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Price of milk your fault

Written By: - Date published: 6:16 pm, September 15th, 2011 - 198 comments
Categories: capitalism, farming, food - Tags: , ,

I thought we were paying “international prices” for milk, but perhaps not. In a move today that just lost them the public relations war forever…

Consumers at fault for high milk prices – Fed Farmers

New Zealand consumers are at fault for the high price of milk because they have not “utilised their power to shop around”, Federated Farmers told the select committee conducting the parliamentary inquiry into the price of milk today.

Federated Farmers dairy chairperson Willy Leferink says the “inquiry is not necessary” and is “quite confident the price is set right”.

“Are New Zealanders paying too much for milk? We don’t think so,” he says, “consumers have not utilised their power to shop around”.

Well I’m glad we got that all sorted out then.

198 comments on “Price of milk your fault”

  1. r0b 1

    Just want to clarify that I’m in no way “anti farmer”.  I’ve spent my whole life camping annually on farm land, I grew up with the local farming families, I’m forever in their debt.  Salt of the earth one and all.

    But – Fed Farmers – seriously – what were you thinking? 

    • Scott 1.1

      Yeah, how does one shop around in a monopoly?

      • Bill 1.1.1

        “Yeah, how does one shop around in a monopoly?”

        With a bags of futility.

        • Rusty Shackleford 1.1.1.1

          There is about a 80c difference in price between the brands for a 2L bottle of milk.

          Where is the monopoly? There are at least 5 brands of milk.

          If you mean Fonterra, you are wrong. They are a monopsony (single buyer), not a monopoly (single seller).

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1

            Nice one, Rusty. So really, the only milk consumer in the country is Fonterra? 
             
            How’s the milk market in Somalia? I hear they’re distributing it for free…

            • Rusty Shackleford 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Fonterra doesn’t consume milk.

              blah, blah, blah North Korea.

              • McFlock

                step by step, bucko – fonterra BUYS the milk, and is the only purchaser. Then what does Fonterra DO with the milk?

                Fonterra then SELLS the milk. And because it bought ALL the milk, it pretty much has a monopoly in the NZ market (or at least dictatorially controlling market share). 
                  
                 
                Are you seriously incapable of assessing so little information that you reckoned fonterra bought the milk, with no concept of what it did with it afterwards? Or were you just throwing definitions out there in pretence of an approaching-average IQ?

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  They don’t buy all the milk. As insider pointed out there are a few other small players. Also there is nothing stopping another firm from opening (I don’t think) in order to buy milk from farmers to then flick on to the distributors. In the distribution of milk, there is no monopoly.

                  • davidc

                    They dont buy any of the milk because they already own it.
                    Farmers own the milk and also own Fonterra.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Sounds like a cartel to me. It won’t persist if farmers find they can get a better deal by selling to other firms. The only way a cartel can persist in the long term is if it is legislated for by the govt

                    • lprent []

                      You should look more closely at cartels. You are referring to one of the two types – the government licensed one. They always fall within a generation when they outlive their economic utility (usually in building a infrastructure) in democracies. In other forms of states usually a rebellion or revolution induces change.

                      The other type is more dangerous, it forms during new technology introductions or merging of dominant players in an industry. The thing that sustains them is efficiencies of scale, especially in capital costs, ability to take losses to drive out competitors, and the ability to simply buy competitors. Usually the only way to break up that type of cartel once it has formed is through usually through regulation/legislation – the exact opposite of your theoretical and rather naively impracticable ideas.

                      Very very ocassionally through the last coupleof thousand years you will see a cartel get broken up by changes in technology if the people running the cartel get too stupid.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Hi lprent. Can you please give a specific example of the first kind?

                      I had a big write up for you on the second kind but deleted it because I realised it better referred to quasi-monopolies like Apple, Google and Standard Oil. In that A. They weren’t really monopolies and B. provided amazing utility for people.
                      Instead, again I’d like to ask for an example.

                    • lprent []

                      I don’t have a lot of time or energy at present. So I will give you the best example I know of in the last thousand years of a cartel colluded between state and private industry.

                      Whenever I think of the first type of cartel I usually think of the chartered companies that were used to extract profit from trade routes. Probably the most extreme example was the Dutch East Indies Company which had probably the longest record I have ever seen for that type of government mandated organisation.

                      Whilst they were originally setup as a direct government mandated monopoly for the Dutch. After the original monopoly expired there were a number of other ventures set up as competition but in the Dutch and amongst other competitors. However a combination of political pressure, outright political bribery, some judicious ‘piracy’ by privateeers, and some classic monopolistic practices kept their opposition to a minimum for a very long period.

                      While their structure in theory was very like a modern listed company (at least for that period of history), internally it acted more like a cartel between moderately and nominally friendly competitors. Shareholder groups would provide vessels that would not only carry the companies freight, but also their own private freight as well (reading the shipping account differences between the DEI accounts and the dutch customs are pretty illuminating).

                      Anyway, it was probably one of the most interesting cartels in history. Extremely good for looking at the leverages between state power and the ‘private’. It was also the model that most companies tried to leverage their way into over the following centuries.

                      Offhand I cannot think of another government based cartel on a similar scale against the economies of the time. The Spanish in the 16th and 17th century while pulling in a much higher revenue were largely directly crown based enterprises using extractive techniques. The various cartels that Colbert and his successors set up in France from the late 17th century (and arguably led to revolutions a century later) were individually smaller.

                      There are much larger ones these days, but less against the economies they are embedded in.

                  • McFlock

                    So if they don’t buy all the milk, why bring up “monopsony”?
                    Oh, it must be on page 3 of the RWNJ handbook: derail a conversation by obsessing over definitions that turn out to be irrelevant anyway – when the real conversation is about the  facts on the ground: New Zealanders are charged too much for milk they need to buy, and the dairy farmer response is “ooo then don’t pay so much”.
                     
                     
                    Milk is a basic staple that we are being overcharged for. You RWNJs can wank about definitions all you want, but that’s a fact. Farmers don’t have to pay their way for the pollution they cause, but we get fucked for every ml of milk we buy.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Let’s say they buy 90% of the milk. If one company SOLD 90% the milk to customers (which no one does) then you would be claiming they are a monopoly. I’m just saying that on your terms they are a monopsony, not a monopoly.

                      “Milk is a basic staple that we are being overcharged for.”
                      In what way? Plenty of people do just fine consuming other beverage and food stuffs. Personally I prefer cream. Milk spikes my blood sugar too much. What would be a fair price for milk?

                      “Farmers don’t have to pay their way for the pollution they cause,… ”
                      I agree with this. It sucks when property rights aren’t clearly defined.

                    • McFlock

                      On my terms? I replied to YOU. If Fonterra buy all the milk and aren’t the end user, but on-sell it to other people, then from that point in the market they are a monopoly. And the greater the market share, the closer they approach your inapplicable-to-the-real-world tight definition of “monopoly” or “monopsony”.
                        
                      And if, after reading the article and comments here, you are genuinely asking “in what way” we are being overcharged for milk, you’re a moron. If you’re being disngenuous, you’re just a fucking troll and all the platitudes you’ve previously made about wanting honest debate were lies.
                       
                      Credibility is a scarce resource, and you’ve used all yours up.
                        
                       

                    • What do you mean by “overcharged?” The price label said $3.50 but you were actually charged $3.70? If so, take it to the small claims court if they won’t refund you. However, if you mean by it that there’s some absolute value of milk based on your personal assessment of what you would prefer to pay for it, and shops are charging more than that, well, gee, that’s too bad. On that basis, I’m getting overcharged for beer and petrol every week.

          • insider 1.1.1.1.2

            They are not even a monopsony. There are independent co-ops with their own suppliers – Tatua and Westland the most prominent. That said, smallish market share for them

            • Rusty Shackleford 1.1.1.1.2.1

              One large supplier and a couple of small market share competitors is usually enough for the left to start jumping up and down about “monopolies” (and the phony right as well).

              • McFlock

                that’s because the condition you describe usually fucks the “market” so badly as to be, in practise, no different in result.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  Depends. Probably true in the case of Fonterra (I don’t know what the legislative provisions behind the company are, seems like a cartel to me, the govt aren’t going to allow that without their say so).

                  If it is a voluntary state of affairs with no coercion from the state or the company, it will be beneficial for all concerned. As in the case of Standard Oil (I find it to be unlikely in the case of Fonterra).

                  • McFlock

                    rerun. Thought you might have been off preparing new material, but I guess not

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      The truth doesn’t stop being true. No matter how many times you scream “SOMALIA!!!!!!” or “RWNJ!!!!!!!” at the top of your lungs.

                    • McFlock

                      You never address the truth.
                       
                      Maybe one day you’ll want to stop derailing threads with pedantry, and then take a look at the real world (of which Somalia is a part without state interference, and by your assertion was better off for it. The fact pretty much the rest of the planet is much better off than Somalia obviouslyy still does not compute). In the real world, not your theoretical randian wankaradise, the availability of milk or healthcare isn’t a banal intellectual exercise. For many of us, it’s a real fucking issue. Dick.

    • They were probably thinking that if someone is stupid enough to pay a shitload extra for the same Fonterra milk because it’s packaged as a brand rather than as budget plain-label stuff, more fool them. The average price of milk means jack shit, it’s the minimum price that you’re paying, or yes you’ve only yourself to blame.

  2. Fermionic Interference 2

    What I find difficult to come to terms with is, NZ milk and derived products, at times being cheaper in the UK than in NZ. So somehow it costs less to transport a product halfway round the world than just down the road??

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      That seems to happen quite a bit with NZ produced food – it’s cheaper to buy it thousands of kilometres away than it is to buy it just down the road.

    • Jimmy 2.2

      Its no mystery, the UK Government subsidises the milk products for the UK consumer, you cant make a direct comparison.

      • stever 2.2.1

        Really??/ The UK govt subsidies NZ milk for UK consumers??? Really??? Why would they???

        • Jimmy 2.2.1.1

          Ok maybe I didnt make myself clear, they subsidise Uk milk for the UK consumer, thats why UK milk appears cheaper than NZ milk sold in NZ.
          Liquid NZ milk is not available for sale in the UK.

          • rosy 2.2.1.1.1

            They subsidise the dairy industry, not the consumer. Not the same thing at all,. I’m not sure that it means lower prices for consumers, or richer dairy companies and overproduction.

            • Herodotus 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Was fortunate to be able to shop in Scotland recently. 2l of milk on sale for 0.86p normal price was 1.70-1.80 pounds. Even if they (Tescos in Oban) were selling it as a lost leader , I ask when if ever did a supermarket use milk as a lost leader ?
              As a side issue – we could not find anything that was more expensive in Scotland or London supermarkets than what we pay in NZ (sure I accept 1:2 exchange rate helps). Could even buy Oyster Bay Sav B 2010 on sale for less than 7 pounds normal price around 11pounds, and for a wine snob Ata Rangi pinot 2009 for less than 40 pounds in Peebles ( a wee wee village 25 miles outside Edinburgh) ps Drink Responsibly !!!

          • millsy 2.2.1.1.2

            Perhaps you should e-mail Maggie and ask her why she forgot to to address that…

          • Rich 2.2.1.1.3

            Isn’t available anywhere AFAIK. Fresh whole milk isn’t a transportable commodity, which is why Fonterra make lots of powder, yoghurt, UHT and the like.

            I believe that most UK farm production goes for domestic whole milk consumption, while a small percentage of NZ milk is used in this way. Also, you can get yummy premium organic milk from single herds (sometimes farm bottled) in the UK, but there’s pretty much none of that here.

  3. I saw them on TV3. I immediately realised that it was entirely my fault, that I had been a naught boy, took myself down to the woodshed for a severe disciplining.
    At least Sue Bradford hadn’t outlawed self-abuse. (and it’s not the sort that make you go blind!)
     
    What a bunch of tossers! They didn’t say, “It’s not us Gov'” and point the finger at the two supermarket owners who are really gouging on milk prices.
    The Farm Worker Union had no problem pointing the finger at the supermarkets.
     
    Which suggests that the Fed Farmers are in cosy a relationship with the supermarkets and didn’t want to offend them.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Irrationality of the Free-Market

    A decision made on less than full information is an irrational decision and this is the mode as most people just don’t have access to the full information which, of course, results in the market being irrational.

    Shopping around to find the best deal has a cost and it’s entirely possible that a lot of people just can’t afford that cost. Or, as I’ve put it before, for the free-market to work everyone needs to be omniscient.

    • Jimmy 4.1

      The cost of shopping around is minimal, let your fingers do the walking.

      • Luxated 4.1.1

        Lets see, I could go to a Foodstuffs supermarket or a Progressive one, at both places I’ll have a choice between buying Fonterra milk or more Fonterra milk with a couple of smaller produces thrown in if you’re lucky. Just where are you supposed to go when the milk is produced by a monopoly and is distributed by a duopoly?

        • Jimmy 4.1.1.1

          Their is a big differance in the price of 2L milk depending on were you purchase it from!

          • Rusty Shackleford 4.1.1.1.1

            In a free market people (don’t have easy access to) perfect information. Under what system DO people have easy access to perfect info?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        And if they don’t have a phone? Or perhaps they just don’t realise that the vege shop (which may not be in the phone book) also sells milk. Or they just don’t have time to go anywhere else when shopping. Or…

        The lack of knowledge about the market cause the market to be irrational.

        • Vicky32 4.1.2.1

          And if they don’t have a phone? Or perhaps they just don’t realise that the vege shop (which may not be in the phone book) also sells milk. Or they just don’t have time to go anywhere else when shopping. Or…

          Or they have to walk or bus everywhere, and carry everything they buy as I do). That pretty much limits where I can shop…

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    They should shop around for carbon credits.

  6. drx 6

    Any one going to Aussie soon? Could I get you to pick up some milk for me?

  7. Rodel 7

    Only one way to lower the price. Don’t drink the stuff!
    We’re the only animal that eats another creature’s milky fluids and it’s not good for you anyway—- contributes to obesity etc. Wish cheese was cheaper though.

    • Jimmy 7.1

      We are the only animal huh, best you tell that to the birds, pigs, dogs, hedgehogs, rats, mice and cats that hang around the dairy shed waiting for the spilt milk.

    • …and it’s not good for you anyway—-

      Well, scientists reckon the genes for lactose tolerance spread so quickly because it provided such an enormous evolutionary advantage over the non-lactose tolerant. But what would they know?

      • burt 7.2.1

        The evolutionary impact of that would have been miniscule had there been supermarkets and fast food outlets around at that time.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.2

        Well, scientists reckon the genes for lactose tolerance spread so quickly because it provided such an enormous evolutionary advantage over the non-lactose tolerant.

        In other words, people and their kids died off early because of dairy products and lactose intolerance, and were never able to successfully reproduce?

        Sounds like great food.

        • Carol 7.2.2.1

          so, what? Those of us born with a touch of lactose intolerance are some sort of Neanderthal throw-back? There’s still quite a lot of lactose intolerance around today.

        • Psycho Milt 7.2.2.2

          In other words, people and their kids died off early because of dairy products and lactose intolerance, and were never able to successfully reproduce?

          No, people who could digest a readily-available and very nutritious food source were better able to survive than people who couldn’t digest it. Natural selection isn’t actually that hard a concept to grasp if you make the attempt.

          Those of us born with a touch of lactose intolerance are some sort of Neanderthal throw-back?

          Alleles are agnostic about whether they make you a better person or not. As burt points out, the survival advantage conveyed by lactose tolerance is pretty much non-existant in the developed world now – I mentioned its evolutionary advantage in earlier times only as an example of why it’s ridiculous to claim milk is not a good food.

  8. tc 8

    Ah rodel…..cheese is made from same milk, just in case you didn’t know.

  9. randal 9

    farmers are their own cost accountants so they view the world a certain way most of the time. However too much 245t and other shit has done something to them over the last 40 years. They seem to have lost connection with other people and a few points on the bell curve too.

  10. tc 10

    The whole things a farce anyway, makes the govt look like they care and Fonterra’s has a monopoly and it’s always whining about having to supply to smaller concerns at regulated prices.

    Want cheap milk don’t buy in supermarkets, use Fonterra’s other brands sold through gas stations at much better prices. At least you’ll cut out the duopoly’s margins that way….thanks again rebstock.

    • Jimmy 10.1

      Yes Fonterra do whine about having to supply smaller concerns, thats because the smaller concerns are generally overseas owned, they pick up New Zealand milk for cost without having their own farmer supply base and export it for profit, no win for NZ at all.

      • insider 10.1.1

        No they pay Fonterra farm gate price plus 10c/kgms. Westland and TAtua are local co-ops. Any non NZ processors are relatively small.

  11. Bill 11

    Can the chart showing the drop off in international milk prices immediately after Fontera froze the price of milk in NZ (’cause they’re so altruistic), maybe be re-posted with regards to this?

  12. “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    NZ the land of milk and honey. Yeah right!

    NZ the land that borrows a $billion$ a month so big government can play the fool.

    NZ is one very sick land, just look at child abuse stats and Helen Clark’s new corrupt UN communist role.

    NZ is a thicko land of tit pullers.

    [lprent: the auto moderation identified your comment as potential spam or trolling. Perhaps you should reread it to find out why a dumb machine would think that? ]

    • mik e 12.1

      Now borrowing bill the double dipping dipstick from dipton is at it again , borowing another $2billion to pay farmers carbon taxes . That brings Govt debt up to $76 billion in 2014 .Borrow and hope light at the end of the tunnel last person leaving Nz turn out the lights because the power is to dear.Key is Muldoon in drag watch world cup cat walk.

    • Rich 12.2

      The auto-moderation is pretty much onto it. Yay for dumb machines.

  13. vto 13

    How is it that they can charge the highest price in the world for their milk but we cannot charge the highest price in the world for our labour?

    • burt 13.1

      You can charge whatever price you like for your Labour – just find 4m people prepared to pay that price and you have the same situation as milk. I’m sorry that Fonterra is a better negotiator than you but that’s the way it is.

      • vto 13.1.1

        You’re a fool burt. There is nothing like the “same situation” as with milk and that is the entire point.

        I will accept your dimwit proposition when that same milk is also limited to 4m people in NZ.

        ha ha ha – lets see what the price of milk would become if it was all limited to sale within NZ.

        Think fool think.

        • burt 13.1.1.1

          Oh I get it… Milk has a retail price and people continue to pay it – but that’s very different than a labour cost because…. You hopeless socialists – you think you have some divine right to tell other people what they can buy and sell stuff for and how much profit they should make.

          If you don’t like the price of milk – don’t buy it. If tomatoes were $300/kg I guess you wouldn’t think growing your own was a better idea than buying them – you would just want regulation to make them affordable for you. Grow up !

          • vto 13.1.1.1.1

            Foolishness confirmed.

            You go on about a level paying field free market mechanism being in operation and that should be sufficient etc. But, as I have pointed out here in this thread and you have studiously ignored, there aint no such level paying field free market.

            Fonterra can sell its goods across the world. We cannot sell our labour across the world.

            That is the fundamental flaw. Go and dwell on that and its implications, and perhaps do some brain growing up yourself.

            • burt 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Right, I get it. It’s very different because when you walk into a shop and see milk there is a person pointing a gun at your head making you pay the price it is being sold for. Hell here was me thinking you could walk out of the shop without buying milk.

              • vto

                Okay, so keep ignoring my point about the complete lack of comparable so-called level paying fields and free markets, even though that is the base on which Fonterra and you rest your flawed argument, and instead keep pushing your own barrow about not having to buy a staple.

                On your wee point – milk is a staple of our community’s diet, like bread and a couple of other things. Staples, just like electricity, imo sit outside the generally accepted bounds of free market activity. Or should. It aint like choosing to buy a tv burt. Can you see the difference?

                Anymore useless one-liners? Or maybe an answer to my particular point above ?

                • burt

                  You can own a goat and milk that ? Some people even milk sheep… Oh no that’s not an option is it – you want milk to be set a price that ‘sounds OK’ to you because them nasty farmers earn too much and it’s not fair when you can’t get paid the price for your own labour that you think you are worth.

                  • vto

                    You sound like one of those kids with their hands over their ears yelling “not listening, not listening, not listening”.

                    You and Fonterra claim comparable free markets and level paying fields, as justification for the price setting mechanism. But they don’t exist. Your argument is flawed.

                    I’m going. Gonna go buy a cow and stick it in the hallway. Ffs.

                    • burt

                      You have a hallway – nice. Some people live in places too small to have a hallway – should the govt provide them a bigger house as well ?

                    • vto

                      What are you on burt?

                      In case you hadn’t noticed the setting of the milk price is already by way of government intervention, set up at the time of the Fonterra cooperative (i.e. socialist) being formed.

                      Got anymore useless one-liners? Wake up fool.

                    • burt

                      That’s right – the glorious one-size-fits-all model that is the cornerstone of socialism – it fails. Tell me again how the socialist way is the best and try not to shoot yourself in the foot explaining at the same time why milk prices are too high.

                    • vto

                      I would have thought you would consider that Fonterra was not a failure. i.e. the socialist cooperative model.

                      You clearly don’t know much at all about what you ramble on about.

                    • burt

                      vto

                      My opinion of Fonterra is irrelevant to the price of milk.

                    • vto

                      burt, you have been unable to provide a decent answer to anything in this. You merely throw one-liners of no relevance to the particular issue.

                      Regarding your opinion of Fonterra being of no relevance – you asked a question about socialist means which I answered by way of example being Fonterra. And now you claim it is of no relevance? Irt is you burt who are of no relevance. What a waste of space.

                    • burt

                      vto

                      I would have thought you would consider that Fonterra was not a failure.

                      What I consider of them is irrelevant to the price of milk. It really is.

                      However, Fonterra is in no way a failure for the shareholders. It’s a failure for the consumers. It’s a monopoly – of course it’s a failure for consumers.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s a monopoly – of course it’s a failure for consumers.

                      Wrong imo.

                      Capitalist monopolies are failures for the country, not just consumers.

                      And a country which is led in a way to leave things to the market is also going to suffer serious failures. Because the ‘market’ is going to do what is good for it (and specific groups of players within that market), not what is good for the country.

            • burt 13.1.1.1.1.2

              vto

              Fonterra can sell its goods across the world. We cannot sell our labour across the world.

              I’m sorry to hear that it’s impossible for you to work anywhere else but NZ.

              • vto

                Smart-arse dick replies burt. You know the point I am making.

              • burt

                Yes, you can’t charge the price you want for your labour and that’s not fair when Fonterra get to charge the price they do for milk. I do understand that.

  14. Jimmy 14

    They dont charge the highest price in the world for their milk!

    • Jimmy you keep popping up and down like a Don Nicholson.

      Can you explain to me why NZ is the most efficient milk producers in the world yet our milk is cheaper to buy overseas than here? 

      • Jimmy 14.1.1

        Yeah I am having a bit of fun, Glad Don Nicholsons gone though, and thats the myth, milk is not cheaper overseas than here, in some countrys their are reasons milk appears cheaper than here, such as goverment subsidisation and in Australias case, loss leading by supermarkets.

        • vto 14.1.1.1

          jimmy you answered as if the word “can” was “does”. Do try again

          • Jimmy 14.1.1.1.1

            Condesention noted.

            • vto 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Pull it out jimmy. What’s your answer to my question? Third time lucky..

              • Jimmy

                Sorry whats the question? you want me to tell me why you cant charge the highest price for your labour, and fonterra can charge the international price for milk?

                • vto

                  Within NZ, yes.

                  no. 4 coming up

                  • Jimmy

                    Supply and Demand.

                    • vto

                      Wrong. Well, maybe 3 out of 10. You highlight one of the problems in a minor and probably unintended way.

                      The supply and demand arrangements for each are completely and utterly unequal and have no similarities. Yet that is one of the base arguments that Fonterra rests its case on – that it is international market supply and demand which it should be entitled to rely on in setting its domestic price. That is not the measure that should be used – we cannot afford to pay international prices and one of the reasons for that is that we are not allowed to sell our labour at international prices (where as Fonterra can and does). That is the unfairness.

                      among others

                    • clandestino

                      actually having lived in a few countries I can vouch for the fact NZ milk tastes horrible as in reconstituting they water the bejaysus out of it.

                      don’t drink anchor in malaysia, terrible stuff

                    • vto

                      mmm, glass of milk and sleep sounds mighty good right now.

                      ‘Tis the problem though.. international price setting for a base commodity in a domestic setting.

                    • Jimmy you have this really frustrating Winston Peters type ability to answer a slightly different question and then jump up and down like a jumpy up and down thing and preening yourself at the smartness of your answer.

                      OK answer me this.

                      Kiwis pay huge amounts to maintain pristine roads to dairy farms, to repair the damage caused to our environment by these dairy farms and to market our country perhaps misleadingly as clean and green so that our dairy farms can sell their product for a premium.

                      Do you think that locals should be cut a bit of slack?  After all milk 30 years ago was less than 1% of its current price. 

                    • clandestino

                      vto i really don’t think you want to sell your labour at the ‘international price’. the majority of the world’s workers are most definitely not as privileged as us (which is not saying we shouldn’t be fighting for higher wages here, the anti-total free trader i am)

                  • clandestino

                    hmmm, vto…isn’t what he is saying essentially correct though? Other countries receive bulk milk powder and reconstitute it I would hazard a guess watered down like an american beer all while loss leading the shit out of it (they compete against locally subsidised stuff), while we get fresh milk at the full cost (of production and that which can be got on the international market).

                    the question is subsidy, either the government does it or the retailers should be through competition, but as has been said the duopoly don’t work that way, they probably never loss lead milk unless it’s about to curdle.

                    government could subsidise i suppose, but i dont drink much milk so i’m a bit on the fence on that one

        • rosy 14.1.1.2

          Just paid 0.89 euros ($NZ1.50) for a litre of low-fat, added calcium milk in a local Viennese grocery – not known for it’s low prices – I’m not sure anymore how that compares with NZ prices.

          • freedom 14.1.1.2.1

            less expensive over at yours rosy, , locally on the shelves I have seen $1.80- $2.25 lt

            • clandestino 14.1.1.2.1.1

              isn’t ‘low fat’ just a euphemism for ‘more water’?

              plus, you have to remember the effect of the common agricultural policy on dairy prices in Europe, brussels probably went halves with you on the purchase.

              • rosy

                The reason I mentioned the type is because it is more expensive than standard milk. No other reason. I’m also not sure that EU policy has an effect on retail prices. It certainly does on farm prices, but that’s not the same thing. There is some criticism that the subsidies end up mostly in the hands of dairy corporation (the most obvious example is Nestle) not the small farmer or consumer. But I haven’t got a clue if that’s the case.

                Oxfam have a good overview of the problems with dairy subsidies here [pdf] I can’t see much about distorting retail prices within the EU.

                The direct beneficiaries of EU dairy subsidies are processing and trading companies, not farmers. These companies receive more than one billion euros each year from European taxpayers in export subsidies alone. Yet it is impossible to obtain a breakdown of which companies receive what subsidies – highlighting the lack of transparency in how taxpayers’ money is spent through the CAP subsidy system. For example, the UK Rural Payments Agency told Oxfam that it is unable to disclose which companies receive dairy subsidies because this information is ‘commercially sensitive’. The receipients include such companies as Nestlé and Arla Foods, and we urge greater transparency about the level of subsidies paid to these companies.

                Anyway, I was just interested to see if it was cheaper, seeing the discussion on this thread was about whether NZ had relatively cheap milk.

              • rosy

                isn’t ‘low fat’ just a euphemism for ‘more water’?

                low fat is fat removed, not added water

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  But if you have 100ml of regular and 100ml of low fat, what has the fat been replaced with? Air?

                  • McFlock

                    Because fat is the only solid in milk?

                  • rosy

                    It’s just separated, nothing is added (unless you have extra calcium, which gives it a bulkier feel in your mouth)

                    “what has the fat been replaced with? Air?”

                    Is this the sort of logic that comes about from never having seen a bottle of milk with the cream sitting on top instead of being homogenised?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It’s the type of logic that comes with being a RWNJ.

                    • McFlock

                      OH! Maybe dehydrated milk is all he’s ever seen, living in the Somali Randian paradise? He just thought the powder was fat, so making it low-fat is just a case of watering it down.
                      He also thinks the Fonterra logo is a big red cross.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “SOMALIA!!!!!!” “AYN RAND!!!!!!”. Why don’t you find something more original to carp on about?

                      Rosy, can you truly explain what is wrong with my logic, other than shouting “RWNJ!!!!!” or some such? If I’m so wrong, it should be easy. If you have a litre of milk, with the cream, if you take the cream away the bottle of milk is smaller in terms of mass. What replaced the fat?

                    • McFlock

                      You see, every time I feel tempted to believe that you genuinely understand or accept the concept of “logic”, I find it useful to remember the previous logical victories you have achieved.
                      I must confess, your line “Infant mortality improved in Somalia under a stateless system.” still makes me chuckle at it’s consummate stupidity.
                      The math on relative concentrations is pretty obvious – if you remove the 4% fat from milk that’s 87% water, then the remaining solution is ~9.5% solution of the protein and carbs that were 9% of the initial volume. Which you would know if you weren’t in character as a moron.

                    • rosy

                      Nothing replaces the fat, it’s simply separated – before it’s packaged, so there is just more low-fat milk and the cream is used elsewhere.

                      So if you start with e.g. 1.1 litres of full-fat milk, you end up with say (I don’t know the volumes) 1 litre of low-fat milk to be homogenised, pasteurised and packaged, and 100 ml of cream to be used elsewhere.

                      Enlarge this diagram to see the relationship between raw milk, low-fat milk and cream.

                      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ad/Milkproducts.svg

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “Infant mortality improved in Somalia under a stateless system.”
                      If you can find something factually wrong with the statement, be my guest. You could accuse me of confusing correlation with causation, but there is nothing factually wrong with it.

                      Even at 87%, milk is still mostly water. That it outweighs the other components by such an amount, I feel comfortable saying that milk is just water. If I was only 13% wrong in everything I said, I would be happy enough.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Rosy, why didn’t you just point that out in the first place instead of being a fucking prick about it?

                    • rosy

                      I’ve been doing a bit or reading about Somalia as well – it appears that the northern area is run by a government that is trying to get recognised as a separate country – Somaliland – separate from Somalia.
                      http://www.somalilandgov.com/
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somaliland

                      I’d hazard a guess that all the infant mortality rate improvements are here.

                    • rosy

                      “Rosy, why didn’t you just point that out in the first place instead of being a fucking prick about it?”
                      What!!!!! I did!!. All I’ve done in the 2nd comment is expand on the first. That’ll be the last time I’ll bother.

                    • McFlock

                      Rusty, if you can add anything new to the Somalia thread I linked to, feel free.
                      I really like the way you get incredibly anal over definitions of monopolies vs monopsonies that cannot be 0.00001% less than 100%, yet if it’s 87% water it’s near enough to water.
                      Water is milk is beer is cocacola is a solution of weedkiller. No problems there.
                       
                      And were you really blaming Rosy because you were talking bullshit?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “I’d hazard a guess that all the infant mortality rate improvements are here.”

                      Dunno, could be true. Would be interesting to find out. It’s is interesting to note that the attempt to impose a govt on Somalia has lead to a marked decline in the quality of life of Somalians.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, despite the lack of evidence for your suggestion, it’s still nothing new.

                      [edit] oh, that was rusty commenting to Rosy – missed that clicking directly from the comments box. Must be tired. Off to bed shortly,methinks

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      As far as farmers are concerned, Fonterra is a monopsony, for the vast majority of them. I’ll bet you believe Standard Oil was a monopoly despite it being less so than the case of Fonterra.

                      I even conceded their were other firms who process milk.

                      As for Rosy, I was trying to draw her out in order to point out that she shouldn’t act like a prick just because that is the prevailing mode of behavior on this blog.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I gave evidence in that thread.

                    • McFlock

                      So the price of milk for NZ consumers is relevant to Fonterra being a monopsony for farmers (as opposed to monopoly for consumers) how?
                        
                       

                    • rosy

                      It’s is interesting to note that the attempt to impose a govt on Somalia has lead to a marked decline in the quality of life of Somalians.
                      Except in the Somaliland bit that imposed it’s own government and democratic structures on itself, didn’t fall into anarchy and strife, and which is why it has unofficially seceded.

                      btw
                      As for Rosy, I was trying to draw her out in order to point out that she shouldn’t act like a prick just because that is the prevailing mode of behavior on this blog.
                      At no time in that little exchange was I trying to act like a prick. Read it again.

    • Lanthanide 14.2

      Since you seem to know, if they don’t, who does?

      Or if you don’t know who charges the “highest”, you must know at least one company/country that charges higher. So who is it?

      • Jimmy 14.2.1

        To much effort right now to find out, however in the western countrys NZ was in the bottom quarter for milk price.

  15. vto 15

    How is it that they can charge the highest price that they can possibly get in the world for their milk but we cannot charge the highest price that we can possibly get in the world for our labour?

    • Don’t know how things are now, but when I was at school this is a question that anyone who’d studied year 10 economics could answer without a second thought.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        they taught you about crony cartel capitalism at highschool? :shock:

        • McFlock 15.1.1.1

          Decile 10 private school :)

        • Psycho Milt 15.1.1.2

          There’s something hilarious about the outrage with which left-wingers tend to view Fonterra, given that it’s a farmers’ co-op. You love the idea of workers owning the means of production until some of them actually do it, at which point you start calling it “crony cartel capitalism.”

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.2.1

            I actually think that Fonterra is an excellent example for the Left to follow.

            To make Fonterra an even wider co-op, I suggest that dairy workers (on farms and in factories) are also allowed to become shareholders.

            Good idea eh?

            I’m glad you seem to realise that corporate money has always acted in socialist and co-operative ways – for their own wealthy communities that is, not for the rest of society.

            • Psycho Milt 15.1.1.2.1.1

              Actually, you’re describing “people” and “people” there, not “corporate money” (farmers? really?) and “wealthy communities.” There’s no reason a co-operative should act other than in the interests of its members.

              • Colonial Viper

                There’s no reason a co-operative should act other than in the interests of its members.

                And that’s exactly how co-operatives like the international banking terrorists think.

                I mean, its not like we all live in the same society is it?

                PS Fonterra is corporate money, it is one of the largest for profit enterprises in the entire country, one which just happens to have farmers has the large shareholders.

                • It’s exactly how people think. If a union didn’t put its members’ interests ahead of non-members there’d be no point whatsoever in creating one. Same goes for pretty much any co-operative venture – in fact it’s pretty much the definition of a co-operative.

                  Still, I’d be interested in how far you think society should go in setting prices – for instance, if some businesses are struggling to make ends meet and finding it difficult to pay their workforces, should the govt step in to stop these workers “overcharging” for their labour and enforce a lower pay rate?

    • clandestino 15.2

      wage arbitrage

  16. Ari 16

    While this is absolute and utter bull excrement, at least it might have the side-effect of making people think about giving up milk.

  17. kriswgtn 17

    Well as the Dairy Workers Union said on news this morning
    yep the price is to too high

    who would you believe
    really no question is there

    Fed farmers???? hhahaha

    All those fuk s cud come out with was

    Consumers can shop around

    NO we subsidize you wankers-
    Time for a days boycott unless you’re feeding babies and kids

    the rest boycott for a day
    lets see if they like the power of the consumer since no one else inc consumer affairs are interested

    • insider 17.1

      The price is too high?

      So how mch should it be and what do you base that on?

      • kriswgtn 17.1.1

        I base it on what the UNION guy said.The Union the farm workers belong too
        The workers who milk the cows not some imported smarmy asshole who came across as a total fuking egg.
        related much ?

  18. belladonna 18

    Dont drink it. Read online about the connection between dairy and cancer, heart disease, arthritis etc. Look at the health statistics for dairy consuming countries and you will see we are at the upper end of most of the negative health outcomes.

    • As mentioned above: lactose tolerance is a prime example of how rapidly a genetic mutation can spread in a population if it bestows a significant evolutionary advantage. In this case, the survival advantage provided was enormous. Vegans may not like it, but facts aren’t really interested in whether you like them or not.

      • Lanthanide 18.1.1

        “In this case, the survival advantage provided was enormous. Vegans may not like it, but facts aren’t really interested in whether you like them or not.”

        We’re talking about modern society with modern diseases here. Lactose tolerance may have let more and more people live past their childhood and teenage years to the point where they could reproduce.

        But that’s got little to do with modern health ailments caused by over-indulgence of diary products.

        • Puddleglum 18.1.1.1

          Yes, selective advantages are entirely relative to the environments of selection.

          The significant point of the evolutionary argument – and why this example is the poster boy for gene-culture co-evolution – is that dairying came first, lactose tolerance came second. That is, in a dairy-herding society it doesn’t pay to be lactose intolerant. Logically, that doesn’t mean that everyone should drink milk (i.e., become a ‘dairy=herding’ society in terms of consumption of foodstuffs).

          Also, it’s not necessarily the case that it was drinking milk that was selected for – the most powerful selective pressures could have come from other factors associated with (dairy) herding (e.g., availability of regular doses of protein via meat from the herded animals).

          • Psycho Milt 18.1.1.1.1

            I suspect that people with no lactose tolerance would have little use for a dairy herd. Animal-herding came first, certainly, but the spread of lactose tolerance is due to the huge survival advantage it conferred on the people with it, because it enabled use of an extremely nutritious food source.

            And yes, it doesn’t logically follow that everyone should drink milk – feel free not to. But it does logically follow that milk is not bad for your health.

            We’re talking about modern society with modern diseases here.

            Or, in other words, we’re talking about cranks, food faddists and hypochondriacs with too little else to worry about here.

            • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.1.1.1

              But it does logically follow that milk is not bad for your health.

              No it doesn’t. It may help survival in the first few years but that does not mean that it helps with long term good health. Saturated fats, which are in dairy, do line the walls of arteries boosting blood pressure and putting extra stress on the heart eventually causing heart problems.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                “Saturated fats, which are in dairy, do line the walls of arteries boosting blood pressure and putting extra stress on the heart eventually causing heart problems.”

                Utter tripe.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Rusty proving his ignorance again.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    If you listen to the corn lobby you will be ignorant, yes.

                    • McFlock

                      Coming from “non-fat milk is just water” Shackleford, I’m not sure the allegation of ignorance is particularly persuasive.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I never said that, but milk is something like 90% water. So, yes. Milk is just water.

                    • McFlock

                      I was paraphrasing your idiocy here.
                       
                      FFS, at least stop contradicting yourself. If “milk is something like 90% water. So, yes. Milk is just water”  (actually milk is 87% water, 4% fat, and the remainder protein and carbohydrates), then Fonterra, by being processor of 95% of NZ milk, has a monopoly on milk processing in NZ, and your pedantry earlier was just duplicitous bullshit.
                       

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Go back to North Korea you left wing fuck face (LWFF for short)!!!!!! Did I win? Seems to be your tactic at least.

                      Fonterra processes most of the milk in NZ. They also buy most of the milk from producers in NZ. That makes them a monopsony. There is no monopoly on the distribution side because there is more than one place who will sell you milk. And they even sell it at different prices. You could even buy raw milk from the farmer for cheaper if you wanted to, but it is probably illegal (it sure as hell is in the states).

                      If the distributors didn’t like the price they were getting from Fonterra, they would buy it from the farmer and process it themselves. Or some other firm would. If milk was $1.50 above the market rate, as CV seems to think it is, someone would come in and make a killing. But they don’t so the price of milk in NZ obviously isn’t that far above the market clearing price.

                    • McFlock

                      I can by milk from many stores. THEY get the milk from Fonterra. Fonterra therefore has a domestic monopoly, because there are many buyers of its milk. And it has in excess of 90% of the market, 90% being your magical point where nothing else exists and milk is, in fact, just water (you were a bit like a reverse Jesus, there).
                       
                      As for the problems of new market entrants competing with a monopoly, lprent already went into that. So you obviously have the memory of a goldfish, in addition to being a sociopath with subnormal abstract concept processing skills.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Which brand of milk does Fonterra sell?

                      lprent gave one example of a quasi-cartel/monopoly. It could be half true in that Fonterra is probably enshrined in some form of legislation (I haven’t a clue in what way), but it has nothing to do with the price of milk if it was left to the market.

                    • McFlock

                      Which brands does Fonterra sell? Here. Pretty basic to find out.
                       

                      Anchor (milk)
                      Anchor Calciyum
                      Anlene
                      Tip Top, Kapiti and Mammoth Suuply Co. (icecream)
                      Country Goodness
                      Yoghurt-2-Go, De Winkel, Fresh and Fruity, Anchor Symbio (formerly Metchnikoff), Slimmers Choice and Mammoth Supply Co. (yoghurt)
                      Primo (flavoured milk)
                      eon, Zing, Whole (pure/flavoured water)
                      Mainland, Kapiti, Ferndale and Galaxyg, Perfect Italiano (cheese)
                      Fernleaf

                       

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I thought we were talking about milk. Are ice creams and Primos really necessities?

                      wtf? you even included flavored water?

                    • McFlock

                      I just threw in all the brands. I assumed it’s all ~90% water, so it’s all the same…

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      There’s not much water in butter.

                    • McFlock

                      So to recap, we’ve established that fonterra process 94% of NZ milk, and do sell it on, so could well come close to a real-world definition of “monopoly”, and you’re worried about the water content of butter.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I never said that, but milk is something like 90% water. So, yes. Milk is just water.

                      Hey dude I’ve just mixed you a 90% water 10% paraquat soda. Skull it down for me mate, its really ‘just water’ :D

                      There’s not much water in butter.

                      Don’t do much cooking do you?

                      http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=OW19090630.2.73

                      Looks to me like NZ butter has carried a water content of 12%-16% since the start.

                      But “that’s not much” right? A 12%-16% paraquat mix would also not be much. You think?

              • A lot of foods have saturated fats in them, and not just the animal-based ones. Humans are full of them, too. In fact, you try living without them. The fact that nutritionists have certain dogmas about fats isn’t really relevant to whether milk is worth the money you pay for it or not.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Dairy in excess is bad for you but that doesn’t seem to have an effect on price – probably because the farmers keep telling people that it’s good for them.

            • Puddleglum 18.1.1.1.1.2

              Hi Psycho Milt,

              I suspect that people with no lactose tolerance would have little use for a dairy herd.Animal-herding came first, certainly, but the spread of lactose tolerance is due to the huge survival advantage it conferred on the people with it, because it enabled use of an extremely nutritious food source.
              I think that statement is misleading because it implies that any human would gain an adaptive advantage by taking up milk drinking.

               From the link I mentioned above:

              A strong correlation exists across cultures between the frequency of lactose tolerance and a history of dairy farming and milk drinking12,89,90. This observation led to the ‘culture historical hypothesis’: dairying created the selection pressures that drove alleles for lactose tolerance to high frequency12,91.” 

              Notice that the spread of the lactose tolerant allele was not because of the “extremely nutritious” nature of milk. It was because of the dairy farming/herding life.

              Similarly: 

              various studies now support the culture historical hypothesis, as opposed to the counter-hypothesis that the presence of the lactose-tolerance allele allowed dairying to spread, or that the allele spread for some reason unconnected to dairying.” 

              Notice that if drinking milk products, in and of itself, was an adaptive advantage, then the ‘counter-hypothesis’ would be true. But the evidence supports the cutlural-historical hypothesis. That’s an important piece of evidence against your conclusion that it was the nutritious value of milk that provided the adaptive advantage.

              As I think you agree, it was possessing a dairy herd that then drove the selection of the allele for lactose tolerance. But, notice that being lactose tolerant was only an advantage within a herding culture.

              Or, put another way, being lactose intolerant was a distinct disadvantage in a herding society because of an increased reliance on drinking milk as a food source. You’d miss out on food because milk was an increasingly important part of it. (In the same link, it’s pointed out that societies that used fermented milk products – cheese, yoghurt – have a middling level of lactose tolerance/intolerance because of their partial dependence on milk as a food source.)

              There was – and is – no selective advantage for it outside of a dairy herding life (or dairy dependent food economy), assuming that nutrition can be gained in other ways, as it has been by the majority of human societies.

              On top of that, many people (especially in the countries that we export milk products too) are, to varying degrees, lactose intolerant at present. We’re not necessarily doing them a dietary favour by selling them milk products.

              • But, notice that being lactose tolerant was only an advantage within a herding culture.

                Not quite. The mutation for retaining lactase into adulthood was a huge advantage if milk was available as a food, ie to anyone in contact with dairying people. The survival advantage is so pronounced that there are multiple separately-evolved alleles for it, those alleles spread amazingly quickly within only the last 10,000 years or so, and scientists are pretty sure they’re still spreading in cultures where getting enough to eat isn’t generally a problem (which means the survival advantage will be a lot lower than it was a few thousand years back). Anyone wanting to claim milk is a threat to health has a bunch of serious problems with their hypothesis that need solving.

                • Thanks Psycho Milt – that’s interesting. Any links (and that’s not an aggressive challenge, I’m interested).

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    Do you think the same is true for wheat (and other grains) Phsycho Milt? I’m fairly convinced much of the western worlds health problems can be traced to an over reliance on wheat. Especially considering the wheat we consume today is vastly different from that consumed 10,000 years ago.

                    Can the same not be said for milk? The milk we drink today comes from only a few species of animal and is exclusively of an homogenised variety. Could this be a factor in its healthfulness?

                  • This NYT article mentions the work done that established separate, multiple evolution of lactase persistance and how rapidly it spread: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/11/science/11evolve.html

  19. aerobubble 19

    Oh come on, the only reason Auckland is having a party for the great unwashed to
    come to (and who shouldn’t of turned up as they weren’t expected to), is we
    have to, every major sportings event has parties, but Auckland has never been
    a party town (except for drunks). People have never been able to easierly
    around the place, its elite is too busy stuffing money in their own pockets
    while moaning they have got enough already. It’ll will be great when it all
    goes back to normal and boring average kiwi returns to gaze at the great
    scenary (and get used to it as that’s all he is getting unless he’s loaded).
    Here’s an example Genesis gives brownie point on their customers usage
    pattern yet they start removing them as expired after a while, so some
    cannot ever get a free gift. The system is geared to reward those who
    already have money (crony capitalism) and not geared to helping people
    make money who don’t already have it (as happens in a free market).
    Inomce inequality is just one measure that shows capitalism is being
    inefficiently run by governments to support a few already wealthy
    say wealthy.

  20. Colonial Viper 20

    Fonterra should use its overseas profits to subsidise NZ retail milk to $1.25/L and a 1kg block of cheese to $5.

    • Rusty Shackleford 20.1

      Why? Because you say so? That doesn’t make sense. Why not 2c/L for milk and you have to pay them to buy their cheese. Do they even make cheese?

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        Why? Because you say so?

        No, not just because I say so, but because fuckloads of NZ’ers know that it should be done.

        I picked those prices because they are affordable prices for ordinary Kiwi families.

        NZer’s know full well that they are being ass-whipped at $10/kg cheese while consumers in other developed markets across the world get NZ dairy products at lower prices than we can.

        And the shit is made less than 50 km from where I live, to add insult to injury.

        • burt 20.1.1.1

          If you don’t like the price don’t buy the product – is that too simple for you? Do you need Nanny to make sure them nasty milk traders don’t make too much profit CV ?

        • burt 20.1.1.2

          Actually CV

          If you feel so strongly about what the price should be why not buy a bit of land, buy a few cows and start selling milk at the price you think it should be sold at. Do something other than just asking Nanny to fix it for you.

          • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.2.1

            Thanks for the tip. I agree, we should institute land reforms and land taxes similar to those in the 1890’s to make getting on to farms far more affordable.

            People need to be able to farm for productivity, not for capital gains. Which means the prices of most farms need to come down by a further 20% to 30% for the ROI to start to make sense to a new small farmer looking to buy their first entry level dairy farm.

            By the way I am not talking about individual action burt, I am talking about reorienting the NZ economy.

            • burt 20.1.1.2.1.1

              So you don’t think we need individual action – rather reform. That would be a typical socialist approach – spend other peoples money to solve your issues.

          • vto 20.1.1.2.2

            such a simpleton

  21. burt 21

    World economic systems explained with cows

    FEUDALISM
    You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

    PURE SOCIALISM
    You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else’s cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

    BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM
    You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else’s cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you should need.

    FASCISM
    You have two cows. The government takes them both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

    PURE COMMUNISM
    You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

    RUSSIAN COMMUNISM
    You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

    CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM
    You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

    DICTATORSHIP
    You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

    PURE DEMOCRACY
    You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

    REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY
    You have two cows. Yours neighbors pick somone to tell you who gets the milk.

    BUREAUCRACY
    You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other one and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows. In triplicate.

    ANARCHY
    You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors take the cows and kill you.

    CAPITALISM
    You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

    SURREALISM
    You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

  22. Kevin 22

    Fed Farmers Dairy Chair Willy Leferink was unequivocal and unapologetic in his advice to consumers which is to shop around.
    Mr Leferink said that in his home town he could get 4l for $5.00 and and 2l for $2.69.
    The message there is really that buying milk from a supermarket is not cheap, so don’t. Instead buy your milk from a service station or the local dairy where it is probably cheaper.
    In terms of competition, perhaps we should be looking at importing from Australia. The Aussies would jump at the chance.

    • Jimmy 22.1

      Would they? maybe, as far as competition goes why havnt they (the Australians that is), is there some reason why it is only Fonterra that is willing to supply the domestic market.
      Fonterras competitors do a good job of complaining about Fonterra and the high price/profit in the NZ domestic market but then refuse to supply the domestic market.
      Instead prefering to export their own DIRA purchased milk for the overseas, presumably more lucrative market.
      Perhaps the reason their is little domestic competition is because the market realizes there is more to be made internationally.

  23. Jimmy 23

    Your right CV, its pretty sickening watching a NZ owened business do well Internationally, it must be stopped.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      If the business is ripping of NZers yes it must be stopped.

      And the simplest way is to make them use a share of their large overseas profits to help provide NZ children with affordable milk and cheese.

  24. Jimmy 24

    Ok I also think milk and cheese should be affordable for everyone, but the notion that current prices are as you say a “Ripoff” dosent seem to ring true if no one want to compete with Fonterra in the NZ market and prefers to sell Internationally for the higher profit.

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  • Taxpayers not suckers when it comes to casino lemon
    The Government should not be asking New Zealanders to stump up extra cash to bail out John Key and Steven Joyce’s dodgy SkyCity convention centre deal, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. "A deal is a deal is a deal. SkyCity… ...
    3 days ago
  • Supreme Court decision an early Christmas present
    Women on low pay in New Zealand have been given an early Christmas present with yesterday’s decision by  the Supreme Court not to intervene in a decision of the Court of Appeal, says Labour's Spokesperson for Women's Affairs, Sue Moroney. … ...
    3 days ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    4 days ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    4 days ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    4 days ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s albatross, taxpayers’ curse
    Government consideration of further corporate welfare hand-outs to SkyCity for its convention centre shows just how weak the original contract was, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “Taxpayers will be appalled to hear that on top of the humiliating… ...
    4 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    7 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    7 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    7 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    7 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    7 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems… ...
    GreensBy James Shaw MP
    2 weeks ago
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago

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