Hawke’s Bay’s dedicated news, tourism and events website.


Billion dollar goat infant formula industry a step closer for Hawke’s Bay



A farm to market new industry in the region is a step closer following the announcement yesterday that a national goat milk based product manufacturer will build a spray drier in Hawke’s Bay.


At yesterdays Infant Formula Industry for Hawke’s Bay Conference organised by Business Hawke’s Bay (BHB) and held in Napier, Gregg Wycherley, founder of Fresco Nutrition Ltd, told the 200 plus attendees that “when we build, we will build here”.


The company currently has a four-year lease agreement with Innovation Waikato, part of the government’s New Zealand Food Innovation Network to use a spray dryer there. 


“We are grateful for the opportunity to use an open access facility, but in order to reach our goals we need to build our own spray dryer and canning factory.”


He aims to begin building the facility in two years although is still working on confirming details, and estimates the investment to be around $30million. 


Once fully operational, the facility would provide around 40 jobs.


Mr Wycherley described Hawke’s Bay as ticking all the boxes as the region to locate his operation, citing the climate, land prices, Napier Port, transport infrastructure, water and trade waste systems, and supportive local government as key attractive factors.


He also indicated that the support Business Hawke’s Bay had provided him in his investigations was particularly helpful. 


He has been working closely with Catherine Rusby, BHB’s food and beverage programme manager, who started working on the possibility of setting up a non-bovine infant formula industry in the region late last year.


Ms Rusby coordinated the conference that saw a full day of speakers address representatives from the farming community, rural support and professional advisory services, local government, Iwi, local engineering manufacturers and others interested in the commercial aspects of this new regional opportunity.


Among the speakers, Tom Skerman, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council economic development manager presented economic impact research garnered by local economist Sean Bevin of Economic Solutions Ltd, that indicated there was potentially $1.5 billion in revenue and 178 jobs that could be generated in the region over 10 years from direct and associated work related to the new industry.


Mr Skerman explained this revenue was based on setting up 18 goat dairy farms,construction of the processing plant and a packaging facility, and the annual operation of all these facets.


Andrew McCallum from the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment who has responsibility for the Food and Beverage Information Project, outlined how infant formula fitted into the global food market.


He highlighted that China is driving world growth in baby food / infant nutrition sales, growing over 50 percent more than the rest of the world combined, although there is strong growth across the developing world.


Natasha Telles D’Costa, an associate director with Frost & Sullivan, an international business development advisory firm, presented emerging trends on goat milk powder, again with emphasis on China and Asian markets. 


She stressed that it was important to understand the motivating factors relevant to each specific market behind the preference for goat milk and structure the product and marketing accordingly.


For instance she explained that Chinese women were very exacting about products they chose for their children and would exhaustively research options, particularly relying on online blogs for information and experiences about products.


Other presenters included speakers from Massey University, the Food Innovation Network and HB Regional Council, plus genetic and mineral systems experts.


Also on the speaking list were Hawke’s Bay farmers, David Phillips and Lydia Baty who have recently converted 41 hectares from sheep and beef to goat farming near Havelock North. 


The father daughter combo spoke on their experiences and the rationale behind their plans to milk 650 goats.


They fielding many questions from the enthusiastic and inquiring audience.


Of the day, Ms Rusby said “Our aim was to show those attending where the business opportunities are so they can go away and do the due diligence to determine if it is right for them.”


“This is a long term proposition.  It’s an opportunity for the region to add another string to its bow that will create jobs both on farm and at a more technical production level.  It could provide marginal farming operations with a viable alternative, and provide supporting businesses more growth opportunities too.”


Ms Rusby will continue to be working to “connect the dots” for those interested in getting this new industry underway in Hawke’s Bay. 


She can be contacted at Business Hawke’s Bay by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">


For more information contact:


Catherine Rusby

Business Hawke’s Bay

Food and Beverage Programme Manager

Phone 06 650 7005

Mobile 021 0299 5119

Gregg Wycherley, Fresco Nutrition 027 318 8801


Hastings shearer fought an exciting battle for time honours in the UK.



The New Zealand shearing team has had a narrow loss to Scotland less than 48 hours after arriving in the UK at the start of an eight-test tour.

Shearing at the Lochearnhead Shears, Dion King, of Hastings, and Tony Coster, of Rakaia, went down by just 2.275pts to scottish pair Hamish Mitchell and Callum Shaw.

Mitchell and King fought an exciting battle for time honours, World champion Scotland team, member Mitchell winning by three seconds and shearing his 16 sheep in 11min 12sec. Mitchell also claimed the best quality points on the shearing board, but King had the best result in pen judging.

Shaw, who won the Scotland championship at the Royal Highland Show a week earlier was next off iun 11min 52sec, but Coster took almost another minute, a points deficit of almost three points.

King and Coster, who only arrived in Scotland on Thursday with manager Ronnie King, reached the quarterfinals of the shears’ Scottish Blackface Championships, which provided one of the biggest Open-class results for young Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan, who was third to Mitchell in the final.

Yet to win an Open title, the son of shearing legend David Fagan has had other recent top placings in the UK. He was rapt to do so well in the higher level of competition, assisted by the New Zealand team, who were his pen-boys for the final.

Taumarunui shearer Guy Fraser won the Senior shearing final, backing-up the first win of his career scored just seven days earlier at the Roiyal Highland.

The next test of the tour is against Ulster in Northern Ireland on July 10, followed by two testst against England and four against Wales.

With Coster having to return home early because of other commitments, David Fagan will come out of his brief retirement to shear the last five of the tests.


International (16 sheep): Scotland 94.388pts (Hamish Mitchell, of Lochearnhead, 11min 12sec, 45.975pts’ Callum Shaw, of Saline, 11min 52sec, 48.413pts) beat New Zealand 9h6.663pts (Dion King, of Hastings, 11min 15sec, 46.875pts; Tony Coste, of Rakaia, 12min 50sec, 49.688pts).

Scottish Blackface Open Championship final: Hamish Mitchell (Lochearnhead, Scotland) 1, Simon Bedwell (Garve, Scotland) 2, Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti, New Zealand) 3, Nicky Beynon (Gower, Wales), 4.

Scottish Blackface Senior Championship final: Guy Fraser (Taumarunui, New Zealand) 1, Stewart Kennedy (Aberfeldy, Scotland) 2, Ross Gibson (Gartocharn, Scotland) 3, Alistair Shaw (Saline, Scotland) 4.

Open woolhandling: Leanne Bertram (Lockerbie, Scotland) 1, Nikki Gore (Golden Bay, New Zealand) 2, Kirsty Donald (Edzell, Scotland) 3, Millie Green (Hawick, Scotland) 4.

New Zealand team itinerary:

July 10 NISSA Shears, at Shane’s Castle, Northern Ireland

July 11 Lakeland Shears, at Cockermouth, Cumbria, England

July 14-15 Great Yorkshire Show, England

July 17 Cothi Shears, Wales

July 18 Lampeter Shears, Wales

July 20-23 Royal Welsh Show, Wales

July 24-25 Corwen Shears, Wales

Wool Prices ease in Napier


New Zealand wool prices eased from recent highs at auction this week as shorter wool failed to attract the same premium as longer wool on offer the previous week.

Lamb wool slipped to $7.40 a kilogram at yesterday's North Island auction, from a record $7.45/kg at the South Island auction the previous week, according to AgriHQ. The price for clean 35-micron wool, a benchmark for crossbred wool used for carpets and accounting for the majority of New Zealand's production, declined to $6/kg, snapping a three-week stretch where it held at $6.20/kg, the highest level since November 2013.

Wool prices softened this week even as a decline in the New Zealand dollar made it more competitive for overseas buyers. That's because much of the offering at this week's North Island auction was coarse second-shear wool, compared with the more varied longer selection on sale at the previous week's South Island auction, according to exporter New Zealand Wool Services International.

When compared to the last North Island sale on May 28 when a comparable selection was offered, prices were generally firm to dearer, NZWSI general manager John Dawson said in a statement.

Some 9400 bales were offered at auction yesterday, up from 6876 bales last week, although next week's scheduled South Island auction has been cancelled due to insufficient wool. Demand remained strong at this week's auction, with 98% of the wool offered at auction sold yesterday, the 10th straight week the auction clearance rate has held above 90%.

The next auction on June 25 and will have about 6150 bales from the South Island and 10,800 bales from the North Island.

Wool is New Zealand's 13th biggest commodity export, and the value of exports has been rising as the national wool clip declines following a drop in sheep numbers.

IrrigationNZ CEO says the boards final decision means Hawke's Bay can finally move forward


"It is a relief to be at the end of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) process for the development of a much needed dam in the Hawke’s Bay," says Andrew Curtis, IrrigationNZ CEO.

"The Hawke’s Bay community has been waiting for this decision from the Board of Enquiry of the EPA for a year and following three iterations we are finally able to move forward.

"Water storage and its related infrastructure will boost and stabilise Hawke’s Bay making it an alternative vibrant migration option for those currently flocking to Auckland for work.

"Struggling communities such as Waipukurau and Waipawa will particularly benefit from the resulting economic growth. They will have a bright and vibrant future.

"The dam will also provide huge recreational and environmental benefits to the Tukituki guaranteeing minimum flows for aquatic life during drought years whilst providing flushing flows to prevent future algal blooms," says Mr Curtis.

Forest & Bird welcomes the Board of Inquiry's decision over the Hawke's Bay Ruataniwha Dam.


Forest & Bird is welcoming the rejection of changes to the consent conditions being sought by backers of the Ruataniwha Dam in Hawke's Bay. The Board of Inquiry found the changes would "undermine the environmental outcome the condition seeks to achieve".

In a final decision released today, the Board confirmed a consent condition that requires irrigated land associated with the Ruataniwha Scheme to be managed in a manner consistent with achieving a stringent nitrogen limit by 2030. Much of the catchment is already well over the nitrogen limit.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s investment arm, HBRIC, asked the Board to change that condition to an obligation for the dam company to use its "best endeavours" to meet the limit, and to compare the dam’s impact to a "baseline" of current nitrogen levels. These moves were opposed by Forest & Bird, Fish & Game and the Environmental Defence Society. The Board found in favour of the environmental groups, confirming that: "if the scheme is a material contributor to an exceedance of the DIN limits and targets in that table, the use component of the consents is be managed in a manner consistent with achieving those targets and limits by 31 December 2030. Hence the inclusion of Condition 12A in the draft decision."

The Board found that the changes sought by HBRIC would undermine the environmental outcome the condition seeks to achieve and could not be reconciled with the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

The Board also inserted a new condition enabling the Regional Council to review the process for individual farmers’ Management Plans, to ensure that the Scheme is operating in a manner consistent with achieving the nitrogen limit by 2030.

Legal counsel for Forest & Bird, Sally Gepp, says the Board’s comments and the changes made to the final conditions further strengthen the suite of consent conditions by making it entirely clear that any farmers who sign up to take water from the dam are not exempt from the nitrogen target. "HBRIC Chair Dr Andy Pearce has previously stated that farmers using irrigation water from the Ruataniwha Scheme are not required to manage their farming practices in a way that means that they are not contributing to a violation of the nitrogen limit by 2030. The Board has made it perfectly clear that Dr Pearce’s interpretation is wrong, and the 2030 nitrogen limit does apply to farmers who sign up to this Scheme", Ms Gepp said.

Forest & Bird is considering the remainder of the Board’s decision carefully.

Join the epic battle between new world and old at the Chruch Road Winery in Napier.


Join us for an epic battle between new world and old at Vive la Revolution this Saturday, June 20th at Church Road Winery.

Church Road Winemaker Chris Scott will bring his bottled best to go head to head with Geoff Wilson of Convivium who has enlisted some equally impressive French counterparts.

The Church Road special line-up includes past vintages of TOM, including the coveted Tom Cabernet Merlot 1998, whilst weighing in the Convivium corner are wines such as 2009 Cos d'estournel from one of Bordeaux’s very best vintages.

We love a bit of healthy competition and debate so we’ll be tasting the wines blind.

Guests will be invited to rank the wines to see whether NZ or France wins the battle!

Come and test your palate, sample some amazing wines and enjoy delicious platters made by Dish, all in the company of Chris and Geoff.

Tickets are seriously limited so get in quick, this one will be a cracker! -http://fawc.co.nz/programme/events/event-details?eid=301022

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