Rural round-up

October 22, 2013

SFO confirms preliminary Zespri investigation:

 (BusinessDesk) – The Serious Fraud Office has confirmed it’s looking at legislated export marketing monopolist Zespri International, though is being tight-lipped on any further details.

The white-collar crime investigator has opened a preliminary investigation, but won’t say what it’s looking at or indicating what powers the SFO has to compel Zespri to release information.

“Zespri has not been contacted by the Serious Fraud Office and has no details of the scope or substance of an investigation,” it said in an emailed statement. “Zespri will cooperate with any investigation the Serious Fraud Office may undertake.”

Kiwi Kids Lap Up Fonterra Milk for Schools:

The numbers are in – more than 1000 schools around New Zealand are now enjoying the taste of dairy every school day thanks to Fonterra’s Milk for Schools.

From Southland to Northland, the programme has moved full steam ahead rolling out in eleven regions and reached Auckland today.

Fonterra Chief Executive Officer, Theo Spierings, said over the past five months there has been significant community support for the national rollout.

“Milk is one of the most nutritious foods there is and we want to do what we can to make sure Kiwi kids grow up drinking it every day,” said Mr Spierings. . .

Fonterra investigated over creating lake of buttermilk -

The Waikato Regional Council is looking into the dumping of a milk by-product near Taupo by dairy giant Fonterra.

An unknown quantity of buttermilk has been disposed into a lake for storage at an Atiamuri farm, as the dairy giant struggles to keep up with record milk production.

Waikato Regional Council spokesman Rob Dragten says the council is looking into issues around authorisation, but says there’s no immediate threat to the environment. . .

New kids on the block take out Rural Women NZ Journalism Award:

The joint winners of this year’s Rural Women NZ Journalism award are Sarah Perriam and Tony Glynn of Rural Media.

The Rural Women award was one of twelve awards for rural journalism and photography presented at the Guild of Agricultural Journalists’ annual dinner in Wellington on Friday evening.

“Our award sets out to encourage journalism that recognises the important contribution women make either to the farming sector or to rural communities,” says Rural Women NZ national president, Liz Evans. “We congratulate Sarah and Tony, who are offering a fresh approach to producing and sharing stories about rural life, through video as well as broadcast TV.”

Sarah Perriam works on the production side, while Tony Glynn directs, acts and presents programmes for Rural Media, under its Rural TV banner. Their aim is to make rural folk ‘way more famous’. . .

Farmax offers farmers the power of bespoke pasture growth forecasts:

Farmax is the first company to offer sheep, beef and dairy farmers the ability to harness the power of the industry’s newly launched Pasture Growth Forecaster database at a more detailed level.

Farmax has launched a service called My Forecast where farmers provide the address of their property to get customised short-, medium- and long-term pasture growth forecasts specific to their own farming operation.

Farmax General Manager, Gavin McEwen said “To maximise pasture usage, farmers not only require accurate measures of current pasture cover, they also need accurate forecasts. Farmax’s My Forecast service is a powerful tool for assisting with feed planning and budgeting decisions.” . . .

 Farming for the Future….NZ is not supporting Innovation by Leading Farmers – Pasture to Profit:

 Craige & Roz MacKenzie, are the Canterbury Farm Environment Award winners 2013. Very deserving winners….Congratulations.
The MacKenzie family (including daughter Jemma) are one of the most innovative, creative, Push-The-Boundaries, Farm & Research businesses I’ve ever seen. 
 
GreenvalePastures Ltd Facebook page
Andy MacFarlane (MacFarlane Rural Business) last week chaired a very successful Ballance Farm Environment Award fieldday at Greenvale Pastures farm near Methven in Canterbury, New Zealand.
 Ballance Farm Environment Awards. The Regional Winners . . .
Rotorua to host International Forest Safety Summit on 26 & 27th November:

The past 12 months has seen forestry in the media spotlight to two main reasons – both good and bad. Since the global financial crisis hit, forest products exports, led by log exports, have proven once again to be counter-cyclical. While other industries have suffered, forest production has soared to record levels. With the record high log out-turn, from both the small and large forests up and down the country, has come a tragic toll in worker deaths. Heightened awareness driven by the Pike River mine disaster has brought a change in public attitudes to workplace risks. Safety improvement is now top-of-mind for everyone in the forest industry. While serious harm accident numbers and deaths remain much higher in farming than forestry, it is the public perception of workplace risk, underpinned by an well-funded union media campaign of self-interest, that has changed a lot of attitudes towards people working in the bush.

These combined issues have resulted in a focus by the key players in the New Zealand forest industry to drive an in-depth review of forest workplace safety. . .

Leisure and adventure tourism growth spurs backpacker lodge sale:

Capitalising on the growth of tourists’ passion for eco’ tourism, the Tailor-Made-Tekapo Backpackers is on the market for sale

The opening of two major new tourist attractions and the growing popularity of deep space star-gazing are being seen by a long-time South Island tourism operator as the ideal catalyst to retire from the business.

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail which opened earlier this year in the Central South Island; the Tekapo Springs thermal resort, ice skating rink and snow park which opened in 2012; and Earth and Sky tours at Mt John Observatory, are jointly forecast to substantially increase visitor numbers to the Central South Island region.

The cycle trail is a 300 kilometre four-six day ride from Aoraki Mount Cook to Oamaru via the townships of Twizel, Omarama, Kurow and Lake Pukaki. . .


Not in front of the children

October 22, 2013

Len Brown cancelled a scheduled visit to Three Kings Primary School for its first delivery under Fonterra’s Milk in Schools programme yesterday.

Fonterra ambassador Richie McCaw and MP Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga managed fine without him.

Photo: This morning I attended the official launch of the Fonterra Milk for Schools program in my electorate at Three Kings School.  The aim is to give all New Zealand primary-aged children the opportunity of drinking nutritious milk every school day.   Good nutrition is the cornerstone to healthy living and this program aims to give kids the best start to their school lives.  I am shown below with Richie McCaw, All Blacks Captain who is Fonterra's brand ambassador.  He is an excellent role model for kids to aspire to both on and off the field!   Over 1,300 schools are part of the scheme and if your school is not part of the scheme I encourage you to please express an interest at www.fonterramilkforschools.com.

Brown made his first post-affair public appearance at the opening of a compact show home later in the day.

This raises a few questions:

  • If it’s not appropriate for him to appear in front of children now, when will it be?
  • Which other audiences will and won’t be appropriate?
  • Who decides?
  • Will those on the latter list affect his ability to do his job properly?

Rural round-up

May 28, 2013

Alliance eyes Indian market:

The Alliance Group says the Indian market provides the group with a potentially lucrative export market.

Management from the meat company have just been visiting the country to get a better idea of the market and trading opportunities for the company’s Pure South lamb.

The company says it will be aiming its product at the five-star food service market in top hotels and restaurants. . .

Record returns delivered to New Zealand kiwifruit growers in the shadow of Psa:

Zespri’s annual results for 2012/13 show the highest-ever average Orchard Gate Return (OGR) returns of $51,153 delivered to New Zealand kiwifruit growers. However, the record result comes as the impact of Psa on individual orchards continues to be felt across the industry.

A highlight of the year’s returns was the performance of the Zespri Green category, which accounts for around 70 percent of Zespri’s exported volume. Average per-tray Green returns increased by 21 percent from 2011/12 to $4.62, their highest level since 2003/04. This strong result flowed through to Zespri’s highest-ever average returns per hectare for Green growers of $37,959. . .

Deer industry ponders name change for  venison in Europe:

The deer industry is considering whether to have another go at marketing New Zealand venison in Europe under the name Cervena.

It’s looking for a new approach to counter falling sales in its biggest export market, Germany, where New Zealand venison is under pressure from cheaper European venison coming from countries like Spain and Poland.

Cervena is an appellation for New Zealand farmed venison, developed about 20 years ago.

It’s been used successfully in the United States, as well as New Zealand and Australia. . .

Cardona sale marks first step in Singapore refocus -

Vealls Ltd has named its preferred bidder for Cardrona Alpine Resort, the first step in a strategy to refocus on Singapore that is opposed by shareholder Elevation Capital Management.

Te Anau-based tourism company Real Journeys, whose businesses include the TSS Earnslaw and Milford Sound cruises, will make its first foray into skifields if the acquisition meets due diligence and gets shareholder approval.

Cardrona’s operating assets were valued at $A40.9 million, according to Vealls’ first-half accounts, and the skifield was the biggest source of earnings, at $A5.7 million, while the Australian company’s biggest asset, some $A57 million held on deposit with banks, generated just $A509,000, reflecting low interest rates. . .

Richie McCaw lends a hand to support launch Fonterra milk for schools in Christchurch:

Home-town hero Richie McCaw knows the milk being delivered to Christchurch’s Burnside Primary School children as part of Fonterra Milk for Schools will be top-notch. That’s because the rugby legend understands the value of dairy nutrition as part of a balanced diet.

“Throughout my career, my nutritionists have made sure that dairy is a big part of my diet. The message I’ve always got from them is that when it comes to keeping my body in top shape, a few daily serves of dairy should always be on the menu.”  
 
Richie says it is great to know that kids from his home town will directly benefit from having milk every school day with the help of Fonterra farmers, the commitment of local schools and the support of the Christchurch community.  . .

 

Double GOLD for Cirro at 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards:

Cirro is on ‘cloud nine’ after recently being awarded two Gold medals in the 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards for their 2012 Marlborough Sauvignon blanc and 2010 Marlborough Pinot noir.

Cirro wines are grown and produced in Marlborough, New Zealand. Winemakers David Tyney and Richard Green released their first vintage in 2009 after deciding to ‘join forces’ and combine their extensive winemaking experience. “From the beginning we wanted to create wines that epitomise the best of Marlborough, classic regional wines that over deliver on flavour and intensity” says David. . .


Not all schools want free food

May 5, 2013

Hone Harawira’s Bill proposing to provide food for all decile one and two schools will be debated in parliament soon.

It is a blunt instrument which will do nothing for hungry children in higher decile schools and provide food where it’s not needed and not wanted.

A school principal in Whangarei says a proposed law change aimed at providing meals for students in poorer schools could reinforce negative stereotypes. . .

Hora hora Primary principal Pat Newman said that may send a message that all parents with children at poorer schools don’t feed them properly.

He said it does not cost his school a lot to step in when it needs to, discretely offering breakfast and sandwiches to individual students in need. . .

The Press points out other problems with the proposal:

One difficulty is the sheer logistics of the proposal. Most schools are neither set up nor staffed to provide meals to pupils. One figure much bandied about during recent debate has suggested that 80,000 children go to school each morning without having had breakfast.

While that number has a whiff of the Ministry of Made-Up Numbers about it, even confined to decile 1 and 2 schools, Harawira’s proposal would be a large and time- consuming effort to get breakfast and lunch to all those deemed to need them.

But the main difficulty with Harawira’s idea is that it tackles the issue from the wrong end. Hungry children in school are a just symptom of a root cause – inadequate, negligent parenting and decision-making.

For the state to take over providing something as fundamental as proper meals will, if anything, only aggravate that root cause.

The more dud parents become aware that their children will be fed if they fail to do so, the more they will be inclined to abdicate the responsibility.

Providing a decent breakfast and lunch for a child is hardly an onerous or expensive task. Eggs on toast or cereal for breakfast, and sandwiches with a nourishing filling for lunch, are within the capacity of every parent. . .

It’s not the fault of hungry children that their parents don’t feed them and it is a problem which needs to be addressed.

But providing food for all low decile schools isn’t the best way to do it.

Fonterra is providing free milk for all schools that want it – some high decile schools choose to have it, some low ones don’t.

This targeted and voluntary approach, in conjunction with charities like Kids Can which provides food,  doesn’t address the problem of hopeless parents.

But at least it doesn’t waste food on schools which don’t need it, and gives it do children who do.


Rural round-up

February 27, 2013

Future foods – Robert Hickson:

Will farm livestock become endangered species? Social, economic and environmental drivers are converging to not only look at producing food more efficiently and sustainably, but are also stimulating new ways to produce meat or remove the need for it altogether. Such changes, if successful, could have substantial effects on New Zealand’s agricultural and economic landscapes.

Lab-grown meat has been worked on for a while, and convergence with other technologies is starting. Modern Meadow  is aiming to print meat. In vitro production of meat still has a long way to go, technically, economically and socially. There is scepticism that it will become economically viable and sufficiently scaleable. Or even appeal to consumers. But would it really be that different from currently available mechanically extracted meat products , insects or some of the delights whipped up by molecular gastronomists? . . .

St John says thanks to Federated Farmers:

A $54,000 grant to St John from Federated Farmers will help the organisation continue its important community work.

Federated Farmers made several grants from their Adverse Events Trust in September 2012, and St John was one of the recipients. The money came from individual farmers, meat company workers and meant and wool companies.

Federated Farmers’ representatives Katie Milne (National Board Member) and John Hartnell (Chairman of the Bee Industry Group) visited the St John Regional Operations Centre to see the work of the ambulance communications centre, as well as have a look at a new ambulance. . .

Fonterra Milk for Schools attracts interest from more than half of NZ’s Primary Schools:

Contacting Fonterra has been on the to-do list for many New Zealand primary schools since the 2013 school year kicked off – and more than half of the country’s eligible schools have now expressed interest in Fonterra Milk for Schools.
 
More than 1100 schools, representing about 191,000 kids, have registered their interest in the nationwide programme which will provide free milk to primary-aged children every school day. This is on top of the more than 110 schools already participating in Northland.
 
Fonterra Group General Manager Global Co-operative Social Responsibility Carly Robinson says the number of schools getting in contact has been growing by the day. . .

Dairy expo braodens view of the industry - Sally Rae:

Question – what’s black and white and red all over? Not necessarily a newspaper.

It could be a cow hide tanned by Southland man Adam Cowie, who established his own business about three years ago after working in a tannery for many years.

Mr Cowie, from Animal Skin Tanning Services Ltd, had skins for sale at the Southern Region Dairy Expo at Clydevale last week.

The event, organised by the Clutha Valley Lions Club, attracted a wide variety of exhibitors, selling everything from tractors and trailers to fertiliser and milking systems, pumps and stockfeed. . .

Cultivar information aids autumn pasture decisions:

DairyNZ is encouraging farmers to use the latest Forage Value Index lists to help make decisions on perennial ryegrass cultivars.

The DairyNZ Forage Value Index (FVI) was launched last May as an initiative between DairyNZ and the New Zealand Plant Breeding and Research Association (NZPBRA). The region-specific FVIs utilise seasonal dry matter yields from NZPBRA’s National Forage Variety Trials.

DairyNZ’s Dr Jeremy Bryant says the latest set of FVI lists were released in December. . .

Kirsten Bryant re-elected to Beef + Lamb New Zealand Board:

Kirsten Bryant has been returned as the Western North Island Farmer Director on the Board of Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

The Beef + Lamb New Zealand Returning Officer, Warwick Lampp has reported that Kirsten Bryant received 11,503 votes and John McCarthy received 6,149 votes. . .

First 2013 Dairy Awards Winners:

In less than a week the first regional winners in the 2013 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards will be announced, opening new opportunities and career prospects.

National convenor Chris Keeping says it is an exciting time when the winners of the 12 regional competitions become known and a new group of passionate and enthusiastic dairy farmers step forward.

“We had more than 550 entries this year, so our judges are working extremely hard to identify those sharemilkers, equity farmers, farm managers, contract milkers and trainees doing the best with the resources and farm they have available to them. The awards are not about being perfect, they are about making progress.” . . .

Dairy farmers have cost effective “friend in N”:

With high demand in dry areas edging up the price of supplementary feed, dairy farmers wanting to maintain production into late autumn have got an increasingly cost effective “friend in N”, says Ballance Science Extension Manager Aaron Stafford.

“As a feed source home grown pasture remains your best bang for buck and with supplementary feed prices now averaging $50 a tonne more, farms that are not battling the dry conditions will find N an even more competitive tool for extending autumn lactation and maintaining herd condition.”

Aaron says products like SustaiN Green, which reduces ammonia volatilisation, offer farmers more flexibility to apply nitrogen when it’s needed most or when it suits them better, even if the weather or soil conditions often experienced during autumn are not optimal. . .


Milk in Schools show no need for taxpayers’ food for all

January 23, 2013

The Mana Party says support is increasing for its plan for taxpayer funded food for all decile one and two schools:

“It’s a pretty simple bill really” says MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, “Invest in making sure the 80,000 kids going to school hungry each week are fed and ready to learn and realise the benefits in better educated and healthier school leavers down the track”. . . 

I don’t know where the 80,000 comes from but Fonterra’s milk in schools programme has proved that not all low decile schools have hungry children and that some higher decile schools.

Fonterra’s trial in Northland showed some schools wanted the milk and some didn’t.

The scheme is now being rolled out through the rest of the country and some schools are choosing to get it but others aren’t.

There is no point in a universal scheme for decile one and two schools which provides for some who aren’t in need and misses others who are, especially when schemes like Fonterra’s milk in sare providing help where it’s needed without taxpayers’ money.


Fonterra’s milk in schools going nation wide

December 14, 2012

Fonterra’s trial of free milk in schools has been declared a success and will go nationwide next year.

Fonterra Chief Executive Theo Spierings said that after trialling the school milk programme in Northland, Fonterra had decided to roll out the programme to all 2000 primary schools throughout the country from next year. 

“We are totally committed to Fonterra Milk for Schools because we believe it will make a lasting difference to the health of New Zealand’s children. We want Kiwis to grow up drinking milk because it’s good for them and we are proud that this programme will give every primary school kid the chance to enjoy this nutritious product,” he said.
 
“New Zealand is the largest exporter of dairy products in the world, but at home, we’re not drinking as much milk as we used to. We want to be the dairy nutrition capital of the world and this starts with our kids.”

Research conducted by the University of Auckland has shown that children’s milk consumption in the Northland community, both at school and at home, has significantly increased since the pilot began.

“We know that getting Kiwis drinking more milk is not an overnight job but we are committed to helping improve the health of our kids,” said Mr Spierings.

The Co-operative made the announcement at an event co-hosted by its farmer shareholders and Hillpark Primary School in Manurewa. Mr Spierings said the success of this year’s Northland pilot had informed the decision to roll out nationally.

“The Northland pilot allowed us to test our systems. We learnt some valuable lessons and got great feedback from schools in the area. We can now move forward with confidence the programme is a winner.

“That said, this is a huge undertaking and we’ll be rolling out town by town.  We will continue with Northland, and launch in Southland in the first term next year, moving through the country during the year. We expect to have all schools who wish to take part on board by Term 1 2014.”

Manaia Health Chief Executive Chris Farrelly said the Northland community was privileged to trial the programme and was pleased that all schools would now get the opportunity.
 
“This move by New Zealand’s largest company to make this wonderful product available to our children is a significant game changer,” said Mr Farrelly.

“This is not just looking out for our kids today, but for the future. If we get it right for them now, then we’re going to get it right for our country.”

Principal of Hillpark Primary and New Zealand Principals’ Federation executive member, Gavin Beere, said the Federation fully supports Fonterra’s generous move.

“Schools play a key role in shaping children’s lifestyles. This includes their diets and attitudes towards nutrition, so it’s incredible to be able to offer this healthy product every school day.”

Fonterra Ambassador Richie McCaw said: “Over this past year I have been blown away by the passion of Fonterra’s people and the importance of the Co-operative’s farmer roots in everything it does.

“As a country, we should be extremely proud of this long-term commitment our New Zealand dairy farmers are making.”

Mr Spierings said the cost of the programme would depend on the number of schools participating – and this would not be known until the end of next year. 

“While we don’t know the exact number, we believe this is the largest single community investment by a New Zealand company and we are very proud to be making this investment in the health of our future generations.”

This is an opt-in scheme.

Schools which don’t want to have the milk won’t get it.

And while it’s being called free milk that means the schools and pupils don’t pay for it but Fonterra and ultimately its shareholders do.

However, if it improves the health and education of children and increases demand for milk then the social and financial dividends which more than justify the cost.


Milk in schools works

December 11, 2012

Not every school which was offered free milk from Fonterra has liked it.

But TV3 found a Waikato school where it is making a positive difference to the children’s learning.

It’s also making a difference to milk consumption out of school:

Northland kids have been drinking more milk – at school and at home – since the Fonterra Milk for Schools programme kicked into gear in early 2012, according to an independent evaluation by the University of Auckland.

Fonterra commissioned the report to understand the impacts of its school milk pilot on children’s consumption and attitudes to dairy.

Associate Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu, who led the evaluation, says the results show a significant increase in children’s milk consumption following the adoption of the Fonterra Milk for Schools programme in Northland schools.

“A key highlight of the results is that the rise in consumption has happened both at school and at home – with the evaluation showing a 28 per cent increase in the number of students who reported drinking milk five or more days a week.”

In addition, the evaluation showed a clear increase in the number of children drinking milk at least twice a day – with students consuming milk twice or more each day increasing from 66 to 77 per cent.

“The evaluation provides evidence that Fonterra Milk for Schools is helping to increase children’s milk consumption not only during school time, but overall as well,” says Associate Professor Ni Mhurchu.

Carly Robinson, Fonterra General Manager Co-operative Social Responsibility, says the Co-operative is encouraged by the findings.

“Our goal with Fonterra Milk for Schools is to make a lasting difference to the health of New Zealand children. New Zealand is the largest exporter of dairy products in the world, but at home, we’re not drinking as much milk as we used to. These findings show that this programme can help get Kiwi kids drinking more milk.”

116 Northland primary schools are participating in the Fonterra Milk for Schools pilot – making up 85 per cent of the region’s eligible schools.

“Each term we survey the schools and our latest results showed that around 90 per cent of schools that responded were either satisfied or very satisfied with the programme,” says Ms Robinson. . .

The milk is free to the schools but it costs the company and in turn its suppliers.

But if the programme is helping children and increasing milk consumption then it’s worth it.


Fussy kids aren’t hungry kids

October 22, 2012

Fonterra’s milk in schools programe isn’t appreciated by all the recipients:

After an enthusiastic take-up, some schools have seen nearly a 90 per cent decline in the number of kids receiving milk each day, with many blaming the taste of the ultra heat treated (UHT) milk.

“The kids wrote letters to Fonterra thanking them for the milk, but fewer were drinking it because of the taste it left in their mouth,” said Dave Bradley, Wellsford School principal.

The school said half the 240 children initially drinking the milk have opted out.

At Kaiwaka nearly 70 of the school’s 86 children were drinking the milk. It is now down to 10.

“I am beginning to wonder if kids are so used to sugar that they don’t want to drink milk anymore,” said principal Barbara Bronlund.

At Waipu School 170 milk drinkers had become 20. Flavour was again a problem. . .

However, some schools are very happy with the free milk:

Several schools, although having seen numbers level off, consider the programme a massive success.

At Manaia View School at least 90 per cent of the children have milk every day.

“I’ve got lots of kids who ask for more as a reward,” said Ian Bird, the teacher in charge of milk.

At Kaitaia Primary School milk was reaching those most in need.

“We are decile 1C for a good reason.

“We have a number of families who struggle financially, and with the cost of fresh food and milk they just can’t afford it,” principal Brendon Morrissey said.

What this shows is that fussy kids aren’t hungry kids and hungry kids aren’t fussy kids.

The answer is to target the milk where it is most needed.

There is a lesson here for Labour which wants to give free food to all decile one to three schools.

It would be far better to target the food to those children in real need and not waste the food, and taxpayers or charities’ money on food for children who neither want nor need it.


NZ’s drinking problem

July 3, 2012

New Zealand has a drinking problem.

This one isn’t drinking too much alcohol but too little milk.

Paediatric dietitian Lea Stening, told the South Island Dairy Event New Zealand’s drinking problem is the declining consumption of milk.

Despite the benefits to health, the annual growth rate in milk consumption had dropped during the past decade, while  the sale of carbonated drinks remained high.   

The New Zealand dairy industry, while focusing on producing      dairy commodities, could not afford to ignore the potential growth in the marketplace for liquid milk products and the      opportunity to improve the health of New Zealanders, she said.   

Outlining the health and nutritional benefits of milk, Ms Stening said it should be easy to sell. It was “the most fantastic product” and had many advantages.   

 She believed Fonterra’s free milk in schools programme, which      is being trialled in Northland, was “brilliant”, but for it to be sustainable, the milk-drinking habit had to transfer      from schools into homes.   

There needed to be a lot more national advertising on the importance of drinking milk, and nutritional education targeting parents was important, she said.

Fonterra’s trial re-introduction of milk in schools in Northland has been successful and the company plans to extend the service to the rest of the country next year.

This is good for children’s health and learning.

It will also introduce milk to children who might not have it at home. There is a risk some parents might think the milk their children get at school is enough. But that should be outweighed by the benefits for the children and the potential for more sales through increased demand from those who get some at school and want more at home.


Free milk boosts punctuality

April 7, 2012

The introduction of Fonterra’s free milk in schools has had an unexpected consequence:

Manaia View School principal Leanne Otene in Whangarei says the pupils love their morning milk and it’s giving a good start to the day for those who didn’t eat breakfast.

But she says the surprise has been the immediate impact on lateness.

Mrs Otene says the milk is handed out at 9am, so pupils can sip it while they work on their literacy programme, and those who turn up late miss out.

She says since the milk regime started, children are getting to school on time.

Manai View is one of more than 100 schools in Northland where the free milk is being trialed.

Fonterra Co-operative announced the Fonterra Milk for Schools programme late last year and has since been working with Northland schools and communities to set up the pilot in a way that makes it as easy as possible for schools to participate.

The Co-op will monitor the pilot for the first three terms, with the intention of rolling it out nationwide in 2013, says Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings.

“Our motivation is to get more Kiwis drinking more milk, and this starts with our kids.

“Milk is without a doubt, one of the most nutritious foods there is and as leaders in dairy nutrition, we want to do what we can to make it more accessible to New Zealanders,” says Mr Spierings.

The positive resonse to the trail is not unexpected but improved punctuality is an unexpected bonus.


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