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FT-Oct16 7 MEANINGFUL MUESLI Nutrition of breakfast cereals is more important that what it costs, a recent New Zealand study has found, with 37% of participants saying taste is the next crucial factor. The survey, carried out by muesli manufacturer Te Atatu Toasted, found that price was a distant third when it comes to cereal selection, meaning Kiwis are becoming more aware of what’s in their breakfast food, the company says. Seventy per cent of respondents said buying food made in New Zealand was important and they were more likely to trust the ingredient list provided by a New Zealand-made brand, but Te Atatu Toasted says consumers are still making fundamental mistakes when choosing between different products. “The most important information is the average quantities per 100 grams – this gives you a likefor like comparison with other products as some food manufacturers disguise the amount of less healthy ingredients by having a very small serving size.” NEWS SNIPS A new ‘easy to teach’ science resource centred around the story of where our food comes from is being launched by Soil, Food and Society to help teachers of primary and intermediate students Horticulture NZ has told the Productivity Commission that access to staple foods like vegetables are important when considering urban planning in a submission on the draft report Better Urban Planning, warning that food supply is already affected by land competition and access to water. Next month’s Taste of Auckland will be sweet after the announcement that Australasia’s most celebrated dessert chef and star of Zumbo’s Just Desserts Adriano Zumbo will appear Leadership and collaboration are vital to keep New Zealand’s horticulture industry booming, says new president of the country’s only pan-produce organisation United Fresh Jerry Prendergast N E W S GUT CHEMISTRY WEST COAST MAORI INTO FOOD Mãori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says a study outlining opportunities to strengthen and grow the Tai Poutini West Coast economy, where Mãori businesses are already key players, could see more development in food production. The Tai Poutini West Coast Regional Growth Programme says Mãori are already important players in the local economy, with Ngãi Tahu Holdings having several commercial interests in the region, particularly in tourism and forestry, and Mãwhera Incorporation with strategic commercial assets in Greymouth. “Local iwi are involved in a number of social and regional development projects around the region and are important investors, with significant landholdings and interests in forestry, minerals, tourism, fishing, property, food and beverage, health, telecommunications and natural resources,” Flavell says. Making the most of these strengths will require collaboration between business, iwi, central and local government, he says. “The opportunity for the region is in forming sustainable partnerships and making the most of the commercial nous of Mãori, encouraging further investment. Through the Regional Growth Programme, the Government will now work to bring together all regional stakeholders on the development and implementation of an economic action plan that will ultimately lead to better outcomes for the people of Tai Poutini.” Canterbury-based start-up Knewe Biosystems has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign to scale-up significant improvements in livestock health, welfare and on-farm profitability. A little-understood link between food manufacturing and gut chemistry has enabled the company to develop and patent a scientifically-proven prebiotic supplement to improve the digestive ability of cows and other livestock. “Although the concept of prebiotics to improve rumen function is well known, existing products only help to reduce methane output,” technical director Dr Graeme Coles says. “What’s different about our product is that it helps the gut flora do their job more effectively. So animals are able to extract more nutrients from the same amount of feed, making them healthier, more productive and more profitable for the farmer.” Over the past few years, the company has run two on-farm dairy trials in Southland, with its prebiotics providing faster recovery after calving, a good balance of weight gain to milk solids production, better quality of milk and a 15% increase in milk solids with an estimated $250,000 of extra profit per annum. Researchers believe that similar gains in condition and performance are possible in beef cattle, sheep and deer. The month-long equity crowdfunding campaign will finish later this month.

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