Rural round-up

April 25, 2015

Industry-Leading Orchardists Win Supreme in 2015 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Matamata horticulturists Frans and Tineke de Jong, their son Talbert de Jong and his partner Emily Meese are Supreme winners of the 2015 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA).

At a special BFEA ceremony on April 23, the de Jong’s family-run business, Southern Belle Orchard, also collected the Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, the Massey University Innovation Award, the WaterForce Integrated Management Award and the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award. . .

Disappearance of bees a mystery:

Bee scientists have been left baffled by the disappearance of thousands of honey bees from hives last spring, and say unless it happens again, it remains a mystery as to what caused it.

Plant and Food research bee scientist Mark Goodwin said last October a number of bee keepers from around the country began reporting strange symptoms occurring in their hives.

He said bees usually rebuilt their colonies in spring after winter, however, large numbers of bees were disappearing from hives in the Coromandel, Raglan and Wairarapa areas.

“So instead of having a queen and a lot of brood – that’s larvae and pupa – and about 30 or 40,000 bees, when the bee keeper came back a few weeks later … suddenly there were no bees there at all, there was a queen and about a hand full of bees and everybody else had gone. And we saw that in whole apiaries and between apiaries and then we were getting reports from beekeepers elsewhere in the North Island that were noticing very similar things.” . .

What Mondayising means on-farm – John Brosnan:

You’ve probably seen this advertised.

You might remember the law was changed in 2013 to allow Anzac day and Waitangi day to be moved to a Monday if they fall on a weekend.

This year’s Anzac day will be the first affected – but what does Mondayising really mean for you as a rural employer?

In reality for most farm staff – not much.

Why? Well here’s what the law states re this …

DairyNZ sessions help farmers assess cash flow – Sally Rae:

Another round of farmer events is under way nationally to give dairy farmers a ”wake-up call” to assess their cash-flow situation, given the low milk price forecasts.

DairyNZ, which is behind the Tactics for Tight Times campaign, has analysed what it is like for the average farmer in every dairying region and it is ”not looking pretty”, chief executive Tim Mackle says.

While 2015-16 would probably still end up being a break-even year for most farmers, he said cash flow would be a major issue that could result in some increased term debt in the sector and less spending in the regions. . .

New Zealand’s Best Eggs awarded last night:

Three of New Zealand’s most well known companies: Fonterra, Deloitte and The Warehouse were last night crowned “Good Business Eggs” in recognition of their work in the community sector. Whilst these companies might be better known for the scale of their business activities, they also demonstrate significant commitments to their various community initiatives.

The event hosted by CQ Hotels Wellington, one of last years winners was packed with business and community leaders anxious to see who had won the annual award. . .

Fonterra management appointments:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today announced changes to the roles and responsibilities of two members of the Fonterra Management Team.

Jacqueline Chow, who is currently Managing Director Global Brands and Nutrition, is stepping into the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer Velocity, effective 1 June 2015 – where she will work alongside the management team to accelerate performance across the Co-operative.

Chief Executive Theo Spierings today said: “In her new role, Jacqueline will lead the next stage in Fonterra’s evolution, working across the entire Co-operative to push forward the Velocity part of our V3 strategy and deliver the best possible performance.” . .

Hooroo to Oz Made brand? – Andrew Miller and Laura Griffin:

ADOPTION of the ‘True Aussie’ brand for all agricultural produce would be “a little perplexing”, says Australian Made campaign marketing manager Ben Lazzaro.

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) plan to build standards for MLA’s True Aussie brand – developed last year for red meat – which can then be applied to all Australian agricultural products in domestic and global markets.

While the existing government-backed Australian Made label covers a broad range of products including electronics, furniture and clothing as well as food, True Aussie would be “all about agriculture”, an NFF spokeswoman said. . .




Does this apply to politics too?

April 12, 2013

The Warehouse is toning down its use of red.

Warehouse Group chief executive Mark Powell is toning down the use of red in the retailer’s iconic Red Sheds as part of efforts to give shoppers a better experience and shake the cheap and nasty image.“

Red is a very aggressive colour,” Powell told reporters in Wellington.  The company is aiming to be “discount and contemporary, not cheap and nasty,” he said . . .

Aggressive, cheap and nasty, not contemporary – does this apply to the use of red in politics too?

Where everyone gets bargain milk

August 11, 2011

The warehouse is selling two 2 litre bottles of milk for $6.50 when one 2 litre bottle cost $3.68 on average.

The Warehouse CEO, Mark Powell, says, “The company remains dedicated to reducing the cost of essentials for New Zealand families, and that means keeping the cost of milk down.

“Milk is a basic living cost for families and last week’s ‘bundle deal’ – two 2ltr bottles of milk and two loaves of bread for $9 – is part of our on-going commitment to delivering exceptional value to our customers.”

This can’t be having much of an affect on supermarkets’ market share yet or they’d be dropping their prices too.

Supermarkets in Australia are having price wars over milk and it’s the customers who benefit.

How many customers will the Warehouse have to woo before supermarkets here are forced to drop their prices too?

In case you were wondering . . .

April 12, 2009

. . . I did stick to my pledge  to resist hot cross buns and Easter eggs until Easter.

In fact, I was a day late with the buns, not eating one until yesterday.

As for the eggs, I’ve bought a few to share with friends who are coming for lunch but I”ll be looking at them very carefully after reading about the woman who found creepy crawlies  when she bit into an Easter egg.

Cadbury’s, which made the offending confection, says it’s taking the infestation very seriously and my experience is that they do.

A few years ago my daughter found what she thought was plastic in an Easter agg and sent it back to Cadburys. They replied immediately with a letter thanking her and a week or two later with the results of their tests which determined it wasn’t plastic but sugar and other normal ingredients which hadn’t dissolved properly.

That’s how any question of contamination should be treated, but as Macdoctor points out here  and here  not every company takes it as seriously.

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