Farm Post program.

Australia Post’s launched a pilot ‘paddock to plate’ venture is called Farmhouse Direct and combines things successfully with the other AusPost delivery network. The promise of the service is to connect “you directly to the best local produce” and make local farmers markets and “artisan” produce an everyday experience.

The pilot program is reported to have started out as a collaboration with the Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association and was successful enough to lead to a national roll-out involving 70 producers and 680 products. There is sufficient confidence that it will continue to grow and that confidence is shown by Australia Post having set up a website – at farmhousedirect.com.au – where farmers set up shop for free and set their own prices. Quoted is that “Users can explore the website by region, product, produce and even by local farmers markets like the Flemington Farmers Market to order online. Farmers prepare the shipments, which are either picked up by Australia Post from the farmer or handed in to a depot, and Australia Post looks after the delivery.”

CO2Land org accepts that this is an interesting project that has the hallmarks of being a success. Not just a number improvement, but a innovation with a low risk and excellent opportunity for farmers to be better off in the market space. It is a genuine attempt to move with the times – without a huge price tag in setup costs. Keep you eye out for the official launch of the program not to far off, and expected sometime in 2012.

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What is a life cycle?

The Africa Planet Index reveals a decline of nearly 40% in biodiversity on that continent over the past 40 years – not only have the natural systems degraded but the rapid population growth, increasing prosperity and changing consumption patterns have increased the population’s ecological footprint – pressure on biodiversity is also coming from other nations, such as China, which is depending increasingly on Africa’s resources. Source EcoNews 01/06/12.

The question of how bad global warming will get has long been cast in terms of how hot the world will get – but perhaps more important will be how much rising greenhouse gases crank up the water cycle – models predict that a strengthening greenhouse will increase precipitation where it is already relatively high and decrease it where it is already low. Source Science 27/05/12.

The prevailing view has been that the world’s supply of oil is running out and global production will peak possibly as soon as the end of this decade – now a new theory suggests that oil production will start to fall by 2020 – but not because we’re running out, we just won’t need it. Source New Scientist 19/05/12.

If electric vehicle charging is unmanaged and about 50% of drivers charge at peak periods, then the cost of meeting the additional peak demand in the National Electricity Market could be $1.8 billion by 2020. Source CE Daily 31/05/12.

NSW has become only the 2nd place in the world to trial the idea of social benefit bonds – private investors buy bonds in community programs – dividends are paid by the government when the social goals are met. Source ABC 040612.

Personal wealth across Australia increased by just 0.3% in 2011, compared with 1.9% globally as wealth rates in major developed economies declined – the growth globally came from emerging markets, where wealth jumped by 10%, with China leading the way with wealth up almost 20% in one year – Australia was again ranked 17th country in terms of number of millionaire households SmartCompany 050612.In the most recent quarter, the ACT led in the productivity gains with 6.6% – Victoria 3.7% – NT 3.1% – SA 2.7% – Tas 1% – NSW and WA 0.5% – Qld minus 1.9% DT 120612.

Manufacturers are increasingly moving from the concept of supply chains to supply circles – minimising the use of inputs whether they be materials, energy or water – repairing, recycling and reinventing products, components and materials – reducing costs and increasing productivity while reducing their environmental foot print McKinsey Quarterly 160612.

Australia’s food manufacturing exports are worth up to $17 billion a year – bigger than education or tourism – but now Australia risks becoming Asia’s farm rather than an exporter of quality foods – supermarket wars, rising input costs and a high dollar have been crunching manufacturers – Heinz and McCains have closed factories in Victoria and Tasmania and shifted production to lower-cost New Zealand – Anzac biscuit maker Unibic has collapsed SMH 160612.

Japan’s Kirin’s National Foods, the owner of Dairy Farmers, wrote off $1.2 billion in Australia and the Murray Goulburn Co-operative has mothballed a plant and shed 12% of its workforce –SMH 10612.

Kraft Foods Australasia has seen its earnings drop by two-thirds between 2008-10 but it is maintaining a focus on the opportunity to reach the Asian middle class market which will swell to 1.6 billion consumers by 2020 – a Prime Ministerial Taskforce will be recommending that Australia create a food innovation centre built around collaboration of multinational and small-to-medium sized enterprises, the CSIRO and universities to address the opportunity SMH 160612.

Glass half full – Economics commentator, Ross Gittins, points out that there have been 17,000 jobs lost in a list of 25 recently reported layoffs – and that this is comparable with the number of people leaving jobs voluntarily every month – as well, 46,100 full-time jobs were created in May and average weekly wages rose 4% in 2011-12; official interest rates are 3.5%; inflation is 1.6%; GDP growth is 4.3%; house prices have dropped an average of 5%; and WBM 030612.

Thank you for the material Garry Reynolds, Caring for our Country.

Measures – world economics from west to east.

The good news is that some major emerging countries are taking measures to stimulate growth. Innovation? But,

From the West:

As we know from many sources Europe’s major economies have been weak in 2012.

France – Despite President Hollande’s preference for a growth-based strategy. Several signals point to a contraction of private consumption, suggesting France cannot get away from fiscal austerity measures in the coming years. Therefore, the outlook for the French recovery remains weak.

Italy – The Italian GDP continues to fall. Consumer and producer confidence is described as ‘has deteriorated’.  Recession continues and is likely to do so into the third quarter of 2012. The problem for government in making deficit reduction very challenging.

United Kingdom –A technical recession the reality. However, assessing the entirely of the problem is complicated. “The contraction of GDP was largely thanks to the rapid pace of destocking by British firms” says Rabobank. Some bounce is expected from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics in the later quarters. But manufacturing markers are showing further contraction.

The Netherlands – The Dutch economy is fragile and the Netherlands is still in recession. Consumption remains low, with low consumer confidence. The bright side is exports continue to be the engine of the Dutch economy. However, The outlook for the rest of the year for exports is moderate.

The rest of the west already gets enough coverage for you to know, or expect to know their economic pacts.

From East:

Incoming economic data indicates a few scattered bright spots, but our focus in that both growth and currencies appear to be on the slide in around the World.

In Brazil, China and India, governments are coming to the fore trying to keep growth at reasonable levels.

Brazil uses monetary policy, China fiscal policy, but in India the policy room seems limited given sticky inflation.

Co2Land org researched a little with the help of Rabobank on what to expect of the west to east world economics.  This snapshot is designed to be an indicator of factual information and is not to be taken as financial advice in anyway.  

Real Milk – GST help and no permeate

 Yohoo for dairy farmers:

The byproduct of milk that is white but not milk will not be added back to milk.  Permeate replaces the need for processors to buy more milk – the change means producers and consumers will benefit from getting milk labeled milk– amazingly it make no noticeable difference to the price consumers pay. The winners will be the producer and consumer, and we would expect more confidence on the quality of milk will mean higher sales and processors will be happy.

More happy news:

The government is providing a total of $8 million to assist milk product manufacturers to invest in energy efficient machinery, to help reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The help will be given as technology grants as part of pre-carbon tax incentives.

Bega Cheese, given as an example, operates five plants, and currently has a energy bill of $13 million a year, and although carbon tax and rising fuel costs will add $3 million this year to the bill, the savings of 20% per annum in terms of energy efficiency dividends will actually reduce the costs of operating.

CO2Lan org asks you to note that smart adjustments mean real benefits – including for the future.