Milking it

By Dairy News

Rain dance

It’s extremely dry in Tasmania’s Southern Midlands and on the east coast, so the timing of the Coal River Producers Association’s 50th anniversary dinner was going to enable farmers to catch up.

Worried faces turned to outright smiles during the night when it started to rain. Not a drizzle, but the first real rain for months.

Our man on the spot said “the sky literally opened up during the dinner, people were ecstatic”.

“One individual, suit and all, went out into the rain to do a jig”.

Now that’s relief!

Money in milk

Clearly there’s money to be made from milk, with Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings paid $8 million last year.

No sooner was the news announced than the NZ Co-op was immediately defending it.

Chairman John Wilson said Spierings hit “far-reaching and demanding targets” set by the board and that his pay was benchmarked using “independent advisors”.

 “Clearly these numbers are high from a New Zealand perspective and we absolutely respect and understand that; but from an Australasian and global perspective we are still well within the bands of what those global executives earn.”

We reckon it’s pretty high from an Australian perspective, too.

Breakfast of champions

Dairy News Australia editor, Stephen Cooke, was thrilled to see his Cats knock off the Swans in an elimination final in the AFL last month, but couldn’t believe it when the roving camera caught star defender Harry Taylor swigging from a litre bottle of milk.

Taylor went on to tell Channel 7 he loves a bottle of milk after each game and that it was important for his recovery.

Taylor was one of the best players on the night, so it was a perfect advertisement for kids and parents watching the game.

Ironically, a Vitasoy advertisement played soon after, saying “we’re growing milk”. Somehow we can’t see professional athletes drinking their plant juice unprompted.

Organic claims hard to swallow

We applaud all methods of farming and innovation in business. Organic farming is a hard and sometimes expensive slog, and organic farmers earn their premiums.

However, we do find claims from some in the organic sector a little hard to swallow.

So we were interested to read recently that ‘going organic can solve our waste problem’.

In a nutshell, the Centre for Organic Research and Education tells us that each Australian generates two tonnes of waste each year but this could be reduced if people bought organic food because organic farmers use compost. (We know a few ‘conventional’ farmers that use compost too.)

No doubt there are good stories to promote in the organic industry, making dubious claims doesn’t help the cause.