It’s a great survival story – and it should be used to promote the great health story behind butter

May 1, 2015

The marketing folk at Fonterra should be hellbent on tracking down a fellow by name of Pemba Lama.

The lad was mentioned today in this BBC report:

A 15-year-old boy who was rescued from the rubble of Nepal’s earthquake, has said he survived because he found two containers of butter nearby.

Pemba Lama was pulled free after rescue workers from Nepal and the US worked for hours to release him from the rubble of a collapsed building in Kathmandu.

Butter has been apt to get a bad press over the past several years.

Mrs Grumble found this item on the The Great Butter Debate:

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GE Free Luddites give us a laugh (but not intentionally) by advising Fonterra not to kill babies

August 29, 2014
If grandma must suck eggs, she will be hard-pressed to find inorganic ones.

If grandma must suck eggs, where must she go to find inorganic ones?

What a glorious example of teaching your grandma to suck eggs.

They will be free-range, no doubt, and “organic” for good measure.

GE Free New Zealand, a bunch of latter-day Luddite agitators, has told Fonterra it must ensure food safety with its infant formula exports into China.

It must do what?

Ensure its infant formula doesn’t kill the customers?

Are they for real?

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When botching the cleaning job sparks a botulism scare … is the reaction really excessive?

August 7, 2013

Let’s see if Alf has a proper grasp on this one.

Somebody was sloppy in the pipe-cleaning department at a Fonterra processing plant in Waikato.

A whey product made at the plant and in turn used as an ingredient by many of Fonterra’s customers has been contaminated with something that can cause botulism.

The Centers for Disease Control in the USA describes botulism as a rare but sometimes fatal paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin.

NZ’s Ministry for Primary Industries today said it still can’t rule out the possibility of babies being made ill by consuming contaminated infant formula.

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We can see why breast is best when warnings are being sounded about suspect whey

August 3, 2013

Dunno if anyone has drawn the connection between a quality fuss at Fonterra and campaigns to promote babes being nurtured by nuzzling their mums.

But it’s Breastfeeding Week, a time when the do-gooders are out beating their breasts – ahem – about mother’s milk being best for their sprogs.

And so help us, Fonterra has announced today that some of its products used in infant formula and sports drinks may contain a bacteria that causes botulism.

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Bill English has been talking – very quietly – with iwi leaders about the state assets they should buy

August 19, 2011

Bill English in secret talks with Maori leaders?

It looks like this may be so.

A constituent in a state of high dudgeon contacted the member for Eketahuna North this morning to demand a halt to asset sales, whether partly or otherwise.

Obviously this bugger upright citizen with a contrary viewpoint is a socialist. How he has been allowed to settle in Alf’s part of our community is a mystery.

Anyway, what got him going was something he heard on Radio NZ (and if Radio NZ is going to get Alf’s constituents in a state of high dudgeon, the response should be to add it to the list of state assets to be privatised).

What the constituent heard had something to do with a bunch of iwi leaders getting together to pool their money (and they have a fair wallop of the stuff, despite the impression of poverty given by health, education, housing and and crime statistics).

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It could be worse – at least the Chinese invaders will let us keep buying whisky

April 16, 2011

Neither of these ladies is Mrs Grumble, because she wears gumboots.

Dunno if this means Alf has gotta learn Mandarin and how to eat with chopsticks.

But it seems the Chinese have invaded Eketahuna.

They have done this – sneaky buggers – while our Navy was away exercising with the Americans somewhere in the Pacific.

And they have done it by taking control of premises at 37 Main Street Eketahuna.

Alf is suggesting to constituents they dial (06) 375 8125 to see who answers. And in what language.

That’s the address and phone number for the PGG Wrightson shop where Alf goes to buy gumboots and stuff needed by Mrs Grumble in the garden. Farmers, of course, go there for their agricultural purchases.

The Chinese takeover was announced yesterday.

Chinese agricultural companies have taken control of New Zealand rural services company PGG Wrightson. The bid vehicle Agria (Singapore) Pte yesterday disclosed it had a 50.52 per cent holding.

Agria (Singapore) is jointly owned, directly or indirectly, by Beijing-based Agria Corp and New Hope, which is one of China’s largest agricultural and food corporations.

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Just when you think we are over the recessionary hump, bloody camels threaten our dairy industry

July 11, 2010

The big threat to Fonterra – and the milk-dependent New Zealand economy – could be coming not from Chinese investment in New Zealand dairy farms, but from the Middle East.

Alf sounds this warning on learning that health-conscious shoppers in Britain could soon be buying camel’s milk.

According to the Telegraph, a Middle East firm is seeking permission to sell the product in Britain for the first time.

Camel milk is already consumed in the Middle East, parts of Africa and India.

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Give the OIC rubber stamp to a chimp but first let’s take a harder look at the buyup of the Crafar farms

March 26, 2010

Alf is bound to agree with the xenophobic Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa on this occasion.

Cafca regards Federated Farmers as “unbelievably naive” in its reaction to news of a mysterious Chinese company hoping to spend a few billion on dairy farms.

Fair enough.

The feds described the wheeling and dealing in dairy farms as an “unintended consequence” of the NZ/China Free Trade Agreement. ”


Pull the other one, says Cafca.

There’s nothing unintended about this consequence, this is how “free” trade agreements are supposed to work. They all come with embedded investment agreements which protect the rights of investors from the countries which are party to the Agreement, and those foreign investors’ rights are backed up by the force of legal sanction.

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Nah, you don’t have to plead with Nick Smith to ignore a public clamour

January 28, 2010

They must be a sheltered breed, your South Canterbury farmers.

Alf makes this supposition on the strength of a Radio NZ report today that such a farmer is warning Environment Minister Nick Smith not to be swayed by public opinion on applications for large-scale dairy farms in the Upper Waitaki region.

Why should he be worried that a politician might be influenced by public opinion?

Sure, we pollies pore through the newspapers and keep tabs on what people are saying on TV and the radio. And we spend heaps of money on polls to keep tabs on the public mood, and when we have measured it, we blissfully ignore it.

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Dairy prices rise – but so does the bloody dollar

August 5, 2009

Alf’s dairy farming readers will be cheered by news that prices have risen in Fonterra’s latest online global milk powder auction.

Values have been slipping since May but Tuesday night’s auction posted an increase of 24.98%.

The current price of $US2301 per tonne compares with $US1841 month.

It is however still less than half the value of $US4750 achieved at auction in March last year.

Ele at Homepaddock, as usual, was quickly on to this news and has a bit more to say on the matter with a post headed Phew – milk auction price up 25.8% (which is slightly at odds with the Radio NZ number).

She has a graph, too, for those who like to see how this thing is tracking.

For good measure (but a bit more sobering) she gives a pointer to Bernard Hickey’s observation that the rise in the value of the dollar will cancel out some of the gains from the better auction price.