Rural round-up

Kiwi battler rides again – Sally Rae:

It would be fair to say Linda Barnes is a battler.   

Wild horses, or, in her case, a brain haemorrhage five months      ago, would not stop her from notching up her 20th Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust cavalcade . . .

Keith Cooper quits Beef + Lamb – Rebecca Harper:

Silver Fern Farms chief executive Keith Cooper has resigned as director from the board of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, sticking the knife in by questioning the need for industry good organisations.

With the upcoming director elections, Cooper said it was time to consider whether there was a better way of doing things.

But B+L NZ chairman Mike Petersen called his comments an “outrageous attack” on an organisation that was voted in by farmers, saying farmers should be the ones making the call on whether it existed or not. . .

Apropos of that:

Cooper’s sudden resignation from Beef & Lamb not so surprising – Allan Barber:

Silver Fern Farms CEO Keith Cooper’s decision to resign his directorship of Beef & Lamb New Zealand has obviously come out of the blue, if Chairman Mike Petersen’s reaction is anything to go by. But it seems Cooper has been questioning the relationship between processors and the farmer elected body, particularly since its call for the reintroduction of the national carcase classification scheme, although there are signs that he also objects to projects subsidised by B&LNZ competing with SFF’s investment in the FarmIQ Primary Growth Partnership programme. . .

A2 more than triples 1H Net profit as sales jump 56%:

 A2 Corporation, the NZAX-listed alternative milk company, said first-half net profit more than tripled, boosted by a legal settlement, as sales jumped 56 percent.

Net profit rose to $3.1 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, including a $1.1 million settlement of a legal dispute with a former Korean licensee, compared with $900,000 in the same six months of 2010, it said in a statement.

Sales rose to $30.1 million from $19.3 million with the vast majority of revenue in Australia where the company said it now has 4.7 percent of fresh milk in the grocery category.

Chairman Cliff Cook said the company’s results were very pleasing in the face of price discounting of fresh milk in Australia.

“While the Australian supermarket chains are going head-to-head in discounting standard milk, a2 brand sales have continued to accelerate with no change in our pricing,” Cook said.

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