Lacklustre conversation

February 24, 2016

  FONTERRA’S NEW discussion booklet on revamping its governance is titled ‘Let’s have the Conversation’. But the lacklustre 20-page document will struggle to stimulate farmers, already in favour of a radical change in the board size. After being stunned in November by 54% shareholder support for a leaner board, the co-op’s board and Shareholders Council […]

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Obama nails it!

January 26, 2016

News that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is to be signed in New Zealand early next month, will no doubt fire up outrage, ridiculous claims and pontifications from the usual array of serial protestors, desperate politicians and other economic Luddites. These people seem to throw out all sorts of fantastical claims about the evils of […]

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Farming is never SAFE

January 5, 2016

‘GROSSLY IRRESPONSIBLE’ is how New Zealand’s special agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen has – rightly – described animal rights group SAFE’s placement of an anti-NZ dairy farming advertisement in a British newspaper. As Peterson says, the group has deliberately gone to the UK market and misleadingly said that the actions of these few, rogue dairy […]

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At the crossroads

December 9, 2015

  THE WRITING is on the wall for Fonterra’s chairman John Wilson, his board and management; fed-up farmer shareholders are demanding changes. The co-op’s board and management have again been caught out of step with the owners of the business; it seems the TAF debacle five years ago has been forgotten. Last week nearly 54% […]

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Gutless and boring

December 9, 2015

WINSTON PETERS has been at it again, hiding behind the cloak of Parliamentary privilege to deliver another conspiracy-riddled attack, this time on the directors and farmer shareholders of Silver Fern Farms. Last week Peters took a call in Parliament’s weekly general debate to rant and rave about the SFF/Shanghai Maling deal and made all sorts […]

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Common sense prevails

August 26, 2015

IT APPEARS much of the angst and anger percolating through the farming sector over proposed changes to health and safety regulations may now have eased. The parliamentary transport and industrial relations select committee – charged with reviewing the Health and Safety Reform Bill – has recently reported back and proposed changes, many of which the […]

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Trade deal on the way?

August 25, 2015

IT IS understood that top officials from 12 Pacific nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact are planning to convene in Hawaii at the end of this month for a final push to get agreement – an indication that we may be nearing a deal. The US Congress last month expanded negotiating authority […]

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What’s wrong with simplicity?

August 25, 2015

THE NEWS that Fonterra is to hire international consulting firm McKinsey & Co to see what needs to be changed in the organisation is breathtaking. It seems a lot of people in the co-op are earning a million or more dollars a year, so what don’t such people know and why can’t they fix it […]

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Unbuggering the muddle

August 25, 2015

WORKPLACE RELATIONS Minister Michael Woodhouse recently described the existing workplace safety legislation a ‘bugger’s muddle’. It seems the proposed new legislation isn’t much better, given that it’s been sent back to the transport and industrial relations select committee for “further consideration” – code for “it’s still a bugger’s muddle”. Everywhere farmers are revolting at the […]

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What is going on at Fonterra?

April 8, 2015

FONTERRA’S HALF-YEAR results make unhappy reading to its 10,500 farmers, many struggling with drought and a precariously low payout. The co-op’s much heralded ‘V3’ strategy – volume, value and velocity – is leaving farmers vexed. Last week’s round of farmer meetings were heated, with some threatening to pull milk supply, others questioning the co-op’s ethos. […]

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