New programme to brew unique hops and craft beer from New Zealand

A new joint craft beer and hop breeding programme launched today aims to develop unique super-premium hops for exceptional craft brewers and uniquely New Zealand craft beer for top-tier markets.

Hāpi Research Ltd has partnered with the Ministry for Primary Industries to deliver Hāpi – Brewing Success, a $13.25 million, seven-year Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme.

Hāpi Research Ltd is a joint venture between Garage Project, a leading Wellington craft brewer, and Freestyle Farms, a leading Nelson hop farm. While the programme was initiated by Garage Project and Freestyle Farms, it will grow as more like-minded businesses and research partners join the industrywide efforts.

“Our programme will pursue research to enhance and differentiate super-premium hop and craft beer markets and boost the growth of both industries,” says Freestyle Farms director David Dunbar.  “By collaborating across industries we’ll accelerate development of unique Kiwi hops, promote uniquely New Zealand craft beer, and open up new areas to hop growing.”

Hop growing will be supported by research on new precision agriculture practices and processing methods, and licensing for the hops will be limited to New Zealand growers.

Tom Greally, chief executive officer for Garage Project, says the programme intends to support entry into new markets for New Zealand craft brewers and enable new grower and brewer business models.

“We want to create a sustainable point of difference for New Zealand grown hops and craft beer,” says Mr Greally.  “Through the programme, we want to understand the unique chemical compounds of our hops that produce New Zealand flavours, and how to best accentuate them in finished beer.”

Garage Project co-founder Jos Ruffell says the aim is to develop the resources and tools for domestic and export success along the lines of the wine industry’s achievements – elevating New Zealand craft beer to a sustainable global brand that commands premium pricing across all markets.

The ministry’s director-general, Martyn Dunne, says the Hāpi – Brewing Success PGP programme will create a cross-industry research and development programme that’s commercially viable, sustainable in the long-term, with strong commercialisation pathways driven by the market.

“The collaborative efforts will strongly support development of high-value, premium products from regional businesses.”

The programme would help growers and brewers to explore new possibilities for our hop growing and craft beer industries.

Hāpi Research Ltd is contributing $7.95 million (60%) and the ministry is contributing $5.3 million (40%) over the term of the Primary Growth Partnership programme.

If successful, the programme expects hop revenue to grow to $132 million a year by 2027, which is $89 million higher than the revenue forecasted without the programme.  In addition, the programme expects craft beer revenue to grow to $98.5 million a year by 2027, which is $82 million higher than the revenue forecast without the programme.

The growth in both hop and craft beer would be driven by exports.

The co-investors expect 835 new jobs to be created across the hop growing and craft brewing industries if the economic goals are achieved.  A key aspect of the programme is that the intellectual property and expertise it develops will be retained in New Zealand.

The programme has five inter-related projects:

  • Project 1: Hop Breeding.  This project is a mixture of classical breeding methods combined with new molecular techniques to improve the speed and efficiency of the programme.  The primary goal is to commercialise 3 new premium varietals and support the release of 3 royalty-free varietals.
  • Project 2: Precision Farming and Hop Processing.  Research on optimal growing, harvesting and processing strategies to deliver unique flavours and aromas from the field to the glass.  This workstream will also explore the impacts of regional terroir on flavour and aromas.
  • Project 3: Hop Varietal Market Development. Creation of new licensing models for premium hop varietals with new and existing growers, combined with developing quality standards for hop processing to deliver quality and consistency into markets that supports premium pricing.
  • Project 4: Uniquely New Zealand Craft Beer. This project aims to create a unique, category-defining New Zealand craft beer by understanding and maximizing the unique New Zealand flavours achievable through New Zealand grown hops.
  • Project 5: Combined Hop and Craft Beer Industry Growth.  Creating opportunities to enhance and connect the New Zealand industry participants to markets.  Market development efforts including events connecting New Zealand craft brewers to international distributors and New Zealand growers to international craft brewers.

Hāpi – Brewing Success was one of nine business cases for new PGP programmes in the pipeline prior to the announcement of the Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures Programme.

Find out more about  Hāpi – Brewing Success HERE,

Source:  Ministry for Primary Industries

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Recovery package unveiled for farmers getting back to business after Mycoplasma bovis

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today set out a recovery package to help farmers get back to business more quickly after being cleared of Mycoplasma bovis.

The recovery package, rolled out by the Ministry for Primary Industries and response partners DairyNZ and Beef+LambNZ, includes:

  • DairyNZ and Beef+LambNZ Compensation Assistance Team
    • DairyNZ and Beef + LambNZ have put together a team of rural professionals who understand both farming and the compensation process who can sit down and work with farmers on their claims. The $400,000 cost is funded through the response.
  • Improved compensation form and guide
    • Set to be released this week, the simplified form will be easier to follow and the supporting guide will make clear what documents need to be submitted to ensure prompt payment of compensation claims.
  • Online milk production losses calculation tool
    • An online tool for farmers to easily estimate their milk production losses, to speed up compensation claims, will shortly be released.
  • Rural Support Trust boost
    • MPI has now completed training 80 Rural Support Trust members to provide crucial welfare support.
  • Regional Recovery Managers, in addition to the Acute Recovery Team
    • The Regional Centres in Invercargill, Oamaru, Ashburton and Hamilton will each have a regional recovery manager. They are being nominated and seconded by DairyNZ and Beef+LambNZ and will help farmers develop a tailor-made recovery plan.

Ms Ardern and Mr O’Connor made the announcement on Bryce and Julie Stevenson’s beef farm in Wairarapa as the couple restock after eradicating Mycoplasma bovis.

Mr O’Connor said the response is making good progress in its world-first eradication attempt.

It was important to remember that confirmation of newly identified properties did not mean the disease was spreading, he said.

“It means we are tracing historically infected cattle and milk movements, many of which occurred before the disease had been discovered.

“Working closely with our farming industry partners, the Government remains confident eradication is on-track and we have a good chance of success. I thank all farmers who have helped get us to this point,” Damien O’Connor said.

Of New Zealand’s 24,000 farms, 74 have been infected to date with 36 subsequently destocked and cleared of Mycoplasma bovis.

Source:  Minister of Agriculture

Mycoplasma bovis survey of calf rearers under way

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and its farming industry partners have taken the next step in the phased eradication of Mycoplasma bovis by starting a survey of about 200 calf rearing properties across the country.

The test involves a simple one-off nasal swab on calves at the property.

National controller Geoff Gwyn emphasised that the properties selected are not suspected of having Mycoplasma bovis.

 “The identified properties have no connection to other properties which are being tested or at risk of having M. bovis,” he says.

“In fact, if properties are connected to M. bovis properties they are being discounted from this survey as we will already be testing them as part of the response.

“This will give us some indication about the prevalence of M. bovis in beef herds.”

Both animal movements and milk supply, the two high-risk pathways of infection, would be captured.

“By targeting around 200 farms which source calves from at least five different locations, we are actually targeting at least 1,000 farms as the source farms will also have some assurance they are M. bovis free,” Mr Gwyn says.

Find out more about Mycoplasma bovis HERE. 

Source:  Ministry for Primary Industries

Animal welfare system is strengthened from today

Regulations to strengthen our animal welfare system come into effect from today, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said.

The regulations have been developed over the past three years in consultation with industry and advocacy groups, and target lower-end offending.

They make it easier for officials to take action against animal mistreatment and target specific behaviours that need to change.

From today, Animal Welfare inspectors from the ministry and SPCA can issue fines for certain actions, such as allowing dogs in cars to get heat-stressed or failing to provide tethered goats with access to water and shelter.

Some of the regulations are infringement offences, with set fines, while others are prosecutable offences, which could result in a larger fine and criminal conviction.

They cover on-farm practices and transporting livestock, largely reflecting existing farm practices but some set new requirements.

Many of the transport-related regulations apply to farmers selecting lame, sick or injured stock, so farmers should check they are doing it right or face a $500 fine, O’Connor advised.

Farmers and transporters can download the Fit for Transport app or go to the MPI website where an interactive tool brings together all regulations, guidance and minimum standards in the codes of welfare.

Read more  HERE.

Source: Minister for Primary Industries

MPI invites thoughts on dairy herd improvement regulatory regime

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) wants to hear from the dairy industry and people with an interest in how the dairy herd improvement regulatory regime can help to ensure that New Zealand’s dairy industry remains world leading.

The dairy herd improvement regulatory regime has not been comprehensively reviewed since it was established in 2001, says Emma Taylor, MPI’s director of agriculture, marine and plant policy.

“It’s important the dairy herd improvement regulatory regime reflects the changing needs of the dairy industry. It’s timely to look at how the regulatory settings can better support industry both now and into the future.

“Dairy herd improvement adds substantial value to New Zealand’s dairy industry, estimated at around $300 million each year.”

Farmers have been testing samples of milk from their dairy cattle and recording data to inform their herd management decisions for over a century. For industry to achieve optimal rates of genetic gain, it needs a comprehensive, accurate, and continuous supply of data to inform decisions on herd management and breeding.

“The regulatory regime contributes to the breeding of more productive dairy animals through herd testing, herd recording, animal evaluation and artificial breeding. It also has the potential to support better environmental and animal health outcomes,” says Emma Taylor.

“We want to hear from people about how the regulatory regime can more effectively support the performance of the dairy industry. We also want to hear from industry on the effects of changing technology and the future implications on the dairy herd improvement sector.”

The six-week consultation will run from October 1 to 5pm November 12.

Find out about the consultation and have your say HERE.

Source: Ministry for Primary Industries 

MPI releases 20,000 imported apple plants and 400 stonefruit plants

Around 20,000 apple plants and 400 stonefruit plants imported from a US testing facility have been released from all restrictions, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

The plant material was seized after a ministry audit in March found a number of significant failures at Clean Plant Centre Northwest. MPI had little confidence in the testing carried out. An investigation by US authorities confirmed MPI’s findings.

MPI has now completed additional testing for pests and diseases of concern on the affected apple plants as well as a small number of stonefruit plants, says director of plant and pathways, Pete Thomson.

“As all the test results were negative and we are satisfied the biosecurity risk has been minimised, we’re pleased to be in the position to release these plants back to their owners.

“Throughout this process, our decisions have been based on protecting New Zealand and our wider horticultural industry. Some of the diseases, if present, could impact significantly on our wider horticultural industry.”

Nearly 20,000 stonefruit plants require further testing over spring and summer when diseases of concern will be most evident if they are present.

MPI has worked with affected nurseries, importers, and growers to develop detailed individual testing plans for each owner. These plans take into account testing that has already been done in New Zealand.

Almost 48,000 affected apple and stonefruit plants and small trees were secured at 50 sites in Hawke’s Bay, Waikato, Nelson and Central Otago. In total, 32 nurseries, importers, and growers were affected.

Just over 1,000 apple plants have been voluntarily destroyed by 12 owners. Twenty owners opted to destroy over 6,000 stonefruit plants.

“MPI remains open to receiving requests for payment for direct and verifiable losses incurred as a result of destroyed or contained plant material,” says Mr Thomson.

The ministry has written to all affected owners to offer one-on-one meetings to talk through the process.

Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

One month until new animal welfare regulations take effect

New regulations to strengthen our animal welfare system will come into effect on October 1  2018.

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ Director for Animal Health and Welfare, Dr Chris Rodwell, says the 45 new regulations cover a range of species and activities from stock transport and farm husbandry procedures to companion and working animals like dogs and horses.

“With under a month to go until these new regulations come into effect, we want to encourage people, who are responsible for any type of animal, to check they are up to date in how they are looking after them,” says Dr Rodwell.

“Our team has been working with industry and sector groups to raise awareness of the regulations and ensure people understand and can meet their responsibilities.

“Most New Zealanders already care for their animals well, so if you’re already doing the right thing, you won’t see a lot of change.

The majority of the regulations reflect existing standards, but some set new rules and requirements, such as prohibiting the tail docking of cows and dogs.

One of the main regulatory changes will make it easier for the ministry and the SPCA to take action against animal mistreatment.

In developing the regulations, current science, good practice, and the views of submitters were taken into consideration.

More information can be found HERE. 

Source:  Ministry for Primary Industries