Fonterra payout up in Australia


Fonterra announced an increase of 13 cents a kilo of milk solids  for suppliers in Victoria and Tasmania for the 09/10 season on Friday.

The company’s national milk service’s manager Heather Stacy said:

“This increase means that from next week our more than 1,300 suppliers in Victoria and Tasmania will start to receive an additional $15 million in their pockets,” said Ms Stacy.

“We recognise it has been a tough season for dairy farmers. We have been monitoring market conditions closely in order to pass through an improvement in prices as soon as it is responsible to do so.

“In this week’s Fonterra globalDairyTrade, prices for whole milk powder rose for the fourth consecutive month, reinforcing the positive signs of recovery in commodity markets after a year of unprecedented volatility,” said Ms Stacy.

“This has meant we are now in a position to pass on an increase in milk prices to our suppliers.

“We remain determined to reflect any further significant improvement in market conditions in our price later this season. In this regard, the strength of the Australian dollar is a major limitation on the opportunity for farmers to benefit further from improved commodity prices,” said Ms Stacy.

Fonterra has said it will make an announcement about the season’s payout for New Zealand suppliers this week.

That happens if there is to be a change of more than 30 cents and it is a fair bet any change is likely to be positive.

Run like the wind


Why is it weetbix here and weetabix there and which came first?

Don’t worry about the answer, just look at the advertisement:

Hat Tip: Idealog.

Chocolate will get you (almost) anywhere


Our nephew’s wife always takes Cadbury’s chocolate as a gift for her sister when she goes home to Argentina.

She took some over with her in July and her sister said the chocolate wasn’t nearly as good as she remembered.

When our niece-in-law returned to New Zealand she found out that Cadbury had changed its recipe and was using palm oil in place of cocoa butter.

Her sister wasn’t the only one to notice a drop in quality as a result.

Chocolate lovers the length and breadth of the country revolted. Such was the backlash the company admitted it had got it wrong and decided to quit the palm oil and go back to cocoa butter.

I blogged on the change to palm oil, the boost it gave to Whittakers  and the decision to go back to cocoa butter.

Someone from Cadbury must have noticed because last week I got an email from the company asking for my postal address and on Friday a package with five blocks of palm oil-free chocolate arrived in the mail.

With it was a letter which said:

We know we got it wrong when we started putting palm oil in Cadbury Dairy Milk and we’d love your help in spreading the word that cocoa butter is back!

It’s part of Cadbury’s campaign to promote the return to the cocoa-butter only recipe about which you can read more at

I can spot a blatant attempt to chocolate curry favour when it turns up in my mail box.

I know they’re just sweet talking me as a marketing ploy to get me to spread the word.

But I can resist (almost) anything but chocolate.

Linguistic imperialism


When we were in Singapore I bought a book by Dick Francis at the airport.

My proofreading leaves a lot to be desired and I often don’t notice spelling errors if the sentence makes sense. However, I began to notice that although Francis was born in Wales and the story was set in England, the book had US spelling.

Then I came across the word sidewalk and it really grated.

They don’t have sidewalks in England, they have footpaths, as we do here.

Are US readers so insular they require Americanisms in a book where the setting and all the characters are English? Or is the publisher underestimating their intelligence and overestimating their sensitivity?

Apropos of linguistic imperialism, Scrubone has a good joke at Something Should Go Here.

Between the sheeps


AgResearch has found a way to make woollen sheets and pyjamas which won’t itch or shrink.

While it’s not known when woolly sheets will be in the shops, pyjamas might be on sale next year.

They could call the woollen bedclothes sheeps.

That would be certain to get wide publicity across the Tasman because the Aussies wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation for a new line of ovine humour at our expense.

Playing pioneers


Living on Great Mercury Island was as close as I’m likely to get to pioneer life.

We had electricity but for only eight hours a day. The generator went from 7 – 9 in the morning, an hour at lunchtime and from 5 -10 in the evening.

I adjusted to that pretty quickly and loved my time  on the island but wouldn’t like to live without power for long now.

However, I do get a taste of that life again when we go up to our hill block which has only basic accommodation and limited power.

There’s a generator for when we’re shearing but the rest of the time we rely on gas for cooking, solar energy or candles for light and a pot belly stove for heat.

I wouldn’t want to live like that all the time but every now and then it’s fun.

And views like this do compensate for the lack of mod cons:

Glen Coe hp

November 8 in history


On November 8:

1602 The Bodleian Library at Oxford University opened to the public


1656 Edmond Halley, British astronomer and mathematician, was born.

1745 Charles Edward Stuart  invaded England with an army of ~5000.

1793  The French Revolutionary government opens the Louvre to the public as a museum.

1836  Milton Bradley, American game manufacturer, was born.

1847 Bram Stoker, Irish novelist, was born.

1866 Herbert Austin, English automobile pioneer, was born.

 1895 German physicist  Wilhelm Röntgen discoverd the X-ray.

1900  Margaret Mitchell, American author, was born.

1936 New Zealanders Griff Maclaurin and Steve Yates were part of the International Column of anti-fascist volunteers who marched into Madrid, bolstering the city’s defences against the assault of General Franco’s rebel armies.

1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected the 32d President of the United States.

 1939 The New Zealand centennial exhibition opened.

1954  Rickie Lee Jones, American singer, was born.

1960 John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected the 35th President of the United States.

1965 The Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act 1965  was given Royal Assent, formally abolishing the death penalty in the United Kingdom.

1966 Former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke beccame the first African American elected to the United States Senate.

1973 The right ear of John Paul Getty III is delivered to a newspaper with a ransom note, convincing his father to pay $2.9 million.

1987 Remembrance Day Bombing: A Provisional IRA bomb explodes in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland during a ceremony honouring those who had died in wars involving British forces. Twelve people are killed and sixty-three wounded.

1989 Hong Kong‘s MTR Lam Tin Station came into service.

Lam Tin station platform 1
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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