Word of the day

December 14, 2012

Paladin – any of the twelve peers of Charlemagne’s court, of whom the count palatine was the chief; a knight renowned for heroism and chivalry; an advocate, champion, strong supporter or defender of a cause.


Rural round-up

December 14, 2012

Food and beverage stars for NZ to hitch its wagon to – report – sticK:

There’s not that many reports you can sit down and study and go – uumm, interesting.

But Auckland-based Coriolis has done it (again), and their ‘Investors guide to emerging growth opportunities in NZ food and beverage exports’ is, and I don’t say this lightly, quite fascinating.

The company has deliberately taken its methodology and report-back from a (potential) investor’s point of view.

The simple objective was to find the next ‘wine’ – such as that fledgling industry existed 25 years ago.
Over 500 food & beverage items, based on export trade codes, were screened down to 25 candidates for stage II in-depth investigation. . . .

Strong Finish To Spring Selling Season:

Summary

Farm sales increase 9.8 per cent compared to October
Median $/ha price rose 11.9 percent compared to November 2011
After noticeable period of absence first farm buyers active in Waikato and Taranaki
Lifestyle property sales lift 24% compared to November 2011

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 25 more farm sales (+9.8%) for the three months ended November 2012 than for the three months ended October 2012. Overall, there were 281 farm sales in the three months to end of November 2012, compared with 315 farm sales in the three months to November 2011, a decrease of 34 sales (-10.8%). 1,417 farms were sold in the year to November 2012, 23.4% more than were sold in the year to November 2011. . .

Cheese first made at least 7,500 years ago – Maria Cheng:

Little Miss Muffet could have been separating her curds and whey 7,500 years ago, according to a new study that finds the earliest solid evidence of cheese-making.

Scientists performed a chemical analysis on fragments from 34 pottery sieves discovered in Poland to determine their purpose. Until now, experts weren’t sure whether such sieves were used to make cheese, beer or honey.

Though there is no definitive test for cheese, Richard Evershed at the University of Bristol and colleagues found large amounts of fatty milk residue on the pottery shards compared to cooking or storage pots from the same sites. That suggests the sieves were specifically used to separate fat-rich curds from liquid whey in soured milk in a crude cheese-making process. . .

Debt is good under some circumstances – Allan Barber:

After my column last week about meat industry debt levels, Keith Cooper, CEO of Silver Fern Farms, took me to task for incorrectly reporting the situation with Silver Fern Farms’ debt facility.

I stated that these expired in September 2012 and therefore the company was operating on a temporary extension. The correct position was that the debt facility was originally negotiated for two years from September 2010 and consequently due to expire in September 2012. This remained the position at balance date in September 2011. However in the 2012 annual report, the facility was stated as expiring on 31 December 2012. . . .

Farmgate raw milk sales to continue:

Farm gate sales of raw milk will continue and the amount that can be purchased is likely to increase, Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson said today.

Farmers will also be exempt from the current requirement to have a costly Risk Management Programme for farm gate sales of raw milk and will instead need to adhere to certain animal health and hygiene requirements.

“The current Food Act allows people to buy only up to five litres of raw milk at the farm gate to drink themselves or give to their family,” Ms Wilkinson says.

Consultation carried out by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on possible changes to rules for raw drinking milk sales attracted nearly 1700 submissions. . .

ANZCO embarks on group-wide energy management programme:

One of New Zealand’s largest exporters is set to save more than $2 million a year and enhance its global reputation as a sustainable producer through a company-wide energy management programme.

EECA Business today announced it would support the initiative over two years to help ANZCO generate long-term energy savings in its New Zealand plants.

With annual sales of NZ $1.25 billion, ANZCO Foods Ltd processes and markets New Zealand beef and lamb products around the world. The firm employs over 3,000 staff world-wide and has 11 meat processing plants in New Zealand. . .

Feedback sought about regulation of dairy herd improvement

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is looking for feedback on the rules surrounding the New Zealand dairy herd improvement industry.

The New Zealand dairy industry has been a world leader in herd improvement, and its ability to trace the performance of the national herd – through the dairy core database – has been central to that success.

Studies have shown that genetic gains through dairy herd improvement have accounted for about two thirds of the sector’s productivity over the last decade. . . .


Friday’s answers

December 14, 2012

Thursday’s questions were here.

As I write this (several hours before you’ll read it – when you’re doing that I’ll be at the National Party Southern Region’s lunch with the Prime Minister) Andrei’s question had got three different answers, if none were right you’ve won an electronic Christmas cake.

PDM – the answer to your question is not yet.


If this was the last week . . .

December 14, 2012

If the Mayans were right all those hundreds of years ago, the world will end next Friday.

Or, given that they probably didn’t know that New Zealand existed nor about time differences around the planet, it might be next Saturday here which will be Friday where they came from.

Whichever it is, the Mayans probably weren’t the first to predict the end of the world, nor have they been the last.

So far they’ve all been wrong. But if this was the last week for the world – what would you do with it?

 


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.


NZ to lead methane emissions research

December 14, 2012

New Zealand is to join the Climate and Clean Air Coalition a new initiative focussed on climate pollutants such as black carbon, and greenhouse gases including HFCs and methane that have potent but short-lived effects on climate, human health and agriculture productivity.

Climate Change Issue Minister Tim Groser says:

“This new group is not a substitute for action on the real climate change problem, carbon dioxide, which remains in the atmosphere for around a hundred years,” says Mr Groser. “But moving quickly to reduce emissions from short lived climate pollutants is part of a coherent strategy to tackle the challenge of climate change.

“The Coalition is focussed on reducing methane emissions from industry which complements work that New Zealand is leading in reducing methane emissions from agriculture. We have been asked to lead an agriculture initiative in the CCAC that will add to our work in the highly successful Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases initiated by New Zealand in 2009.”

Mr Groser says that international action on climate change requires effort on multiple fronts. Work that the CCAC is doing, along with work in the Major Economies Forum, the Global Research Alliance, and the reform or fossil fuel subsidies that New Zealand is coordinating will add value to global agreements negotiated under the UNFCCC.

“New Zealand is active internationally on all these fronts. These efforts demonstrate on-going action on climate mitigation during the transition period to the post-2020 global climate agreement that will be negotiated by 2015.

“We have a long-term and coherent strategy in place and we are on track to deliver what most New Zealanders have voted for – a balanced approach to climate change, playing our part while avoiding imposing excess costs on households and businesses while the Government focuses on jobs and strengthening our recovery,” Mr Groser says.

The CCAC is a United States initiative and the invitation to lead it recognises New Zealand’s strength in agriculture and agricultural research.

Most of our emissions are from livestock so it makes sense to put more effort into research in that area which could not only reduce emissions but increase agricultural productivity.


December 14 in history

December 14, 2012

1287 St. Lucia’s flood: The Zuider Zee sea wall in the Netherlands collapsed, killing more than 50,000 people.

1503 Nostradamus, French astrologer, was born (d. 1566).

1542 Princess Mary Stuart became Queen Mary I of Scotland.

1751 The Theresian Military Academy was founded as the first Military Academy in the world.

1782  The Montgolfier brothers’ first balloon lifts on its first test flight.

1843 The first Auckland A&P Show was held.

First Auckland A and P Show

1895  King George VI was born (d. 1952).

1896 The Glasgow Underground Railway was opened by the Glasgow District Subway Company.

1900  Max Planck presented a theoretical derivation of his black-body radiation law.

1902 The Commercial Pacific Cable Company laid the first Pacific telegraph cable, from Ocean Beach, San Francisco to Honolulu, Hawaii.

1903 The Wright Brothers made their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1911  Roald Amundsen‘s team, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting and Amundsen, became the first to reach the South Pole.

1918 Friedrich Karl von Hessen, a German prince elected by the Parliament of Finland to become King Väinö I, renounces the Finnish throne.

1922 Don Hewitt, American creator of 60 Minutes, was born (d. 2009).

1932  Charlie Rich, American musician, was born (d. 1995).

1946 Patty Duke, American actress, was born.

1948  Kim Beazley, Australian politician, was born.

1949 Cliff Williams, English bassist (AC/DC), was born.

1951 – Lindsay Perigo, New Zealand broadcaster, first leader of Libertarianz Party, was born.

1958  The 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition became the first expedition to reach The Pole of Relative Inaccessibility in the Antarctic.

1958   Scottish singer-songwriter Mike Scott, (The Waterboys), was born.

1958 Spider Stacy, English musician (The Pogues), was born.

1960 – Ian Meckiff of Australia was run out by the West Indies, causing the first Tied Test in the history of cricket.

1962  NASA‘s Mariner 2 became the first spacecraft to fly by Venus.

1963 – Baldwin Hills Reservoir wall burst, killing five people and damaging hundreds of homes in Los Angeles.

1964  Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States – The United States Supreme Court rules that the U.S. Congress can use its Commerce Clause power to fight discrimination.

1972 Apollo programme: Eugene Cernan was the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt completed the third and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) of Apollo 17. This was the last manned mission to the moon of the 20th century.

1981  Israel‘s Knesset passes The Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli law to the area of the Golan Heights.

1994 Construction began on the Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze River.

2004 The Millau viaduct, the highest bridge in the world, near Millau, France was officially opened.

2008 President George W. Bush made his fourth and final (planned) trip to Iraq as president and almost got struck by two shoes thrown at him by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi during a farewell conference in Baghdad.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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