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FT-Sep16 7 LINCOLN UNIVERSITY SEEKS REFRESHING IDEAS New Zealand’s specialist land-based tertiary educator Lincoln University is asking food and beverage industry players for advice on its future. The university council and senior management have agreed that the university must improve its performance both academically and financially, and have embarked on a transformation process to strengthen foundations, with consultation sought both internally and externally. Other projects include rejuvenating the Academic Board, increasing programme attractiveness and flexibility, eliminating unpopular courses and better use of teaching technologies. Lincoln’s main campus near Christchurch requires building improvements as a matter of priority, following dormancy since the 2010/2011 earthquakes. The priorities include the development of the Lincoln Hub in partnership with AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant and Food Research and DairyNZ. Those interested in contributing their ideas can go to: NEWS SNIPS Soil & Health Association has congratulated Auckland Council on its decision to retain precautionary and prohibitive genetically modified organisms (GMOs) provisions in the new Auckland Unitary Plan, protecting Auckland’s GEfree status Fresh Facts, the annual statistics resource for the horticulture industry, is now available as an app for mobile devices Former Tourism NZ head Kevin Bowler has been appointed as chief executive of Frucor Beverages Sanitarium – opened in Christchurch in 1900 - has been named most trusted breakfast food brand by a Reader’s Digest survey of more than 1200 Kiwi adults Food businesses wanting to break into Asian markets should think big but start small and get ‘Asian-savvy’, says the New Zealand Asia Institute N E W S SOUTHLAND WETLAND ALGA HAS EXPORT POTENTIAL SERIOUS EMPLOYMENT BREACHES FOUND IN MARLBOROUGH VINEYARDS Marlborough vineyards have been found committing serious breaches of employment standards in a sting conducted by the Labour Inspectorate, Immigration New Zealand and Inland Revenue. Of the 10 independent contractors visited last month, two – Double Seven Services and Vinestrength - were breaching minimum wage, holiday pay and record-keeping requirements, with another seven asked to supply additional records. “With only one contractor found to be compliant, it shows the industry needs to start taking action to ensure the contractors they’re using are meeting employment standards,” Labour Inspectorate regional manager Kevin Finnegan says. “By engaging with contractors who choose to ignore employment standards, the New Zealand wine industry is exposing itself to reputational damage. We want the industry to take some ownership of the issue and show it is taking it seriously. This includes seeking assurances from their contractors that all minimum employment standards are being met.” Nine contractors from the Regional Seasonal Employee (RSE) scheme were also visited, with all nine found to be compliant with employment standards. Employers who breach employment law are subject to enforcement action which can include penalties of up to $50,000 for individuals and up to $100,000 or three times the financial gain for companies. Fonterra’s Chinese consumers are getting a taste of the freshest imported UHT milk, thanks to a programme aimed at delivering UHT to the co-operative’s biggest market at world-leading speed. Fonterra’s supply chain timings from New Zealand to mainland China have seen a dramatic reduction from more than 100 days to just 34, making the milk the freshest imported into China. Chief operating officer global operations Robert Spurway says the 70 per cent reduction in leadtime took his team just under four months to achieve, with production, sailing time, schedules and customs clearance streamlined. “We’ve put all facets of our supply chain under the microscope to shave off every additional hour,” Spurway says. Alga found in Southland’s Awarua Wetland – a mahinga kai site for Ngai Tahu – could soon be harvested from the wild as an alternative to the health supplement fish oil, thanks to Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge funding secured by Landcare Research scientist Dr Phil Novis. Trachydiscus Awa9/2 - new to science with little known about its ecology – could offer exciting commercial opportunities if its Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) levels can be boosted. Novis, who has spent 16 years wanting to develop research aligned with Ngai Tahu’s Vision Matauranga values, will conduct field studies to understand the alga’s environment and how this affects EPA production, including bioreactor experiments to optimise light quality and other conditions for commercial production. “Ideally this research will help develop a local industry that produces purified EPA,” Novis says. “One of its most obvious applications is as a vegetarian option for people who don’t want fish oil. We may end up growing the alga for aquaculture feed. We just don’t know where this will end up yet.” Ngai Tahu, a key partner in the research, will send samples from the wetland to Novis for testing at Landcare Research’s laboratories in Lincoln. EPA is a high-value product, with retail prices for fish-sourced EPA worth $200 per kg and the global industry worth $450 million per year. The research is to be funded for the next three years.

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