(BusinessDesk) – Fitch Ratings has affirmed Fonterra Cooperative Group’s credit rating, saying its dominance in export markets and fully-integrated business model underpin the dairy company.
Fonterra’s long and short term default ratings were affirmed at AA- and F1+ with a stable outlook, and ratings on its senior unsecured notes, subordinated notes and commercial paper were also left untouched at AA-, A+ and F1+, Fitch said in a statement. The rating agency cited Fonterra’s ability to sell its entire annual production despite price volatility and its market dominance as key rating drivers.
“Volumes and prices at GlobalDairyTrade auctions which comprise mainly New Zealand products rose over the last month despite the August colostridium botulinum scare,” Fitch said. “Fonterra does not take a material amount of price risk as it is able to pass this risk on to Fonterra’s farmer supplier/shareholder base.” . . .
The world’s largest milk powder drier at Fonterra’s Darfield site kicked into gear last week producing its first batches of whole milk powder which will be exported to more than 20 markets worldwide including the Middle East, China and Southeast Asia.
Fonterra’s Director Logistics Network, Robert Spurway, said at the peak of the season, the drier will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will produce more than 700 metric tonnes – the equivalent of 45 shipping containers – each day.
“The demand for dairy nutrition around the world, especially for whole milk powder, is still strong. Drier Two will ensure that Fonterra has the capacity to meet this demand and to process ongoing milk growth in Canterbury, the fastest growing dairy region in New Zealand. . .
There’s more to whitebaiting than catching fish – Julia Bradshaw at Waiology:
Unlike the rest of New Zealand, on the West Coast the season for catching whitebait starts on 1 September and the build-up has been noticeable during the last week. Distinctive huts have appeared along the sides of rivers, motor-homes are noticeably more common and there are more strollers than usual along the river-banks. They are keeping an eye out for shoals of whitebait, a sign that the season will be a good one.
Catching whitebait has always been an important part of West Coast life. Tangata whenua had sophisticated and clever ways of catching mata (whitebait), all of which were copied by early Pakeha. Scoop nets, pot nets and trenches (stands) in use today can be easily traced back to the ingenious methods used by Maori. . .
Four candidates are vying for two DairyNZ director positions this year, with the results of the election set to be announced at DairyNZ’s annual meeting in Taranaki on Thursday October 17.
Two directors are retiring by rotation and standing for re-election, along with two other new candidates.
Candidates for the director positions are:
- Alister Body (Ashburton)
- Kevin Ferris (Te Awamutu)
- Barbara Kuriger (New Plymouth)
- Tom Walters (Te Puke) . . .
Port staff taken on inspection duties – Tim Fulton:
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) classes the empty shipping containers at Port Chalmers as either Pacific or rest of the world.
The hygiene of the Pacific containers kept everyone on guard but shipments from elsewhere were generally less risky, border clearance regional manager Andrew Simon said.
There would always be times when port workers wanted to inspect a container so it could be moved somewhere else, and it was often then MPI inspectors were busy elsewhere.
“Sometimes the port companies are screaming out for us to come and inspect these things, over weekends and things, and we don’t have staff operating 24/7 at port sides around the country,” Simon said. . .
Bannockburn vineyard Akarua has won the Bragato Trophy for Champion Wine of Show and three other trophies at the Romeo Bragato Awards in Blenheim.
Apart from the competition’s top award, Akarua Pinot Noir 2011 also won the Mike Wolter Memorial Trophy Champion Pinot Noir and the Sustainability Trophy.
On top of Akarua’s success with Pinot Noir, a recent addition to their portfolio, Akarua Rosé Brut NV, also won the Sparkling Trophy. . .