Rural round-up

What Fonterra critics can learn from Sir Henry - Willy Leferink:

In the space of a few days farmers went from the heights of Mt Everest to the bottom of the Marianna Trench. That is what it seemed lurching from the fantastic payout forecast into Fonterra’s product recall.

We now know that a product, worth a few hundred thousand dollars, will likely end up costing Fonterra tens of millions. That is what CEO Theo Spierings told TVNZ’s Q+A on Sunday and will likely be customer claims relating to the recall. Fonterra’s recall was a shock and we absolutely must do the right thing by our customers and consumers. That is not in question. But if you were a consumer abroad and went off the New Zealand media coverage, you would have thought that Fonterra was some corporate version of Sweeney Todd.

In my years of farming, I have come to learn that things are never as good or as bad as they first seem, they are just what they are.

I do not think that Fonterra has done everything right but there’s a huge ‘damned if you do, dammed if you don’t’ reality when facing some feral media. Especially when the most feral are those in our own backyard. As the days went on the initial fever pitch whipped up was slowly replaced with a growing sense of perspective; testing had led to a precautionary recall. . . .

We must prove to customers that our high standards are more than words. Critical self-examination and then action, will go a long, long way - Bruce Wills:

. . . Last Thursday there was celebration that the 2013/14 forecast payout would clear overdrafts built up over the drought.

Then came news Clostridium botulinum had been found in the whey protein concentrate, WPC80.

I sense we may just be getting through the worst of this initial crisis.

Yet one unsanitary pipe at Fonterra’s Hautapu factory must not be allowed to define 120-year’s worth of hard work. . . .

Fonterra food scare claims scalp of NZ Milk Gary Romano:

Fonterra Cooperative Group’s tainted food scare has claimed its first scalp with the resignation of NZ Milk Products managing director Gary Romano.

Romano, who initially fronted for Fonterra to New Zealand media while chief executive Theo Spierings went to China, has resigned effective immediately, the dairy company said in a statement. Spierings will personally assume interim responsibility for the daily operations of NZ Milk, which collects milk from New Zealand farmers and manufacturers it into dairy products ready for export.

Romano’s focus was “to drive profitability through a customer-centric approach to business that delivers world-class standards in productivity, quality, safety and service,” Fonterra said on its website . . .

Fisherman’s new net may save young fish – Michael Morrah:

A commercial fisherman in Napier has taken the unusual step of speaking out about wasteful practices in the industry. Rick Burch says he’s sick of needlessly killing juvenile fish, and has developed a type of net he thinks can help.

Mr Burch is the first to admit that he’s seen a lot of waste since first taking to the water in the 1960s.

“You step back and say, ‘Do I really need to continue killing everything in the ocean?'”

But he says making just small alterations to the standard pattern of a fishing net would save fuel and help release young round fish like gurnard. . .

Mild Winter Leads To Early Spring:

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 82 more farm sales (+23.0%) for the three months ended July 2013 than for the three months ended July 2012. Overall, there were 438 farm sales in the three months to end of July 2013, compared to 474 farm sales for the three months ended June 2013 (-7.6%). 1,536 farms were sold in the year to July 2013, 6.7% more than were sold in the year to July 2012.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to July 2013 was $20,667; a 15.1% increase on the $17,955 recorded for three months ended July 2012. The median price per hectare rose 4.8% compared to June. . .

Introducing The Collective’s Limited Edition Kiwi Gourmet Probiotic Yoghurt:

Kiwifruit, fresh and furry, this vibrant wee fruit is irrevocably Kiwi, to the core. And now, partnered with its best-ever comrade – The Collective’s signature gourmet yoghurt, the ever-vibrant kiwi begs the question; who needs wings when you’ve got ridiculously tasty New Zealand dairy?

Never being ones to disappoint we can tell you that the first taste of The Collective’s Kiwi will have your taste-buds tingling for more… a huge dash of national pride and a pairing of delicious dairy and kiwifruit, this gourmet treat might as well be called New Zealand in a tub… no bull! . . .

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