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The latest from Senior journalist Brent Melville

Brent is a senior reporter in the Auckland newsroom. He previously worked for the Otago Daily Times, after a return to business journalism in 2018. Brent had an extensive career in corporate communications and strategic consulting, including for a range of public listed companies. You can follow him on Twitter @BrentMelville or connect with him on LinkedIn here.

Silver Fern Farms' profit boosted by Chinese demand
Brent Melville | Wed, 15 Apr 2020

Silver Fern Farms posted a net profit of $70.7 million for the year to December 2019, up from $5.8 million the year before on the back of higher red meat exports into China.The company, jointly owned by China’s Shanghai Maling Aquarius Limited and farmer-owned Silver Fern Farms C...

Meat sector extends season, may cart stock between islands
Brent Melville | Tue, 14 Apr 2020

New Zealand’s major meat companies say they will extend the processing season and add production chains at some plants to ensure they get through current backlogs.The country’s largest processor, Silver Fern Farms, said there was also the prospect of carting stock between islands...

Pork industry works with MPI to solve pig surplus issue
Brent Melville | Mon, 06 Apr 2020

It took several conference calls on Friday and some work to sort the logistics over the weekend, but the pork industry and Ministry for Primary Industries are confident they have averted a looming animal welfare issue.Last week the pork industry said its farmers would be forced t...

Government agrees to pay construction contractors early
Brent Melville | Mon, 06 Apr 2020

Government agencies have agreed to pay construction contractors early to ensure cash continues to flow through major project supply chains, as part of a joint government sector covid-19 response plan. Rapid payment is one of a raft of kick-start initiatives being worked throug...

Letting butchers process pigs 'not enough' - pork industry
Brent Melville | Fri, 03 Apr 2020

NZ Pork has expressed its disappointment with the agriculture minister's decision to allow butchers to process pork for supply to supermarkets and essential food processors only."It is good that they listened but our initial assessment is that won't make any significant change to...

Customs fast tracking trade and PPE goods
Brent Melville | Thu, 02 Apr 2020

The New Zealand Customs Service said it is working to allow the free flow of essential goods into New  Zealand and is "fast tracking" personal protective equipment into the health system. Comptroller Christine Stevenson told Parliament's special epidemic response committee tod...

Nutritional market spike benefits Mataura Valley
Brent Melville | Wed, 01 Apr 2020

Southland milk formula producer Mataura Valley Milk is benefiting from a “significant spike” in demand for nutritional products into China as European milk volumes stall. Chief executive Bernard May said that while it was probably too early to forecast a trend, there was defin...

Farmers want us to eat more pork, save their bacon
Brent Melville | Wed, 01 Apr 2020

Pork producers say they may have to cull 20,000 or more pigs in the next four weeks if food manufacturers and supermarkets are unable to fill the gap left by the closure of independent butchers and restaurants.Pork NZ says the closure of butchers, food service and Asian supermark...

Vital Healthcare blames covid-19 for delayed restructuring vote
Brent Melville | Tue, 31 Mar 2020

Vital Healthcare Property Trust chair Bernard Crotty adjourned today’s special meeting of unitholders until Thursday, citing covid-19 related issues. In a statement, the company said the meeting was adjourned for 48 hours as “several stakeholders" requested more time to prepar...