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Open mike 27/08/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 27th, 2022 - 42 comments
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42 comments on “Open mike 27/08/2022 ”

  1. DB Brown 1

    Such Sweet Irony.

    Fonterra has started to make 'precision fermentation products' which is marketing jargon for microbial by-products.

    These products can (and will) replace a lot of dairy. Why do I say that? Cheap! Very very cheap after the set-up. You just keep it clean and follow the procedures A + B = product C. Probably be able to automate most of it.

    Yes, that's right – Fonterra will be the death of dairy farming.

    Not if, but when. Profit before people, it's the corporate way.

    "New Zealand's current reliance on whole milk powder meant it was overexposed to such risks. There were not enough signals from the government and the industry that the dairy industry was at risk, Benny said.

    Once companies were able to copy whole milk powder through precision fermentation, could make it on a large scale, and its price was similar or lower than whole milk powder from dairy, then there would be a tipping point, Benny said."


    • Ad 1.1

      Precision fermentation.

      Hmmm. Fonterra vodka.

      • Matiri 1.1.1

        NZ Dairy Group which became Fonterra had an Ethanol plant at Tirau using whey. When I worked for them in the nineties, Anchor Gin was the thing. Fonterra still has an Ethanol division.

    • Graeme 1.2

      Fonterra said it had worked with DSM, a global nutrition and bioscience company, since 2019 to speed up the making of proteins with dairy-like properties using precision fermentation.

      The partnership had already created intellectual property and filed patents, the statement said.

      Jonathan Boswell, programme leader for complementary Nutrition at Fonterra said the patents were confidential because they were not in the public domain yet.

      Dairy nutrition would remain Fonterra’s core strength, the company said.

      So…. Are F'nterra ding this to 'move n' to new business model, of developing patents to control / suppress the technology and maintain their shareholder's current business model

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        Ring-fencing the competition.

        Business is business.

        • Graeme

          Still and intriguing thought experiment considering the implications of New Zealand's largest company transitioning from a co-op model buying milk from farmer shareholders to a model paying shareholders based on return from an industrial business model with ex farm inputs reduced to high value speciality products and feedstock (sugar / carbohydrates) for the industrial process.

          What would happen to the farms?

          What would happen to the farmers and the farm support industries?

          • Chess Player

            They would adapt, or die out.

            There weren’t always dairy farms, after all.

            • Poission

              There wasn't always grass,it coevolved with the grazers.

              Grasslands have long been considered products
              of the coevolution of grasses and grazers (Koval-
              evsky 1873). Few plants other than grasses can
              withstand the high-crowned, enamel-edged teeth
              and hard hooves of antelope and horses. Yet these
              same animals are best suited to the abrasive gritty
              opal phytoliths and dust of flat, open grasslands.
              Grasses recover readily from fire and nurture large
              herbivores such as elephants: both fire and ele-
              phants promote grassland at the expense of wood-


        • DB Brown

          I recently made some fermented cheese from nuts – for a first attempt it was surprisingly good. Tried cashews and almonds. Almonds were cheaper, cashews were easier. After aging them a few weeks the taste is very similar. Non-aged cashew cheese had an aftertaste that disappeared after a week – this might have been a compromised ferment.

          Also – the 'fake parmesan' I make to sprinkle over pastas is very morish, or as I call it – 'vegan crack'.

          This is my 'low salt' version. I've also made this with macadamias – really good!

          1/2 cup cashews
          2 tbsp nutritional yeast
          1/2 tbsp garlic powder
          tsp onion powder
          1/4 tsp salt

          I've tried various vegan cheeses from the shops and I must say, I'll never buy that crap again.

          I'll try new products as they enter market, but right now I'd rather make my own so I can control how much saturated fat and salt is going into what I'm eating. Many 'vegan' products are simply plant based junk food.

          It's been six months since I switched to eating plants. My belly has vanished along with most of my aches and pains. Lethargy and low level chronic depression dissolved a few months ago. Highly recommended for anyone feeling like age has caught up to them early – it's probably not aging, but poor diet.

          • Matiri

            I've been vegan plus fish and eggs for eight years for a specific health reason, that's now sorted plus a few other health benefits. In these inflationary days it's also cheaper.

            Cashews are a wonderful ingredient – very creamy when soaked and whizzed.

            Agree with you DB on the shop vegan cheeses! I don't bother with them.

      • DB Brown 1.2.2

        The writing's on the wall for dairy. Not today, but not that far away. Groundswell wont save them, a smart business model might.

        We'll still want all manner of food from the land. This will be the impetus required to see farmers diversifying in the face of reality – Fonterra's moving on.

        There's all manner of opportunity arriving for the savvy food producer. As we transition to a largely plant based society (for your health, for your pocket, for the animals, for the planet) there will be enormous demand for alternate products that are actually good.

        Many producers push low quality junk and call it vegan. The door is wide open for the good stuff.

        • Sabine

          I can't wait for the culling of all the cows now that they are no longer needed and besides they fart.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            Sunflower crop boosts wellbeing for Eketahuna farmer, dairy cows


            What is Regen Ag and why is it big for NZ?


            Sabine….surely not all the cows? Cows munching on Sunflowers…and pretty Sustainably. Def better that the Industrial Fonterra way…

            • Sabine

              I do have no faith in humans when it comes to the environment and animals. We kill what we don't need. We kill for fun. We start wars to kill our own to get cheap stuff i.e. resources that aren't ours.

              What do you base your faith on that cows will not be an animal like a chimpanzee or a lion in a zoo in say 15 years because as a whole humans are to lazy to actually change their own polluting wasteful lifestyle?

          • bwaghorn

            They all get culled at some point anyway, there's no retirement farms for cows

            • Sabine

              My point is simply that Humans tend to cull what they need no longer. Now ruminants have a place in the eco system, what we consider 'bad' is actully good for nature, the cow pads for fertilising, heating etc.

              So will we end up as in Blade Runner two, were farmers are standing in a puddle with 'worms' and call that 'protein farming' in the name of 'saving the planet'? Or is that again an exercise in shielding humans from their own hubris and pass the blame to the beast in a paddock, who is a 'sentient lactater' with her calf removed for better profit? Cause that will work for many it seems, kill the cows, the deers, the pigs, the fish ( pretty much done that) etc etc, buy the electric car and be green eating cheese from imported nuts – surely that is so much more 'environmentally friendly' rather then going back to a more natural and ethic animal husbandry and diet.

              disclaimer: i self ID as omnivore, so generally if its cooked, smells nice and is not moving on my plate i eat it.

              • DB Brown

                Sometimes you need to get over yourself. All that seething anger at humanity, we're not all CEO's thank you very much.

                I grow my own macadamias, and so far, they can replace imports in several dishes. I also have access to local walnuts, almonds, hell, I'm growing coffee, tea, sugar, bananas. We're not all stupid or shortsighted, even Fonterra's seen the writing on the wall.

                We could diversify and look after ourselves very nicely. And even the factories might come along, with a bit of a retrofit.

                You sound like you would burn it all down just to say told you so.

              • bwaghorn

                You do know there where no mammals in nz ,let alone great hoofing bovines

                • Sabine

                  Yes, and at the time there were plenty of Moa for people to eat. Maybe the cow is our times Moa and like the bird we don't respect that animal either and thus will go hungry when we have just eliminated enough in order to prevent global warming which is man made and keep to drive a nice flying car or something .

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          A Southland initiative got a milky boost from the Government to help in its goal to become the main producer of oat milk in the country.

          Economic and regional development minister Stuart Nash visited Invercargill yesterday where he announced the Government would invest up to $6million in New Zealand’s first and largest carbon neutral plant-based beverage processing facility — with oat milk the first product off the production line.

          The project, carried by New Zealand Functional Foods, would bring the construction of a $50million factory in Makarewa to produce 80 million litres of oat milk annually and generate about 50 new jobs when operating by the end of next year.


          Oat milk is my top choice of plant-based milk for environmental reasons. Not only is it relatively low in water and land use, oats also act as a “catch crop” for excess nitrogen in the soil, stopping it from polluting waterways.

          And when grown in rotation with other crops, oats can help ensure the soil remains rich and fertile.


          Seems good? Not so good sending to Sweden…Surely must be possible to process in NZ ? What think ?

    • ianmac 1.3

      Extra-ordinary! A sad Moo can be herd.
      Thanks DB Brown.

    • bwaghorn 1.4

      Hopefully they'll use a nz grown crop as the sugars source,

    • Mike the Lefty 1.5

      I thought that dairy farmers had a major stake in Fonterra so how do they feel about this? Or are they even aware of this?

      • DB Brown 1.5.1

        The company will likely do both. But as competition springs up and public opinion and law rejects a race to the bottom, farms here should get cleaner and more diversified.

        High end regen-ag. With tree crops, multi-species pastures, happy plants, happy animals…

        There's an ecological and economic case to be made for regen ag – and while the hoi polloi are eating mock dairy, the well off will still pay a premium to eat the real thing. Especially the food with a good 'story'.

        The tipping point for the masses going into alternative products really is a price point as the article outlines. The poor can't afford to be virtuous.

        I paid $10 for 250 gms of vegan cheese, it was crap. Nobody's saving nothing with that silly carry on – so I'm pleased to see a big player like Fonterra exploring options. They could turn their story right round if they do this well.

        • mikesh

          the well off will still pay a premium to eat the real thing.

          Perhaps a switch to A2 milk might be in order.

  2. Jenny are we there yet 2

    2009 .https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-031209/#comment-176216

    The future has arrived

    And still we are building more motorways and and the insanity of tunnels under the Waitemata.

    And starving railways and subsidising air lines

    And mining and importing coal

    The future fossils that will be found will be ours.

  3. arkie 3

    Stand with workers:

    Purex toilet paper manufacturer Essity is being accused of “starvation tactics” in stopping workers from making hardship withdrawals from their retirement savings.

    Essity locked out 145 Kawerau mill workers without pay on August 9 after they refused to accept a 3% pay rise plus a cash incentive of $1500 per year over three years.

    The Pulp and Paper Union has now obtained a letter showing Essity had instructed the company’s superannuation scheme provider, SuperLife, to block workers from making financial hardship withdrawals from their savings.


    “Our members put money into this super scheme with the promise that if they ever faced hardship they’d be able to access it. It is nothing short of cruel and vindictive to cut off both their pay and their savings.

    “This lockout is being driven by Essity executives in Australia, who don’t care about us and probably don’t even know where Kawerau is on a map. I’d like them to come here and look these workers and their families in the eye.

    “All we are asking for is a pay increase to match the rising cost of living. Essity is a company that made nearly two billion dollars in profit last year so they can easily afford it.

    “Essity should end this lockout today and let our members get back to work.”

    Essity’s brands include Purex, Sorbent, Libra and Handee.


    • PsyclingLeft.Always 3.1

      “This lockout is being driven by Essity executives in Australia, who don’t care about us and probably don’t even know where Kawerau is on a map. I’d like them to come here and look these workers and their families in the eye.

      “All we are asking for is a pay increase to match the rising cost of living. Essity is a company that made nearly two billion dollars in profit last year so they can easily afford it.

      Never fails to anger me…these company scumbags making unbelievable profits…and yet still screwing down the Workers ! As ever : (

  4. adam 4

    Ukraine are the good guys??!?

    Well if you work for a living – definitely not


    Just because their are idiots out there who think if you go against Ukraine, your pro Russia. Let me remind you, that you can hate all oligarchs equally, for the scum that they are. Especially when they want working people to die for their wars.

  5. Jester 5

    What a joke our justice system is. Home detention! The judge should be sacked or removed. They are probably back loitering around another ATM already.

    "After the sentencing, the pair and their families were seen celebrating with handshakes and hugs being exchanged.

    "We got home D," Henson said as he shook Moeara's hand."

    Two men sentenced to home detention after robbing 95-year-old on Christmas Eve – NZ Herald

    • Chess Player 5.1

      You can get used to this.

      You’ll be seeing a lot more of it.

      In some cultures, age is respected, but not in this one.

  6. Jenny are we there yet 6

    The Sixth Mass Extinction Event, that we are currently undergoing, reveals the Fifth Mass Extinction event.

    Whatever you think about dinosaurs, love them or loathe them, the one thing about the dinosaurs in their favour. They weren't the cause of their own extinction.

    "It could be one of the longest sequences of dinosaur footprints in the world,"

    Follow them footprints:

    Due to lack of water, previously hidden dinosaur footprints likely to be around 113 million years old have come to light in a dried-up river bed, an official said on Tuesday. a park in Texas, USA….

    …."Due to excessively dry conditions this summer, the river has completely dried


  7. Anna Benny 7

    Enjoyed reading this discussion, this is an area I have been interested in for ages. If anyone is interested, Google Milk Without a Moo and my Rural Leaders report on the impacts this new technology could have on NZ dairy is there.

    In summary, I’m a dairy farmers wife with a food science background and I work in the dairy processing industry (Fonterra etc).
    Most countries are self-sufficient for their own dairy requirements, only 9% of all the dairy processed in the world crosses an international border. NZ produces a quarter of this small % that crosses a border. A quarter! From just one little country.

    The dairy produced here is mostly used as ingredients in other food, in 2021 Fonterra made 74% of the milk they processed into ingredients.

    NZ is incredibly exposed here, our reliance on just one product (milk powder) that will soon be able to be produced via other methods to contribute to our export revenue and livelihoods of so many Kiwis is staggering.

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