We asked some of New Zealand’s leading business people about their bravest moment in business. In the sixth story of our series for Spark, Whitestone Cheese CEO Simon Berry.
“Bravest moment? I reckon moving from Vancouver to Oamaru!”
Simon Berry, CEO of Oamaru’s Whitestone Cheese, comes from a long line of Otago farmers.
When the 1980s arrived so did the rural downturn. Noticing the tide was about to turn, Simon’s father Bob made the bold decision to forego beef and sheep for cheese.
“Dad was always good at reading markets,” says Simon. “‘In those days, the only cheese you could find in Kiwi supermarkets was the 1kg block. So my parents would visit their neighbours in Karitane who ran a small business called Evansdale Cheese.”
“Everyone raved about their green, mouldy farmhouse cheese!” . .
Lessons from Australian dairy – Keith Woodford:
Our Australian dairy cousins are currently going through difficult times, particularly for those who supply Murray Goulburn, and to a lesser extent Fonterra. There are lessons to be learned, although there may be alternative perspectives as to the specifics thereof.
Right now, production in Australia has plummeted. It will take a month or two to see how it all settles out, but early season production is down 10 percent. Fonterra’s production is down 22 percent, and Murray Goulburn is in all likelihood down even more. Indeed, there have to be doubts as to whether Murray Goulburn can survive long-term in its current form.
Once the spring-calving cows come on-stream, the figures may look less dramatic, but both Murray Goulburn and Fonterra have clearly lost substantial market share. . .
Vehicle review ‘great’ – Sally Rae:
It’s out with the old and in with the new with vehicles on Landcorp-owned farms.
Keeping people safe was the driver behind a review of vehicle safety by New Zealand’s largest corporate farming operation.
The review established a set few vehicles to be used on the basis of what worked for particular farms and terrain.
It was decided to remove all quad bikes on Landcorp’s dairy farms and reduce the number of quad bikes on livestock farms. . .
New Zealand cattle producers are being cautioned to look beyond the current high-priced environment, with near-record prices unlikely to be sustained in the medium to long term according to a new industry report.
In its latest beef research report, Australian and New Zealand beef industry – looking beyond the price peak, agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank says while New Zealand farmgate prices are expected to remain around current levels in the short-term, they will then come under pressure as global beef production, and indeed total animal protein production, increases.
This will likely see prices ease, albeit to trade in a higher-than average range out to 2020, the report says. . .
The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has joined with US, Australian, European, and Mexican dairy organisations in requesting a WTO dispute settlement proceeding be initiated against Canada if it continues with a planned extension to its dairy trade protections.
A joint letter, sent to Trade Ministers, sets out concerns that a recently concluded agreement between Canadian dairy producers and processors would provide an incentive to substitute Canadian dairy ingredients for imported dairy ingredients and would unfairly subsidise exports of Canadian dairy products. The agreement would provide a guaranteed price for milk used to manufacture ingredient dairy products, including skim milk powder and milk protein concentrate, which is below Canada’s cost of milk production, and which matches the lowest globally traded reference price for these products. .
Life is better on the farm.
This season the luxurious and rare Escorial wool will showcase the first complete collection in both worsted and woollen fabrics, woven in Yorkshire, England by exclusive partners Joshua Ellis and Luxury Fabrics.
Escorial wool, originating from the Spanish Royal flocks of El Escorial, has made a name around the world for producing luxury performance garments for a discerning customer, grown from an exceptional small sheep, grazing in limited numbers in Australia and New Zealand. The Escorial distinction is in the heart of the fibre, performing as a naturally coiled spring. It is this coiled attribute that delivers fluidity in the Escorial fabric making a lightweight garment of crease resistance and comfort.
Founded by New Zealander Peter Radford in 1998, Escorial wool in February this year partnered with renowned Yorkshire textile companies Joshua Ellis and Luxury Fabrics, both who have the heritage and experience to translate the characteristics of Escorial into a luxurious fabric. . .