Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The humanity

189 Responses

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Farmer Green,

    I think that by now , the environmental and social effects are pretty damned obvious.

    Not if folk keep their heads neck deep in that depleted soil...

    seed no evil
    herd no evil
    spike no evil

    ends up with heirless apes...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Someone yesterday described the Fonterra announcement as "Key's rockstar economy is busy trashing its hotel room in a drug fueled haze"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Never underestimate the power of denial.

    She's a big river.

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

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    busy trashing its hotel room in a drug fueled haze”

    Nah , it's just having an acute episode . The problem is chronic , and it was there before Fonterra was formed .

    In fact the poor sustainability of the two big co-operatives , NZCDC and Kiwi Co-op was the stated reason for forming Fonterra .
    It was just a piece of thuggery (the TUI Co-op farmers voted against it) that the more sustainable dairy co-op, TUI Dairy Co , which was in a better position to pursue added-value, had to be sacrificed to allow the two big boys to head off down their chosen dead-end road.

    But ultimately it still comes back to the fact that the price paid to farmers for milk should be different in every month of the year , thus reflecting its true value.

    The NZ Town Milk Industry, which had three price periods , and the ability to alter price on a monthly basis to reflect supply/demand conditions, was the closest that we ever got in this country.

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

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Farmer Green,

    I don’t have anything to add, but I just wanted to say – despite the fact that we often vehemently disagree, as a life-long townie I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge of how NZ’s primary industry works.

    ETA: and doesn't work :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 294 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

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

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Farmer Green,

    A sedimental journey...

    Denial... She’s a big river.

    Longest in the world!
    And it only comes from either 'White' or 'Blue' options
    as I understand it...

    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Not The Messiah, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Farmer Green perhaps you can assist me on a few points. You certainly seem to know your stuff when it comes to all areas of farming. I don’t, but my thoughts kinda parallel some of your comments.
    My wife and I lived for a number of years in the Middle East.
    We could buy imported ( not NZ ) fresh milk for roughly NZ$3.50. OK not NZ milk but imported and fresh ( I am getting at the Free Market here ). We could however buy Anchor cheese and Butter cheaper there than than we do back here. I can’t give an exact $ conversion but they were cheaper.
    NZ export quality beef and lamb was also cheaper compared to what we pay back here.
    In fact this applies across the board as we could probably do our weekly supermarket shopping for somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 the price we do here. Almost all food is imported – it is desert there and not much grows without considerable expense in indoor cooled buildings ( they are starting to do this ).
    I know of many kiwis who live OS and when coming home to visit invariably say how expensive food is here.
    Again an indication ( fact ?) that the free trade international market system doesn’t work for us, but, rather against us.
    I believe we are being totally ripped off and lied to ( once again ), although the Govt. would tell us Oh no no no..( and not just the incumbent lot ).
    I also think that the price we pay in NZ should be set ( regulated ) at a rate that is advantageous to NZ’ers. All surplus ( which we probably have already ) could then be sold at whatever the market ( international ) says these products are worth and dictates.
    We could even perhaps increase production to offset above although there are serious environmental and other factors here.
    This may well kill off farming and agriculture as we know it now. The transition would perhaps have to be Govt. assisted ( subsidised ) until the new way is established and functioning. They do this already – Solid Energy has just had a nice pre election birthday present/ bail out. It is just dressed up as something else.
    I know am I am trying to simplify incredibly complex areas so I am on the back foot from the start. Probably almost sinking in that big river.
    Your thoughts on ( or some of ) the above would be appreciated.
    Thanks

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Not The Messiah,

    So, last we have GST. That's +15% on top of everything else.

    Next we have a duopoly with the supermarkets. A cute term that describes when monopoly power is allowed to both of them. They like their profits. For instance, you pay them for shelf space, position priority, time on the shelf, pay them for unsold goods they threw out, all sales come off what you get rather than the supermarket's take and you get no say in sales. There's an extensive system of kickbacks ontop of that. If anyone complains, they get blackballed.

    A lot of small producers end up with nothing. Many farmers have had to scrap crops because the supermarket decided to screw them with zero notice. Everyone pays for that eventually, if nothing else by driving down supply.


    Big companies get a bit crazy with transport sometimes. Our supermarkets drive stuff for thousand kilometre round trips on the way to the shelves. Fonterra is rumoured to do worse things with it's milk when storage gets tight, which all costs a big bunch of money.


    All our milk is "natural" in that it's turned into powder to be reformulated before being reconstituted as milk with various additives, that in itself is not cheap, but every step is another chance for profit. There's also storage and so on, you can buy it all year at the same price but it's only produced for 7 months.

    Then there's the internal gaming at Fonterra, where the international auction gets one slice of profit, but local sales get another by passing through a subsidiary from there. That's just an immediate 7% or so on the base price locally. I recall them defending that by saying it was only a small part of their sales, so they "obviously weren't doing it for profit". Uh, yes they are.

    Competing local companies can charge just as much as Fonterra. They're generally too small to do much about prices either way, so may as well take the money.

    Plus, people are paying ludicrous sums for their dairy farms, a great deal of which ends up in Australia as bank profits. Someone has to pay for that.


    In general, our markets are completely messed up. Monopolies everywhere, all doing very crazy things with the goods, typical destructive practices around price gouging and secrecy, and a bunch of fake sales and carefully obfuscated pricing systems make it all very hard to see where the immense profits are going. Hint: to the monopolies.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to tussock,

    Well done tussock. I've been closely associated with retail for about 25 years, and you nailed it.
    But you missed one . . . I , as the wholesaler , am not paid by the supermarkets for "unsold" goods for which they claim (unsubstantiated and unverified ) a credit, on the basis of "damage" - i.e. a staff member "dumped " it. Automatically deducted from my remittance . . . no questions.
    So I build that into the price as well.

    An item that I could sell you, in say a pack of ten, with a shelf -life of 4 weeks, for a price/unit of $4.50 delivered , will cost you about $7 - $8 /unit in your friendly supermarket.

    On the milk . . . there are still a small number of farmers doing winter milk for the fresh market. They do get a small premium.

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

  • krothville, in reply to tussock,

    All our milk is "natural" in that it's turned into powder to be reformulated before being reconstituted as milk with various additives, that in itself is not cheap, but every step is another chance for profit.

    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but are you saying that the liquid milk in the supermarket chillers has actually been reconstituted from powdered milk?

    Since Sep 2014 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • Not The Messiah, in reply to tussock,

    Thank you Tussock. You have now almost put me off milk with all the reconstituted business ( something I have always wondered about, but like many delightful voters recently, have put my fingers firmly in my ears and hummed loudly ). I really like the stuff. It makes my life saving cups of tea so wonderful. And I like it with my lovely wife's sublime home made Muesli - I could easily change to Yoghurt which I love too, but now I wonder what the hell do they do to yoghurt. Bugger me.
    A heap of detail there which some I was aware of and some not. I guess we are on the same page in that we know the system is completely f...ed and not in anyone's interest that matters - Ours.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison,

    Milk is our money. It’s so important to our nation.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Just got the Weekend Herald from the Box – front page picture is David Cunnliffe at the local beach on his cellphone – with the blurb – “Exclusive, candid images that highlight the desolation of David Cunnliffe" – To me he looks more chilled and resigned to things than anything else – cancelling my Herald Sub though – can’t abide this BS attitude, the reporting and stalking.

    “Issues” don’t have to be resolved to meet News Media Deadlines – they can be worked out over a matter of days or weeks – setting things right takes time and concentrated effort.

    Anyone leading Labour would have not have won the election with the current policy settings – That the Labour vote didn’t evaporate further has something with Cunnliffe being strong in the debates.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    The winner on the day was Dirty Politics, not the book but the machine.
    The facts revealed by Hager were far too big for the collective tiny mind but the effects were palpable.
    I doubt if Labour could have one with Jesus as their leader promising love and justice for all and a pony for riding after a free lunch.
    And that Sir/Madame is the rub.
    Anyone that understands propaganda will know this. Keep it short, keep it memorable, keep it simple, say it often, say it through many mouths, hence explaining is losing.
    Dotcom could well have won if he had actually read Mein Kampf and not just had it as a collectors item.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    Milk is our money

    The Land of Milk and Money
    hmmm that has a ring to it...
    can we expect an exodus?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Dreads and patched denim shirt singing:
    'Exodus
    reconstituted powder for the people
    yeah...'

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Is it the dawning of the Age of Aquariums? #threadconflation

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to nzlemming,

    Is it the dawning of the Age of Aquariums?

    Right ...Tiny Tim's ancient global warming anthem.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to krothville,

    I'm pretty sure it hasn't. If they did that, it would taste like powdered milk mixed with water, not to mention having been through a lot of expensive and unnecessary processing. As Farmer Green says, there are farms that supply town milk through the winter.

    But I'd recommend Zany Zeus, which is use by most cafes around here.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • krothville, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Cheers for that. I did think I had misread.

    Since Sep 2014 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to nzlemming,

    Hair apparent…

    …the dawning of the Age of Aquariums

    Tanks for that!

    and when that dries up will it be followed by the Age of Fish Pieces?

    I can see why a Zodiac would be useful, just for getting around on all that water, and fishing and stuff….

    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    , it would taste like powdered milk mixed with water,

    You are correct Rich. Under the old Milk Regs. this was known as toned milk. It manifests today as Trim or Low Fat.

    But there are still low fat milks that are not toned with powder etc.

    Ecofarm Low Fat milk would be an example. It still tastes like milk.

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

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Farmer Green,

    the udders whey…*

    It still tastes like milk

    I presume someone is using that slogan to good effect…**

    Back in the ‘60s, when the A&P Show was in Addington,
    if ya got up early one could bike from Sydenham
    and get a billy filled with fresh milk direct from source,
    I don’t think I’ve ever tasted ’milk’ quite like that again…

    …those were the days
    he said listeriacally!


    *a cheap pun that just oh, curd…
    or a subtle segue to a glimpse of a Kiwi classic?

    …all will be revealed on the 7th of May!


    **I'll check out one of those pouches you offer, though
    I think Piko stocks them

    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • krothville, in reply to Farmer Green,

    You are correct Rich. Under the old Milk Regs. this was known as toned milk. It manifests today as Trim or Low Fat.

    But there are still low fat milks that are not toned with powder etc.

    Ecofarm Low Fat milk would be an example. It still tastes like milk.

    Thanks for the extra clarification. So "full fat" milk is fresh milk, with no powder added?

    Since Sep 2014 • 73 posts Report Reply

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