As the tides of global politics and economies shift, the effects ripple down to our shores, shaping the New Zealand dairy industry and food economy.
A significant part of their conversation focused on the current Russia-Ukraine war and its implications on grain pricing. AgProud NZ Chair Jon Pemberton expressed to REX host Dominic George that while New Zealand may be physically distant from the conflict, its effects are still felt within the industry.
"We do get it," he said.
"It does seem to influence our pricing, which is really interesting."
He noted that the war might have caused some unexpected price shifts, highlighting the interconnected nature of global agriculture.
But the war's impact isn't the only influence on the local dairy industry. The duo also discussed the fluctuating commodity prices, derivative futures, and the new year rebound for milk prices, drawing attention to the importance of banking institutions' support in these turbulent times.
Pemberton made it clear that banks need to remain profitable to be able to assist farmers during these tough times.
The conversation also turned towards the global food economy, with the Black Sea Grain Initiative making an appearance. Pemberton and George discussed the politics surrounding this initiative and how individual countries looking out for their interests could impact New Zealand's market access.
The key takeaway from the conversation was the need for local solutions. Pemberton firmly believes in the power of local solutions for successful outcomes. He stressed that big bureaucracy cannot dictate what is good for a particular region.
"If you want to improve the environment, let's just turn the lights off, shut the door and walk away.
"But, New Zealand's economy needs the rural sector to be profitable," he argued.
For those keen on the pulse of the dairy industry, global politics, and how it all weaves into the New Zealand agricultural scene, this episode serves as an insightful guide. As Pemberton put it, "We're going to find some middle ground by putting people first."
The dairy industry, like any other, is not isolated but connected in a complex web of global influences. As Pemberton and George's conversation revealed, understanding these connections is crucial to navigate the turbulent tides of the global food economy.
Listen to the full chat between AgProud NZ Chair Jon Pemberton and Dominic George above.