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Three news items on the news page show the vast game of consequences that inter weaves international food trade.

The formation of stronger producer groups is causing new groupings of retail organisations either by merger or association - probably to the detriment of farmer returns. The formation of the World Wide Retail Organisation is one more step in the constant struggle between sellers and buyers.

The organised marketing of agricultural production has generally focused on sales cooperation of many producers, banding together to gain market power to deal with a few retail buyers, to maximise returns and give stability in the marketplace. It is imperative that farmers continue to seek a more cohesive marketing and distribution structures to counter the forces that are further organizing to rebalance their market influence.

An interesting early indication for NZ beef producers shows in the news item on the decision processes for the rebuilding of the US beef herd. How to reconcile price relationships two years out for this year's calf crop must temper some consideration of the additional capital required when stocking for beef production this next season.

Garlic producers in Aussie are feeling an early warning of the agricultural ability of China to disrupt existing trade patterns. Such a vast country with an enormous population with a high proportion of low wage agricultural workers has the potential to target labour intensive food product niche markets worldwide.

Winter wet in the east and dry in the west of the country - has this pattern set in for the spring?

Good farming

The Editor


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