Former Fonterra chair John Wilson has died

January 28, 2019

Fonterra chair John Monaghan has announced the death of former chair, John Wilson:

. . . In July last year, John Wilson announced his intention to step down from the role of Chairman to focus on his health. He then retired from the Co-operative’s Board at its Annual Meeting last November.

In a note to the Co-operative’s farmer-owners earlier today, Fonterra Chairman John Monaghan said Wilson was a man whose dedication and commitment to the Co-operative ran deep.

We owe John and his family a debt of gratitude for all the time, energy and sheer hard graft he gave us as a farmer-owner, inaugural Chairman of the Fonterra Shareholder’s Council on merger, as a Farmer Elected Director from 2003, and as our Chairman from 2012.

John always brought dedication, commitment, and deep dairy knowledge to each of the representation and governance roles in which he served. On behalf of his fellow farmers he was the ultimate advocate for what we stand for.

We have lost a friend, colleague, leader and champion for our industry much too soon. Our thoughts and deep gratitude for all that he contributed go to his family and friends,” said Mr Monaghan.


Word of the day

January 28, 2019

Forelsket – (Norwegian) the euphoria experienced when you first fall in love.


Lamb week 7 day lambathon

January 28, 2019


Rural round-up

January 28, 2019

Change coming as Waikato’s farmers look to lower their emissions – Gerald Piddock:

Shifting to a zero carbon economy will see the biggest upheaval in farming since the end of subsidies in the 1980s.

Waikato’s estimated 9000 farmers are the region’s biggest emitters. As such, it will see some completely change how they farm and others will adopt new technologies as they become available.

For some, there will be merely tweaks for their food production. . . 

Ewe prices rocket :

It was a sale agents predicted where demand driven by industry confidence pushed prices at the Temuka annual two-tooth ewe fair on Wednesday.

“There’s plenty of confidence to buy today, there’s stability in the market and there’s confidence in the red meat industry from both farmers and processors alike,” PGG Wrightson auctioneer Jonty Hyslop said.

“With a good past 12 months following on from some years of drought and industry uncertainty I expect we will see some good confidence that will drive what farmers are prepared to pay and that’s likely to be getting up there,” industry stalwart Peter Walsh said. . . 

New Zealand wool making the difference for innovative Danish carpet manufacturer – Pat Deavoll:

A leading European carpet manufacturer is now using specially blended New Zealand wool in its innovative production process.

Based in Denmark, Ege is a global market leader in the printed carpet sector. It recently came into PGG Wrightson’s Wool Integrity Programme, following collaboration by the two companies to develop a wool blend for Ege’s carpet printing process.

PGG’s head of in-house wool export and marketing, Palle Petersen said printing enables much greater detail to be included in the design of a carpet than traditional manufacture, at far lower cost. . . 

Bovis eradication is still the plan – Annette Scott:

Testing and surveillance of Mycoplasma bovis is in for the long haul as eradication continues to be the priority.

It will continue until there’s absolute certainty of its eradication, Primary Industry Ministry Mycoplasma bovis programme director Geoff Gwyn says.

The ministry’s priorities are identifying, tracing and removing infection while supporting affected farmers.

Gwyn acknowledged 2018 was a big year “with a lot of heavy lifting by farmers”. . . 

Tariffs put squeeze on tomato exports – Barry O’Neil:

An increased focus on exports for New Zealand tomatoes could see the sector double its 2014 value by 2020.

Tomatoes New Zealand represents NZ’s 123 commercial fresh tomato growers who produce about 42,500 tonnes of fresh tomatoes in 120ha of greenhouses.

The fresh tomato industry has an annual farmgate value of $130m, including export sales of over $10m per year. . . 

The Shutdown is holding farmers back from spring planting – Debbie Weingarten:

In Asheville, North Carolina, vegetable farmers Becca Nestler and Steven Beltram are stuck between the impending spring season and the trickle-down effects of the government shutdown. Last week, when I spoke with Nestler — my friend since college — I asked about the farm. “We’re just stuck,” she told me. “We can’t even talk to our loan officer.”

The longest government shutdown in history has rendered many federal agricultural services unavailable, including the thousands of Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices that assist farmers with dozens of programs, such as disaster relief and annual farm operating loans. This is the time of year when Nestler and Beltram should be working with their FSA officer to prepare their annual loan packet — but with the office closed and their officer furloughed (and prohibited from using work cell phones or email to respond to farmers), they’ve had no choice but to wait.

 


Throw lamb at the problem

January 28, 2019


Good in theory but

January 28, 2019

Could a new blue-green party succeed?

It is understood preliminary discussions among interested parties have already been held on creating a party that combines economic and environmental credentials, filling a demand not already taken up by existing political parties.

It is also understood former Green Party leadership contender and one-time National candidate hopeful Vernon Tava is the front-runner to lead the party

This is a good idea in theory.

The Green Party is more red than green, and its radical red policies alienate a lot of people who are very concerned about the environment.

An environmental party that is moderate on social and economic policy could sit in the middle, able to go left or right.

It might also gain support from former Green supporters who are disenchanted with the party’s performance in government, in particular its support of the waka jumping legislation.

If it succeeded it would be in a much more powerful position than the Green Party which time and time again rules out a coalition with National.

But good in theory is a long way from success in practice.

One political commentator said financial backing would not be an issue because the business sector would support the formation of such a party. . . 

Financial backing is important but a party needs much more than that to succeed as the fate of Top, and the Internet and Conservative Parties show. All three had strong financial backing and none made it into parliament.

Suggestions National could throw the new party an electorate will come to nothing.

National doesn’t try to win Epsom in order to help Act but Rodney Hide won Epsom on his own merits.

Asking voters to keep supporting an MP, or a party, they backed without any nods or winks is very different from asking them not to back one they elected in one election in favour of voting for someone else.

Even if the government gets its wish to lower the threshold to allow a party into parliament to 4% of the votes, it would be a very big ask for a new party to get into parliament.

Only one party has done that without a sitting MP – Act in 1996.

The Progressive Green Party also contested the 1996 election. 

It managed to get only 5,288 voters to support it which gave it only 0.26% of the vote.

The environment might be more important to people now than it was then.

But it’s a long way from 0.26% to 5% or even 4%, especially when National and Labour both have a strong focus on the environment anyway.


Quote of the day

January 28, 2019

Love takes up where knowledge leaves off – Thomas Aquinas who was born on this day in 1225.


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