Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Five further thoughts

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  • Chris Waugh,

    Well, this is interesting:

    Tatua, the small Waikato-based dairy co-operative, did well over the 2014/15 dairy season while its far bigger competitor, Fonterra, did not. The reason - powder.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Not to worry, once this Western Russia thing blows over, we’ll be in clover!

    Fixed it for you

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 294 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    What could possibly go wrong....

    dunno but does an amplituhedron have 42 sides?
    Artist’s rendering of the amplituhedron, a newly discovered mathematical object resembling a multifaceted jewel in higher dimensions. Encoded in its volume are the most basic features of reality that can be calculated — the probabilities of outcomes of particle interactions
    Bloody good read.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Tatua also announced today , in a very rare move , that it had enrolled ten new suppliers , all clustered around the factory . Historically Tatua has been a closed shop ; they never took more supply than they wanted.
    It would be interesting to know whether the new supply was deserters from Open Country or from Fonterra. I would pick that it was the latter because a shareholding would have to be purchased in order to become a Tatua supplier : not necessary in order to supply Open Country.

    Still the Tatua payout was a long way from the $16/kg M.S. that good quality Chinese milk can attract.
    And a very long way from the $21/ kg. that a very small yoghurt factory in N.Z pays.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Greg Dawson,

    Remember the huge deteriorating butter mountain that the U.S. would not sell to Russia during the Cold War years?
    Remember how the butter was all sold to N.Z. ; converted to anhydrous milk fat and onsold to Russia?

    They both owe us.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I remember they tried to sell it here, it was the wrong colour and tasted odd - no one would buy it

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Attachment

    I remember they tried to sell it here, it was the wrong colour and tasted odd – no one would buy it

    They tried adulterating it with local product.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I remember they tried to sell it here, it was the wrong colour and tasted odd – no one would buy it

    I remember in my first year in Beijing some American friends gave me this weird lurid radioactive orange coloured stuff and tried to claim is was cheddar cheese. I tasted some (it wasn't long before I'd spent a year in Changsha, so I was quite used to trying weird stuff) and it may have once had something to do with a cow, but it wasn't any kind of cheddar cheese. As much as I love to rant about Fonterra, if I ever want to terrify myself I read about America's food industry.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • krothville, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    read about America's food industry

    If you're interested, the excellent documentary "Food, Inc." is on youtube. Makes me very grateful that most of our meat isn't produced like that.

    Since Sep 2014 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    The overnight Global Dairy Trade auction saw milk powder prices fall again, this time by a further 10 per cent. I'm not sure where that leaves farm gate pricing but it's surely going to drop below $5.

    I'd love to see the guest post by Farmer Green that Russell requested.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1381 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Alfie,

    I've thought a lot about it Alfie and I think that at this stage it would be foolish to stick my head any further above the parapet.
    I'm always mindful of what happened to some friends who set out to do UHT milk into Asia about 30 years ago.
    People travelling to Auckland from Paeroa over the last decades may have wondered at the existence of an empty , but seemingly never-occupied building beside the Waihou River (from memory).
    The NZCDC saw to it that not one drop of milk ever entered that factory.
    Of course today , every man and his dog is putting in UHT factories to service the Asian market . . . but that's O.K. right?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Something similar happened to Tom Kane in Christchurch. He owned Applefields and found a lucrative market in the US which would have seriously increased his income, but the Apple & Pear Marketing Board wouldn't allow him to sell direct. Tom is an obstinate chap and refused to give in -- he ended up leaving apples to rot on the trees in several large orchards. The land they occupied are all housing developments these days.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1381 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Farmer Green,

    I’ve thought a lot about it Alfie and I think that at this stage it would be foolish to stick my head any further above the parapet.

    Damn, that's a shame. I've found what you have to say in this really useful. Let me know if you reconsider.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Damn, that’s a shame. I’ve found what you have to say in this really useful. Let me know if you reconsider.

    +1 I second that Russel

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    That dairy industry story is very interesting, thanks!

    I had a bit of a look around and found a Q&A that the American government agency which sold the butter produced at the time, as you could imagine a lot of people in the US were highly annoyed at what was happening!


    http://digitalcollections.library.cmu.edu/awweb/awarchive?type=file&item=571128

    http://www.nytimes.com/1981/08/07/business/new-zealand-s-plan-reprocess-us-butter.html

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ben Austin,

    I had a bit of a look around and found a Q&A that the American government agency which sold the butter produced at the time

    Thanks Ben, interesting background to a weird episode. I remember spotting the Twin Flags branded butter at Foodtown Grey Lynn and thinking 'How stupid do they reckon we are?' I'm pretty sure I recall reading that a bunch of that ill-advised exercise in dumping was rendered down to butter oil and flogged to the Soviets, who would have ended up with a proportion of NZ product.

    The Dairy Board was also NZ distributor for the Lada vehicles they'd traded for agricultural produce. Later in the 80s they wound up with a big unsold inventory of Lada Samara hatchbacks. Because NZers were by then spoilt for choice with Japanese imports and cheap Hyundais, those badly built Soviet versions of the early 70s VW Golf languished unsold under a buildup of seagull droppings in a holding pen at the Port of Napier.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    buttery power...

    The Dairy Board was also NZ distributor for the Lada vehicles they’d traded for agricultural produce.

    ...the spread of the Larda?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I'm pretty sure that Stolichnaya vodka was part of the deal too, but no Kalashnikovs. Guns for butter would have been a step too far, even by the byzantine standards of those late cold war times.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to krothville,

    If you’re interested, the excellent documentary “Food, Inc.” is on youtube. Makes me very grateful that most of our meat isn’t produced like that.

    And, of course, Fast Food Nation.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Fonterra confirms that Sri Lanka has suspended the sale of Anchor milk powder because it has made children sick.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1381 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Grevers, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    “don’t let this millionaire criminal hijack our election”

    But the election WAS hijacked by a millionaire criminal - if you accept that back in the day JK particiapated in the biggest ever currency raid on the New Zealand Dollar (wiping the odd $billion of the value of NZ companies), that stands as at least morally criminal, even if the law is bent out of shape enough to allow it.

    New Plymouth • Since Jul 2011 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • krothville, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Hyup, indeed. So many things about this world are just sick and wrong.

    Since Sep 2014 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • krothville, in reply to Richard Grevers,

    Yes! Yes! Crazy that it hasn't been brought to light, when he gained the National leadership (or was challenging for it? Memory's a bit dodgy that far back) that would have been the ideal time.

    Since Sep 2014 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    but no Kalashnikovs. Guns for butter would have been a step too far,

    Could that also have been a reluctance to flood an already saturated market?:

    This fully functional AK is one of a small number brought back to NZ by the NZ Army.Solid steel lower receiver with 1966 manufacture date & chinese markings NZ OHMS Number 25 on butt.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to mark taslov,

    Could that also have been a reluctance to flood an already saturated market?:

    I guess if Miss Fisher had happened upon one of these the magazine would have already been emptied.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

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