in the 15 months since Covid hit, it has been a much gloomier picture for our country’s wool growers.

Mainstream wool prices have nose-dived since the start of last year, with strong wool selling for as little as $2 per kilogram, a third of what it was worth five years ago.

While prices have continued to bounce around at low levels, for many farmers the cost of shearing is now more than they earn from selling the wool, making it a net cost to their business.

For the moment, many farmers are prepared to carry the cost of shearing, seeing it as an animal health cost, but the current situation is not sustainable.

Read More here…


grain production

Importance of sustainable grain production

THE markets available to Western Australian growers are changing rapidly in both the sustainability certification space and the carbon neutral space according to CBH Group.

Speaking at the $15 million Climate Resilience Fund Forum at the Muresk Institute last Wednesday, CBH marketing and trading head of accumulation Trevor Lucas said evolving market and customer preferences required innovation from the State’s growers.

By increasing the roughly 18 per cent of WA’s grain which is non-differentiated, Mr Lucas said CBH would be able to access greater premiums for WA growers.

“In 2008 the European Union moved a decade before anybody and demanded all grain that be sold there be certified sustainable, so we have been doing that successfully since 2008,” Mr Lucas said.

Read more here


Rain pushes farmer confidence sky high

THE spirits of farmers in Western Australia are high after the “best start in a decade” to the State’s winter cropping cropping program.

The latest quarterly Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey, released on Tuesday, has found WA farmer confidence remained close to last quarter’s stellar level and at one of the top 10 readings in the survey’s 20-year history.

The near perfect start to the season and strong commodity prices were expected to flow into the balance sheets of the State’s farming businesses.

More than a third of WA farmers surveyed expect to generate a higher income in 2021/22, with this figure increasing to half of those in the grain sector.

 Read more here
cotton industry

Cotton industry looks to use waste for soil health

A TRIAL project in southern Queensland could help markedly improve sustainability and cut waste within the cotton industry.

The project, to be trialled at a farm at Goondiwindi, will look at seeing whether cotton textile waste can be broken down and used as a soil ameliorant and a means to limit carbon emissions.

Project leaders are hoping the fabric will break down in the soil, increase microbial activity, lock in carbon and provide cover to improve soil moisture.

Predictions show the potential for 2.25 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2 e) into the atmosphere will be mitigated through the breakdown of the two tonnes of garments used in the trial in soil, rather than going to landfill.

Read more here

Domestic grain prices buck overseas declines

Local grain prices finished the week steady despite declines in overseas futures markets.

United States grain and oilseed futures ended the week solidly lower in a see-sawing week. Grain and oilseed futures were sold sharply lower as weather forecasts added much-needed rain for struggling corn and soybean crops in the Midwest.

News that the US Federal Reserve may start lifting interest rates earlier than expected as they move to head off inflationary fears was also bearish for commodity markets. The US dollar climbed sharply making global commodities more expensive, putting pressure on global prices, including grains.

Read more here


Advancing dairy industry by adoption of animal monitoring tech

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation is delivering a digital activity monitoring program to provide better health management systems in the industry after securing a $200,000 digital transformation grant through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Agribusiness Digital Solutions Grant Program.

The funding has been established through the Palaszczuk government’s Queensland Economic Recovery plan to enhance digital skills, drive business efficiencies, and create regional jobs across Queensland.

The grant will support the QDO’s program with a total project value just shy of $650,000.

Financial assistance will be provided to over 10 eligible Queensland dairy businesses to adopt digital herd activity monitoring and management systems and serve as producer demonstration sites for the industry.

Read more here…

South America


Argentine freezes meat prices, exports to resume next week but not of all cuts

Argentine Minister of Productive Development Matías Kulfas Sunday admitted the administration of President Alberto Fernández plans to both ban exports of the beef cuts most coveted by local consumers and freeze domestic prices until late this year.

Kulfas addressed these subjects during a radio interview but the official announcement is expected to be made by Fernández himself at the Casa Rosada on Tuesday after Monday’s national holiday.

The minister spoke of a “comprehensive livestock plan” in which, in addition to resuming exports, greater availability of cuts at low prices in the domestic market will be sought “to guarantee affordable prices for the cuts most consumed by Argentines.“

Read More here

table grapes

2020/21 Global Table Grape Exports Expected To Hit Record High

Like the rest of the global agricultural sector, the table grape industry has had to face a variety of challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic this past year, including soaring freight costs, labor shortfalls, worldwide shipping delays and refrigerated container shortages. In Peru, worker strikes hampered shipments in December as the country’s table grape exports were hitting one of their busiest months. In Chile, unseasonal downpours in January led to losses of up to 80% in the O’Higgins Region, the country’s largest grape production area. Meanwhile, the blockage of the Suez Canal in March created a substantial traffic jam on both sides, bringing Indian grape exports destined for Europe to a standstill.

Despite these obstacles, the table grape industry has experienced a successful season, with very little impact on the global table grape output in marketing year (MY)* 2020/21. According to a recent report by the U.S. 

Read More here

Argentina hopes to resume beef exports next week

Argentina’s Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas, Thursday said meat exports are to resume next week after details to ensure proper supply to local consumers are fine-tuned.

Kulfas spoke of “a virtuous solution” being sought to give producers alternatives with “a new scheme of rules of the game” to be released at the earliest.

The current 30-day ban on meat exports ends Sunday,

“The idea is that with a new scheme of rules of the game that we have finished adjusting, next week we can resume the export path, seeking to ensure that the Argentine table is well supplied,” Kulfas said in a radio interview.

Read More here

Food Updates


Enhancing olives for highest taste and nutritional benefit

The fruits of one of the world’s oldest known cultivated trees, olives have long been revered for both their strong unique taste and health benefits. New research from China has now paved the way for enhancement of these qualities to satisfy their high demand.

The enormous popularity of the oil derived from olives, well-known for its redolent bitter taste, can largely be attributed to its health benefits, ranging from antiviral to anti-cancer, and even antihypertensive effects. These benefits are thanks to oleuropein, a bitter compound which is the most abundant olive secoiridoid found in the fruit.

An effective method for enhancing the quality of plant products is using molecular methods to manipulate their genes and enhance their yield. Until now, however, this has proved challenging with olives, owing to the lack of sufficient genome data.

Read more here

plant based food

Plant-based foods seek to shift the ‘us and them’ mentality

he newly-formed representative group for plant-based food, the Alternative Proteins Council, has warned the senate inquiry into food labelling such as vegan bacon and plant beef must be fair and evidence-based.

SEE: Senate inquiry into food labelling

To do so, the inquiry must avoid mischaracterising the matter as ‘conventional proteins versus new proteins’, as that suggests that new protein industries will grow at the expense of more conventional industries, APC said.

The organisation issued a statement on the inquiry which said the success of both industries would be necessary to meet the clear challenge ahead: to feed a world of 10 billion people by 2050 with finite resources.

Read more here


FSS publishes report on beef mince after survey finds E.coli in samples

The Scottish food safety authority has published the report after a 2019 survey found dangerous pathogens present in some beef mince samples.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has published a new report designed to address knowledge gaps around the microbial quality of beef mince sold in Scotland, after a recent survey of beef mince found Salmonella and STEC E.coli in some samples.

The survey, conducted in 2019 with 1,009 samples of beef mince on retail sale across the country, had three core objectives.

 Read more here

The rise of the non-dairy consumer

Here, for New Food, Lorraine Kelly of Synergy Flavours reflects on how the increased choice of plant-based products has created a new type of buyer.

The dairy alternatives market has seen substantial growth in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. Valued at an estimated $22.6 billion globally in 2020, the non-dairy market is projected to reach $40.6 billion worldwide by 2026.1

However, recent research has found that, of the consumers who purchase non-dairy products, nearly 60 percent of those questioned in the UK and US did not consider themselves vegan.2 It is clear to see that innovation in the plant-based category is attracting more people than ever before, and building upon the ’flexitarian’ consumer profile – ie, those who choose plant-based alternatives, despite not being vegan or vegetarian.   

Read more here


Could organic farming alone feed Europe by 2050?

Scientists from France’s CNRS suggest that a more sustainable food system is possible in Europe, but certain criteria need to be fulfilled in order to achieve the ambitious goal.

Food has become one of the major challenges of the 21st century. According to a study carried out by scientists from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) as well as other European universities, an organic, sustainable, biodiversity-friendly agro-food system could be enough to feed Europe within the next 30 years or so. Implementing such a system would rely on three different processes according to the research team, all of which would need to be fulfilled in order to build an organic food system capable of sustaining the continent.  

The first would involve a change in diet. Less consumption of animal products would be pivotal to making the organic system work, as it would enable farmers to limit intensive livestock farming and eliminate feed imports – leaving more resource available for crop farming.  

Read more here

Wind and solar energy are now one of the most rapidly growing energy sources worldwide. With its increasing advantages, wind and solar energy are now helping farmers with not only an additional income but also productive crops and easier methods. In the United States, farmers are producing renewable energy by growing crops such as corn to make ethanol and soybeans to create biodiesel.

Wind Power

Even in the past centuries, wind power was already an important factor to manage types of machinery like water pumps from wells and mill grains, and other crops. Windmills or turbines are the most common applications even in the 20th century. Contributing to green energy, wind energy has no emissions while preserving water, which saves billions of gallons compared to other power generating methods.

Additionally, wind and solar energy give an additional income, especially to the farmers in rural areas, as it is where wind turbines and solar power are best built. The space wind turbines use is only a fraction of the total land, where ranchers and farmers can still use around 95% of the land for farming and grazing livestock.

Eventually, large farms and ranches are rented by the government or large companies to set up wind turbines to sustain the electricity to the masses/consumers. The payments from large companies or wind developers help farmers sustain their incomes when crop prices are low or lesser commodity demand.

During the past decades, wind and solar energy are separately seen as an additional income for farmers and a great clean fuel source; but recent studies show that combining these two types of energy can bring great success to agribusiness.

Solar Energy

Solar Energy is more practical and saves more money for farmers from its farm’s electricity and heating bills. Solar energy can dry crops, heat greenhouses, livestock buildings, and even homes. It provides hot water for livestock operations and cattle/pen cleaning. It further provides power for operations like electric fences, water pumps, and lights.

In the U.S, photovoltaics is widely used in agriculture, which can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 330,000 tons a year. It gives farmers a chance to provide more food, energy, and lowers water demand. It serves as solar irrigation to pump water for crops and livestock, refrigeration of agricultural products, electric fencing, grain milling, and poultry lighting.

Solar energy can have a great impact on electricity consumption in yards. If the buildings are designed and built in such a way that heat and daylight can penetrate and optimized, the trapped heat can be used to warm the livestock yards and even homes.

Using solar energy to dry crops is more efficient than the traditional method of open-air drying. It dries crops faster while protecting them from insects, birds, and worms. Easily perishable crops are at an advantage by using solar energy, as it lessens the possibility of it getting spoiled, which eventually leads to longer storage capacity and easier transportation.

The demand for food worldwide is significantly increasing and farmers are at the watch to provide the demands while minimizing global warming. Using wind and solar energy in agriculture can help control climate change while increasing the farmers’ income effectively.

New Zealand


High tech fruit drying turns kiwifruit from cow fodder into a premium snack food

A Nelson company is investing millions to make classy snacks from reject gold kiwifruit that would be fed to cows or dumped.

Thanks to local investors, Little Beauties​ has raised more than $4 million in the last two years to expand and automate the drying of kiwifruit, feijoas, and berries.

General manager Tristan​ Wastney​ says machines developed with assistance from Callaghan Innovation now do the work of about five people who used to peel, slice and place fruit on drying trays.

He says drying fruit “sounds simple, but it’s scientific,” and an experimental attempt to air dry fresh boysenberries was a spectacular flop.

Read More here…


Consumers demand to know more about how food is produced

A quarter of the country’s farmers will need to have a plan in place to measure and manage their green house gas emissions by the end of the year.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Leader of Farm Planning Ron Pellow said farmers needed to look at the increased regulatory requirements as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

‘’It’s important to see this process as an opportunity. It will allow farmers to make better decisions on farm,’’ Pellow said.

Pellow, who led the South Island Dairy Development Centre (SIDDC) for more than 10 years, was one of the speakers at the Future Farming Expo attended by more than 160 people in Otautau on Friday.

Read More here…


Horticulture sector still desperate for Pacific travel bubble despite seasonal workers’ visa extensions

The horticulture industry remains concerned about a lack of workers in the sector, despite the Government extending visas for seasonal workers and working holiday makers.

On Thursday, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced around 10,000 working holiday and supplementary seasonal employment (SSE) visas due to expire between June 21 and December 31 would be extended for another six months in a bid to help workers stay in the country for longer.

Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says while the industry welcomes the visa extensions, what the sector really needs is a Pacific travel bubble.

Read more here


New Zealand’s grape harvest falls but winegrowers remain optimistic

New Zealand Winegrowers say this year’s grape crop is 19 percent smaller than last year’s, but the quality is ‘exceptional’.

Only 370,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested during the 2021 vintage.

New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said this is 19 percent less than last year’s crop. That’s a shortfall equivalent to seven million nine-litre cases of wine.

But that smaller 2021 vintage is being described as exceptional, thanks to favourable weather conditions.

“The autumn was wonderful throughout the country. It’s going to deliver wines from Kaitaia down to Alexandra of really fantastic quality.

Read more here…


Climate Change Commission report has ‘cow-shaped hole’, gives dairy industry a ‘free pass’ – Greenpeace

Greenpeace has lashed out at the advice of the Climate Change Commission, saying the independent Crown entity has given the dairy industry a “free pass” when it comes to its environmental responsibilities.

The Commission released its final report on Wednesday after a consultation period that saw thousands of submissions from individuals, organisations and lobby groups.

The report offers recommendations for the Government around New Zealand’s path towards its ambitious climate goals of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and reducing biogenic methane emissions between 25-47 percent, also by 2050.

Read More here…



Work on protecting seeds from drought and heat

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) has given $1.42 million to researchers at the University of California and the University of Florida to continue with exciting drought resistance work, looking at maintaining seed quality in hot and dry environments.

The work is currently in tomatoes, but it is hoped it will have applications for all of agriculture.

The researchers are working to identify genes that boost tolerance for high temperatures and allow the plant to maintain top quality seeds.

“We often think about enhancing climate resilience in crops as heat- and drought-proofing plants; however, climate change also affects seeds,” said Jeff Rosichan, director of the Crops of the Future Collaborative.

Read more here


Researchers explore phosphorus acquisition

RESEARCHERS from The University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Institute of Agriculture have used genome mapping on chickpea root traits to improve the efficiency of phosphorus acquisition and use.

The research, recently published in Frontiers in Plant Science, was conducted in collaboration with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

Chickpeas are the second most important pulse crop grown worldwide and the second largest pulse crop in Australia – producing more than 500,000 tonnes annually.

Read more here

Australian farmers eye off another big winter crop

A near ideal start to the winter cropping season in the two biggest production states has put Australia on the track of another big winter crop.

This was reflected in ABARES first detailed assessment for the 2021/22 winter crop outlook in its recently released June crop report.

National wheat production was projected at 27.8 million tonnes, only behind last year’s 33.3mt crop, as well as 2016/17 and 2011/12. Increased plantings will see Australia’s canola crop will climb to 4.2mt up from last year’s 4.05mt. Australia’s barley crop is projected at 10.4 million tonnes.

“Yield prospects in most cropping regions in NSW, WA and much of Queensland are very favourable given the favourable conditions at the beginning of the winter crop season and the outlook for winter rainfall,” ABARES said.

Read more here


Australia on track for back-to-back big crops

AUSTRALIA is on track to record a second consecutive bumper harvest according to agricultural banker Rabobank.

Rabobank analysts are forecasting another year at close to record production across the nation, with a slight alteration in where the crop will be grown.

NSW will again be a major driver of the big year, with good subsoil moisture levels over much of the state, but it is Western Australia that at present looks set to record a big year on year increase, with good autumn rain.

Even the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) outlook of a drier than average winter was not enough to dampen Rabo’s predictions.

Read more here

digital technologies in farming

Rural and regional industries told artificial intelligence (AI) vital to their future

Momentum is building across regional industries led by agriculture to better harness digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

The push is coming at the local project level through to new joint venture funds to back agtech start-ups right the way up to a bid for the creation of a Smarter Regions Co-operative Research Centre (CRC).

Aussie agtech startup The Yield is partnering with global robotics leader Yamaha Motor Company and premium wine giant Treasury Wine Estates to use an unmanned vehicle in trials aimed at improving autonomous crop spraying and better predicting wine grape yields with growth stage data.

Read more here…

South America


2020–2021 Blueberry Yearbook Reveals Southern Hemisphere Export Data

The 2020–2021 Blueberry Yearbook, an industry report recently released by agricultural consulting company iQonsulting, reveals that the blueberry export industry in the Southern Hemisphere is healthier than ever. It was a record-breaking season for Southern Hemisphere exporters, with a total of more than 312,000 tons of blueberries exported — a 20% increase over the previous season.

This growth was largely attributable to several major exporters that all achieved new records this season, namely, Peru, Chile, South Africa and Colombia.

Statistics from the Blueberry Yearbook show that Peru remains the largest blueberry exporter in the Southern Hemisphere, exceeding 160,000 tons of fresh blueberry exports in the 2020/21 season — a year-on-year increase of 36%.

Read More here


Peruvian Grape Exports Are on the Rise

According to data from the Association of Producers and Exporters of Table Grapes of Peru (Provid), Peru’s grape export volume reached 57.38 million boxes (8.2 kilograms) in the 2020/21 season, representing a 17% increase compared with last season’s 48.93 million boxes.

The general manager of Provid, Carlos Zamorano Macchiavello, remarked that this season’s growth was primarily attributable to an increase in the cultivation of new grape varieties, particularly seedless varieties. This explanation is consistent with the fact that the planted area for grapes certified for export increased by only 2% this season to a total area of 20,775 hectares. These new grape varieties are predominantly grown in Peru’s northern and southern coastal regions, with distinct ripening times that allow Peruvian grape exports to extend from August to March.

Read More here

Brazil Drought Worst in 91 years

Brazil faces its worst drought in 91 years, causing the government to issue a drought alert. Late last week, an agency that’s a part of the Brazil Mines and Energy Ministry recommended the country’s water regulator to recognize a state of “water scarcity” after a prolonged drought-hit central and southern parts of the Parana (Pah-RAHN-yah) River basin. Financial Post Dot Com says a weather monitoring agency that’s part of the Agriculture Ministry issued its first “emergency drought alert” for June through September, saying that rains are likely to remain scarce in five Brazilian states during that period. The lack of rain across Brazil is hurting their agricultural commodities, livestock, and electricity generation as Brazil relies heavily on hydro dams for power.

Drier-than-normal weather is especially hard on the second-corn crop, sugar, and coffee. Coffee futures recently hit a four-year high as traders are concerned that drought could even affect the 2022 crop.

Read More here

Food Updates


Lack of fruit and veg responsible for 18,000 early deaths says report

A new report claims the UK fruit and veg sector could be boosted by more than £200 million if everyone ate the amount of greens advised by the Government.

The Peas Please initiative, which works to make vegetables more appealing, accessible and affordable, has released its latest Veg Facts 2021 Report, in which it claims a lack of greens could be causing thousands of premature deaths each year.

Peas Please is a partnership with The Food FoundationFood Sense WalesNourish ScotlandBelfast Food Network and Food NI. Since the project launched four years ago it has delivered 162 million additional portions of vegetables into our food system working across all 4 nations.

Read more here


Episode Fifteen: Heavy metals in our food
Jaclyn Bowen of the Clean Label Project and Oliver Amdrup of Puori join the  New Food team to discuss the issue of heavy metals in the US food supply.

Clean label experts, Jaclyn Bowen and Oliver Amdrup, explain the health issues linked to heavy metal contaminants and the possible solutions to help develop cleaner food.

Heavy metals are arguably the forgotten food safety issue. The prevention of Salmonella or Listeria monocytogenes rightly attracts a lot of attention within the food and beverage industry, but repeated exposure to heavy metals such as lead and cadmium can also be very dangerous.

What is perhaps even more concerning about heavy metals is the delayed onset of complications they cause.

Read more here


How Mars is creating safe food today for a healthy tomorrow

Dr Susan Blount outlines the worldwide collaboration Mars is undertaking to create safer food for a healthy tomorrow, including some important work around aflatoxins.

On World Food Safety Day, Dr Susan Blount of Mars Incorporated shares her thoughts on food safety and identifies some of the most pressing issues facing the food industry. In this Q&A, she explains what Mars is doing to achieve safer food for all, including the manufacturer’s work to mitigate mycotoxin exposure and its collaborations with other organisations across the world.

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The rise of vegan in baked goods

KANSAS CITY – Partnerships are creating the catalyst for vegan products that fulfill nutritional and environmental needs while also providing comfort and enjoyment.

Once a niche demographic, the demand for vegan products continues to grow as consumers shift their focus to foods benefitting diet and lifestyle. Valued at $14.2 billion in 2018, the vegan food market is expected to reach $31.4 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 10.5% from 2019-2026, according to Allied Market Research.

In the last five years, roughly 5.6% of all new products launched in bakery sweet goods carry a vegan/vegetarian claim.

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Walnuts and Blueberries team up amid Brain Awareness Month

FOLSOM, CALIF. – June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and the California Walnut Board (CWB) and US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) are collaborating with a select group of retailers, including Coborn’s, Rouses Markets and Weis Markets, to encourage consumers to “grab a boost of blue and walnuts, too!”

Promotion materials will include local TV segments, e-newsletter features, Facebook Lives, and more, led by retail registered dietitians.

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The Covid-19 crisis made a tremendous impact on the economic condition globally. Farmers and producers are now taken essentially to help the economy back on its feet. The agriculture and food supply play an essential role during the crisis to avoid the spread of the Corona virus. Furthermore, the agriculture industry had improved incomes, food security and uplifted the poverty margin during the Covid-19 scenario. In a recent study validated by the World Bank, 80% of consumers, especially in rural areas, rely on farming. It further notifies that by 2050, the agriculture sector can feed around 9.1 billion of the world’s population while providing employment opportunities and reducing poverty’s intensity.

While most business sectors were affected by the crisis, agriculture’s share in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has increased nearly 20% for the first time in 17 years. Agriculture’s GDP share in 2019-2020 ending year was set at 17.8 percent; then it raised to 19.9% the following ending year. The latest highest recorded GDP in the agriculture sector was in 2003-2004 at 20%. The following year’s shares have been stuck between 17% and 19%. During the Economic Survey, agriculture has the highest GDP performance in 2020-2021.

Food Supply and Trade Demand

The sales and trade of agricultural commodities globally had raised in the summer and fall. The demands for grain and oilseed had stretched stocks in the 2020/21 market year, and the export demands of corn and soybean in China alone are setting new records. According to a report by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) FAS (Foreign Agricultural Service) as of the first week of February 2021, the US corn sales for the marketing year-end (year-end August 31, 2021) has sold over 11 million metric tons, though some are not yet shipped. Apart from corn, poultry, beef, pork, soybeans, cotton, and other export products also continues to rise parallel to its prices. Additionally, while the US mainly exports its agricultural commodities to China, local and export sales are also escalating to Japan, UK, Germany, Mexico, Korea, and other trading countries globally.

Food Safety and Quality

The recent crisis made the consumers and businesses shift their preferences on food safety and quality, realizing that it is healthier to purchase food at retail outlets or directly from the farmers than purchasing through food services. The health concerns of consumers are setting the standard for alternative protein products encouraging and giving farmers more opportunities to supply high-protein products, which include lentils, faba beans, lupins, chickpeas, and more.

With the limitations of the community going out, more and more restaurants are most likely to shut down in the next few months. This urges farmers/crop growers to adopt supply maintenance and delivery of fruits and vegetables to consumers who prefer cooking at home. Consequently, processors or packers have deviated their products from commercial divisions into retail stores like groceries and home delivery of food containers. Farming is never seen the same way again as we can see innovations every day. This provides higher crop yield