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An Ashburton Guardian Supplement

FOCUS Issue 38 - July 19, 2011

Preserving the opportunities for future generations P3

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Contents Staying safe down on the farm


ccupational Safety and Health or OSH, it’s an acronym that comes with many connotations, especially on the farm. I’ll admit some time ago, the phrase sent a cold shiver up my spine as I perceived it a threat to traditional farming practice and lifestyle. Back then it seemed a farmworker’s responsibility for their personal safety was undermined by costly regulations which had an overbearing in luence on how farmers run their business. But now I concede the Department of Labour certainly has valid reasons,

statistics and reports as to why farmers had to change their habits to ensure on-farm safety as it is one of worst industries for accidents, injuries and fatalities.

by a dry one (for some time) in a workshop. Yes, that’s right, an employee said a damp towel was an OSH issue due to the unsanitary conditions.

Lance Isbister OSH over a simple Ashburton Guardian issue as a means rural reporter to get their way, whether it is a legitimate OSH issue or not.

My concern these days, however, does not lie with how the Department of Labour instigates safety policies for the rural sector, but how the term OSH can be bandied about as a ploy for leverage by anyone working in almost any industry including farming.

While on the face of it the complaint seemed ridiculous to me, perhaps a damp towel in a workshop could promote bacteria and increase the likelihood of infection, or maybe the employee just wanted the luxury of a fresh towel.

My concern is the principle behind occupation safety and health can become diluted if the phrase is used for leverage or to incite action and it sets a bad precedent in a working relationship.

In my own experience I witnessed a complaint which used the ominous OSH rhetoric with regards to a damp towel, which had not been replaced

Besides, everyone has their own idea of what constitutes an OSH issue and while it is important these concerns are raised on the farm, they should be genuine to avoid a “cry wolf scenario”.

Who’s to say ... but he got his way because he used that phrase to incite action and herein lies the danger. Some people may just use the term

Fonterra announces its new CEO F

onterra Co-operative recently announced the appointment of Theo Spierings as its new CEO.

Spierings said. “The Fonterra Board, Andrew Ferrier and his team have established a strong foundation and my challenge is to build an even more successful global dairy co-operative.

Mr Spierings, who led the Dutch farmer dairy co-operative, Royal Friesland Foods, into a merger with Campina in 2008, will take over from Fonterra’s departing CEO Andrew Ferrier, effective September 26. Mr Ferrier announced his resignation from Fonterra last March.

Mr Spierings said he was familiar with both Fonterra and its key people and had great respect for the foresight New Zealand farmers had shown in creating Fonterra in the irst place. “A huge amount has been achieved in the past 10 years since Fonterra was established. Trading Among Farmers - the newly approved capital structure - is a good example. But what makes Fonterra really unique is its combination of low-cost pasture based farming and its status as the world’s largest milk processor.”

Fonterra’s Chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden said Mr Spierings would bring to Fonterra 25 years of knowledge of the global dairy industry. “Mr Spierings has a wealth of experience in managing dairy businesses across Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe,” Sir Henry said. “Most importantly, Mr Spierings has an in-built respect for the cooperative structure and for farmers and their commitment to co-operative principles. He is well recognised by his peers for his people leadership, delivery of results and strong strategic skills.” Mr Spierings was acting CEO of Royal Friesland Foods when he presided over all aspects of its complex and highly sensitive merger with Campina. He left the company shortly after completing the merger as, prior to the transaction, both parties had

Theo Spierings, Fonterra Co-operative’s new CEO already agreed on an independent CEO to take the new entity forward. Sir Henry said as well as a 25 year history in the global dairy industry, Mr Spierings had held a variety of general management, operations and supply chain and sales and marketing positions across a number of geographies. Mr Spierings said the role of CEO for Fonterra was a great opportunity, working in the industry he loved. “I am honoured to be invited to lead Fonterra into its second decade,” Mr

With the co-operative already performing strongly, Mr Spierings said it was clear that the challenge ahead was to add another layer of value across the business. “I am used to working for farmers and I know they demand results. Being entrepreneurs themselves, they expect continuous improved performance of both their cooperative and through-out the value chain,” Mr Spierings said. ”I am acutely aware of Fonterra’s importance to the New Zealand economy and look forward to leading an organisation that has the potential

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to have such a positive impact on its home country. “I thrive on the prospect of contributing to Fonterra’s continued success, which I know is of great importance to not only its farmers and employees, but to every New Zealander.” Mr Spierings, aged 46, holds a Bachelor of Arts-degree in Food Technology/Biotechnology and a Masters in Business Administration. He is married with three children and currently lives in The Netherlands. He owns and runs his own company which focuses on corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions in fast moving consumer goods. With the co-operative heading into a new production season, Sir Henry said that in the meantime it was back to business as usual. “In September all members of the co-operative and all staff will want to say a big thank you to Andrew Ferrier for the great job he has done during the past eight years. After that we will reach out to welcome Theo Spierings.” Sir Henry said that 2011 would be a record inancial year for the co-operative and therefore it was most appropriate for Mr Ferrier to announce last year’s inancial results before he handed over to Mr Spierings at the end of September.

We welcome any correspondence to either: Amanda Niblett, phone 307-7927 email: or Lance Isbister, phone 307-7953 email:


Preserving our opportunities Lance Isbister er Rural Reporter, Ashburton Guardian n


ocal dairy farmer Willy Leferink is intent on preserving the same opportunities to farm freely which lured his family to New Zealand more than two decades ago.

A strong believer in the share-milking scheme, which offered him a clear pathway in dairying, Mr Leferink said there’s nothing like having skin in the game in having a stake in a dairy co-operative.

Mr Leferink was elected as the Federated Farmers’ national dairy section chair last month.

“The value of farms these days is that partnerships are a large step in the process and can be bene icial so long as the manager is properly rewarded.

While there are more cows populating New Zealand pastures than ever before, Mr Leferink said the principles of farming remain the same as farmers aim to produce milk in the most ef icient way possible. The Dutch-born, Kiwi farmer saw phenomenal farming opportunities in New Zealand and was keen to return to his farming roots while employed as a freezing works manager in the Netherlands in the late 1980s. Land in the Netherlands was simply too expensive for people to work their way into farm ownership, but New Zealand was a different story, one which would progress at a blistering pace after Willy and his family immigrated in 1990 and worked their way up through the industry. “Succession is the big difference in Holland, you can only (buy a farm) if you were brought up on a farm. “I heard about this share-milking thing and thought it would be awesome, I never thought of farm ownership.” Although Willy and wife Jeanet have worked their way into owning two farms outright in Mid Canterbury, Mr Leferink still sees huge value in farming partnerships which he is involved in through investments and employment of share-milking staff.

“Today you can start at the bottom and work your way to the top. You can go a long way if you meet the right people at the right time and take risks.” However Mr Leferink said the most important partnership is the one he shares with Jeanet. “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her. If your wife doesn’t understand why you’re involved (in the farming business) it doesn’t work.” Mr Leferink is undaunted by the challenges the dairy industry faces in the future as it comes under more rigorous scrutiny by the public who have become increasingly conscious of the environment and sustainability for future generations. “As farmers we have to be lexible to meet the needs and challenges put to us by the environment (in which we farm).” Mr Leferink is keen to see his fellow farmers take a lead in working towards sustainability and believes they need to be collectively proactive about working toward the best outcome possible as opposed to being policed by regional councils.

Willy Leferink is the new voice of dairy farmers after being appointed Federated Farmers’ dairy section chair

Mr Leferink believes there are always new opportunities on the horizon for dairy farmers through

the development of nutrient ef iciencies, better quality cows, plant species and management practices, which also steer towards sustainability.


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nother month has come and gone. Many things have happened in my life since I last sat and wrote the last article for June’s Dairy Focus. I was in my home patch of Northern Ireland recently and spent time on the “home farm”. Being the middle of summer in the Northern hemisphere was good. I was able to see irst-hand how farming – especially dairy farming is progressing. Every time I sit down and talk with family about how we are doing things in our two different countries, it is interesting exactly how much we differ. The scale of dairy farming in New Zealand and the labour intensity of dairy farming in the UK are the two main scenarios that are discussed most often. With the prices dairy farmers receive in the two countries improving in recent times, dairy farming in both countries is doing okay. The sheer scale of how we now are doing things here in the New Zealand dairy industry is vastly different as to how dairying is done in the UK. It takes much discussion to explain to a conventional dairy farmer in the UK how our new dairy conversions are around 1000 cow herds. When that same UK dairy farmer is milking 100 to 150 cows and is sometimes struggling with those numbers. It is dif icult for that same farmer to comprehend how we can milk 1000 cows in the same time scale and, most importantly, can manage those 1000 cows quite simply and using far less labour than what they do. The summer weather conditions in the UK have been average at best. April was a warm and sunny month, however May and June were very wet. This has made silage making dif icult and hay making impossible. In my time there in late June/ early July the weather had improved dramatically, I think it was the New Zealand in luence – at least that was what I was told! Temperatures got up to 23 to 24 degrees celsius. The irst cut of silage had been completed in early June and it was looking unlikely that much third cut silage would be completed;

Slurry tanker/spreaders such as this are a common sight in Ireland. consequently the second cut was looking like the better option and leaving it for a longer period allowing the grass to grow. No sooner had the irst cut of silage been completed than slurry was being applied to the silage paddocks. This is a very busy period as farmers can empty their slurry (cow ef luent) lagoons for the irst time in many months. Every dairy farmer is doing this at the same time. There are literally dozens of tractors and slurry tankers on the public roads. These same public roads are not like what we see here around Ashburton. They are twisty roads, mostly single lane roads with a reasonable amount of traf ic. Yet these 10,000 to 20,000 litre slurry tankers are being driven around the roads continually with 150 plus horse power tractors all to dispose of slurry.

The smell is something else! Disposing of slurry will continue for a few more weeks, then the second cut of silage will take place in August and then more slurry will be applied to these same silage paddocks. The slurry must be got rid of now as when all of the cattle are brought in and housed for winter, no slurry can be spread until spring next year in April 2012. With the amount of slurry being applied, along with good rainfall and sunshine, the grass grows at unbelievable rates during their summer period – providing it is not too wet and there is a reasonable amount of sun, growing conditions are perfect. There are a few developments being made with how slurry is spread. Until now most slurry is spread by these tankers with a single large nozzle throwing the slurry into the air.

Now advances are being made to ensure this slurry – and the horrendous smell it has, is put onto the grass better – by having either an injector system that injects the slurry into the ground which requires much larger horsepower tractors and is slower or by having a series of small hoses (40mm) dragged along behind the slurry tanker. These options will become the norm as there is a huge reduction in slurry drift and most importantly, the slurry is being applied precisely where it needs to be – on the ground. I still prefer the New Zealand way, it is simpler, much less labour intensive and our weather conditions are so much better here. Even though we have the extra cost of irrigation, New Zealand dairy farming is still the best in the world.

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Sharing advice


Local dairy women listen to the trials and successes of high-country farmer and beautician Neroli Davies through a Dairy Women’s Network meeting which was held at the Bank of New Zealand last week.

Preparing for calving Local dairy women gathered in Ashburton to gain advice and discussed preparation for calving, which is one of the busiest periods on a dairy family’s calendar. The Dairy Women’s Network hosted the popular event last week which saw more than 20 women catch up before the onslaught of calving. Liz Wilson, a veteran calf-rearer gave tips on how to organise ready-to-eat meals

to fuel the farm team’s appetite. Neroli Davies spoke about her experiences as a high-country farming woman who grew up in Mesopotamia and later took on the challenge of farming at Arrowsmith with husband Harley where they ran 4000 stock units. Mrs Davies explained her unlikely career pathway of coming from a highcountry background to studying beauty therapy after she left school.


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The start of a new season Ian Hodge, BVSc. MACVSc. c. Riverside Veterinary Services Ltd td


ows and heifers in the district will soon be moving back from winter grazing to their dairy farms in time for some transition feeding and springer management before starting to calve. We have been extremely lucky lately with the weather which has given us a great autumn and mild early winter period. The greatest asset so far has been good feed utilisation which will hopefully mean cows and heifers are in good body condition at the planned start of calving.

Prevention of metabolic diseases is critical and carries a very good economic return. Dusting pastures or forage with magnesium and lime helps a great deal and water troughs can be supplemented with magnesium salts prior to and after calving and with calcium after calving. After calving individual cow health becomes the primary focus and attention must be given to those cows who suffer some sort of illness as a result of calving. Identifying these animals can be an art in itself especially in large herds.

Transition feeding of cows from winter brassica crops to grass is generally recommended to help develop the lining of the rumen and help reduce the risk of metabolic diseases.

Early identi ication and treatment of sick cows after calving also carrys a big economic return, and cure rates following treatments are usually much better.

The effects of this are seen after calving when energy intake and good calcium balance are both critical. A cow with a well developed rumen lining and good levels of available calcium will perform much better in early lactation.

Good post calving health management of the herd will ensure cows maintain good feed intakes, reach a high peak milk production and approach mating at condition score 4.5 to 5. Mating performance is dependent on cows being in very good body condition and health at the start of mating.

She will lose less weight and approach mating in better shape than cows that may be at risk of negative energy balance and metabolic diseases. Downer cows have abnormal levels of calcium, magnesium or glucose. In some cases there is a physical problem such as a calving injury or dislocated hip.

Working closely with your vet through the calving period is highly recommended. For many years I visited my farms on a weekly basis and found this to be a successful way of identifying diseases early and getting good responses to treatments.

Your vet will help you recognise the various presentations of these abnormalities and guide you through the most appropriate treatment plans.

I would encourage all dairy farmers to adopt this “hands-on” approach at least through the irst two months of the calving period.

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Winter stresses affect health Fred Hoekstra ra es Veehof Dairy Services


t feels like winter has arrived. It doesn’t happen very often that we get rained out of a trimming job, but the other day was a stay at home day. I was thinking about the cows and how they can’t go and shelter from the rough weather and this made me think again about the stress we put on our animals. I know that the cows can handle it but they do suffer. You can see this very clearly when we have a longer period of cold weather. The cows start looking rough and it is dif icult to keep them in good condition. This comes back to earlier articles I have written about how much we ask from our cows and the challenges farmers face with the public opposition to housing cows indoors. They have a strong opinion and we need to listen to them because they pay our wages. So when the cows are outside in the rough weather we need to minimise the stress they are under. For that we need to understand what the problems are. I think there are a number of factors we need to keep in mind but the main ones I see are: • Cows need about 12 hours/day for resting. • Cows need more energy to keep themselves warm. For a cow to have a good rest they need to be comfortable. That means that they need good shelter dry and warm. This is particularly dif icult to do when cows are fed winter crops. There is no dry place for resting, only mud. Wouldn’t it be better if cows had easy excess to a paddock of grass to do their resting? If it is better

Winter brings added stress for cows and can have a dramatic effect on cows’ health. for the cow it is better for you. Another issue with winter crops is that cows are eating more soil. They can handle about 1kg/day, but often in paddocks with turnips they eat more.

cows, and it also has a big effect on lameness. When cows are not being fed well and are under more stress either through bad stockmanship or weather the risk of lameness will increase.

Keeping themselves warm takes more energy. This is particularly important for the cows that are being milked through the winter. Straw is a good product for keeping cows warm. Obviously they can lay in it but I am thinking more about putting straw into their diet. Straw takes hours to digest and therefore generates more warmth.

I guess it has a lot to do with cows feeling good and functioning well, their immune system works better and the body stays on top of things. When they get run down and start losing condition then the cow suffers and that shows up in their health just the same as it does with people.

These things are important for the well-being of the

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Effluent compliance on the rise


anterbury dairy farmers have raised the bar once again with ef luent compliance, according to igures released by Environment Canterbury.

Fonterra sustainable dairying specialist Libby Sutherland said farmers have been receiving more information and advice on how to manage their ef luent systems, which has had a real impact. Fonterra’s Every Farm Every Year programme was also identifying farms at risk of non-compliance and working with farmers to improve ef luent systems.

Preliminary monitoring igures for the 2010/11 dairy season (to the end of May) show that 65 per cent of Canterbury dairy farms were fully compliant with ef luent discharge consent or permitted activity conditions. This is a shift from 59 per cent last year, and 43 per cent in 2008/09. For three years, a working group from DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Synlait, NZ Dairies and SIDDC have been working with Environment Canterbury to provide tailored advice and information on ef luent management to the region’s dairy farmers. AgITO has also recently joined to further strengthen these initiatives. DairyNZ strategy and investment leader (Sustainability) Dr Rick Pridmore said the latest results illustrate the success an industry-wide approach can have and the real efforts farmers are putting in on a daily basis to ensure their systems are operating well.

“Just having the support of someone on your farm, walking through the issues can make a real difference, especially in understanding local rules and speci ic concerns. As an industry, we’ve made great steps in providing more information and resources to help them achieve compliance and the aim is to have farms which work within the rules 365 days a year.”

More and more farms are complying with their effluent discharge consents. However like last season, signi icant noncompliance was again nine per cent. Ef luent ponding, discharging ef luent too close to a waterway and nitrogen overloading are common issues for signi icant non-compliance.

“We’ve seen improvements year after year now, which is really great to see – the hard work being done out on farms is really paying dividends and this progress is important for our industry,” Mr Pridmore said.

Federated Farmers’ senior policy advisor Lionel Hume said the results show farmers are more aware of their responsibilities and how to manage their farms in a compliant way.

Environment Canterbury, which visited 900 dairy farms this season, also found minor non-compliance has fallen to 26 per cent, from 33 per cent. Common issues are an incomplete management plan or minor ponding.

“Farmers are looking carefully at their farm systems and how they operate them,” Mr Hume said. “Of course, ef luent management isn’t just about compliance – it is valuable as a fertiliser and ultimately is a cost-ef icient farm resource, so it makes sense to make good use of it.”

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Synlait environmental manager Lucy Bowker has been working closely with Synlait farmers on environmental management. “This year’s results show we are heading in the right direction, making some real improvements in systems on-farm and therefore, nutrients are being well managed and utilised.” New Zealand Dairies supplier liaison of icer Jason Gooch said another aspect has been the involvement of supporting industries, such as ef luent equipment designers and suppliers. “Everyone has a key role to play and being able to get expert advice really helps make decision-making easier, which ultimately lows on to how the system works on a day-to-day basis out on farm.” The industry has also recently introduced a code of practice for ef luent design to further support farmers’ goals of full compliance across their industry.

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GEA aquires Fonterra as customer


erman food technology company GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft says it has bought a New Zealand company, Nu-Con, which is a major global supplier of equipment to handle raw bulk materials. Auckland-based Nu-Con has 167 employees, and generated revenues of 27 million euros ($NZ45.72m) in the year to March 2011. Its powder handling systems are especially used for infant formula, milkpowders, and other food processing as well as in various industrial applications. GEA Group said the New Zealand company would be integrated into its process engineering segment, though the deal is yet to be approved by the Commerce Commission. GEA recently acquired Fonterra as a customer according to documents iled with the commission. GEA said the main competitors for the supply of dairy handling equipment in New Zealand included a multi-national Tetra Pak, Hamilton-based Powder Projects (very close to the market, in particular Fonterra) un-named Chinese suppliers, and Techno Links NZ, in Auckland, which marketed DMN Westinghouse equipment. It predicted that GEA would still continue to face strong competition from Tetra Pak and Powder Projects but the big issue in terms of

dairy-handling equipment would be which company wins the drier orders from major customers such as Fonterra, Synlait, Open Country and Westland. The top customers for GEA and Nu-Con are current Fonterra rivals Westland Co-operative Dairy Company, Open Country Dairy, and Talley’s Group. GEA Group director Niels Graugaard said the acquisition of Nu-Con was a further important strategic step in positioning GEA in the bulk powder handling market. GEA Group had revenues of over 4.4 billion euros in 2010, 70 per cent of which came from the food and energy sectors, and employed about 23,000 people worldwide. It is listed in Germany’s MDAX stock index. The Commerce Commission said last week that the main use in New Zealand for the type of processing equipment supplied by GEA was in the handling and packaging of milk powder. The dairy industry in particular had seen extended growth over the past ive years, and this growth was likely to continue, driven from the growth in Asia’s middle class, which was spending some of its rising income on dairy-based proteins. With rising income and population levels, food volume requirements were increasing, and discerning buyers were also looking for safer and higher quality products, with a trend to more convenience foods. - NZPA

GEA’s headquarters in Dusseldorf, Germany.

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DNA analysis playing its part


NA analysis is now helping to identify top Holstein Friesian heifers to aid the development of elite cow families and bulls for the dairy industry.

genomically selected heifers stand out from their herd mates,” she said. Heifers accepted into the programme are taken as in-calf two-year-olds from farms across the country, and brought together to a host farm in Te Awamutu for one season.

Holstein Friesian New Zealand’s (HFNZ) Discovery Project, sponsored by farmer owned co-op LIC, is a scheme that HFNZ members can enter to help identify top heifers to ensuring their full potential is utilised.

During this time, the heifers are herd tested eight times, condition scored regularly and evaluated on a range of criteria to help identify their true merit.

This is the irst time genomic screening has been available – traditionally heifers were nominated and selected based on their ancestry.

Farmers can now select up to ive heifers to be genomically screened for the scheme, providing them with more con idence that only their best heifers are then selected to participate.

LIC breeding manager, Allan McPherson said the introduction of genomic selection provides the programme with a huge boost by helping identify those heifers with the highest potential more accurately. “More accurate selection of heifers means a better chance of success from the programme and therefore a higher probability of positively impacting the breed. “HFNZ members get access to LIC’s expertise and the best bulls for breeding, and are now able to tap into the huge resource of genomics science that LIC has developed and invested millions of dollars into. “The project also allows their heifers to be benchmarked against other elite

Information from each screened heifer, regardless of whether they are accepted into the programme, is given back to the farmer for future reference. A current top bull for LIC, Westland CL to get genomic information on the elite Jasper, resulted from the inaugural season female heifers in their herds, and see of the Discovery Project in 2004. how the information translates when the heifers calve down and are milked for their Jasper joined the 2010 Premier Sires irst season. bull team after receiving a successful daughter evaluation through the Sire HFNZ general manager Cherilyn Watson “We’ll follow the progress of these Proving Scheme. said genomics would further enhance the heifers through their irst season in-milk success the project has achieved over the and continue to monitor them over the Allan McPherson said the Discovery past seven years. next few seasons when they return to their Project has continued to provide sires for home herds. LIC with a number of bulls awaiting their “Holstein Friesian New Zealand daughter proofs at present or have already breeders are excited at the opportunity “It will be interesting to see if the been selected for DNA proven teams. animals around the country, providing them with access to the latest reproductive technologies and the opportunity for their heifer to be recognised as a potential bull mother,” Mr McPherson said.

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Synlaitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dunsandel update Size and scale of the plant

taken away by Civil Defence, along with scaďŹ&#x20AC;olding equipment following this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s earthquakes.

The new drier (known as Drier 2 or D2) will make the Dunsandel plant the largest purpose-built infant formula plant in Australasia, and Synlait Milk one of the biggest infant formula producers within the Southern Hemisphere.

The company has worked around this situation. After the September earthquake milk couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be processed for 12 hours. The 28 metre tall evaporator moved 250mm smashing piping and support structure. There was also minor cracking throughout the plant which has been remediated.

The drier is 32 metres high and the entire development takes up more than 15 hectares. Milk processing capacity will more than double from September as the new drier is capable of processing 1.8 million litres of milk per day, in addition to the 1.6 million litres of milk processed each day at peak in the past season. The plant is capable of producing eight tonnes of infant milk powder per hour. As well as the infant formula plant, a new warehouse is being built close to the State Highway and an Ingredients, Storage and Dispensary (ISD) building is under construction for the handling of specialist infant formula ingredients. StaďŹ&#x20AC; numbers have grown close to 125.

People Many of the key staďŹ&#x20AC; to lead the development of the infant formula business have come from oďŹ&#x20AC;-shore. Leading people have joined Synlait with experience from global infant formula businesses in Denmark, China, the USA, Asia and Australia. Synlait has been particularly pleased to be bringing home Kiwis who have been working overseas for many years.

Businesses involved in the plant build Hamilton-based Babbage Consultants Ltd is the project manager for the entire expansion at Synlait Milk, while Tetra Pak NZ Ltd, also from Hamilton, is the lead contractor for the drier build. Consultants were brought in from Sweden and the Netherlands to provide design advice, but almost all other contractors are New Zealand-based as this country now has signi icant expertise in dairy plant construction. Tetra Pakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main civil sub contractor is Eberts Construction from Wellington which has been responsible for $10 million of construction. RCR Energy

About three weeks was lost due to earthquake-related issues but Drier 2â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opening date has stayed on target.

Milk Supply Facts This new drier will make the Dunsandel Synlait plant the largest purpose-built infant formula plant in Australasia.

Systems from Hastings is building the $10 million steam boiler.

Synlait Milkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s earthquake fall-out

The remaining work has gone to 40 companies, mostly from within the South Island, a lot of whom took on extra staďŹ&#x20AC; for the project.

The irst cranes went up on September 3, a day before the irst Canterbury earthquake on September 4. The four cranes needed to be recerti ied to check they were still safe.

Many local companies were aďŹ&#x20AC;ected by earthquake damage, some losing production and workshop facilities, but all managed to ind alternative solutions to keep the Synlait Milk development on track. Around 320 people remain on site to complete the plant.

Civil Defence then commandeered the cranes for use in Christchurch City. The cranes were returned, only to be

â&#x20AC;˘ 130 farm suppliers â&#x20AC;˘ 50% more milk contracted for the 2011/2012 season â&#x20AC;˘ Average payout in 2009/2010 season: $6.21 â&#x20AC;˘ Forecast payout for 2010/2011: $7.50 â&#x20AC;˘ An additional $2.6 million in special milks and seasonal payments made to suppliers in 2010/2011 season (equivalent to an additional 10 cents per kg MS) â&#x20AC;˘ Most suppliers receive additional payment above the base rate by supplying colostrum or other special milks, winter milk, or additional autumn milk.

SigniĎ?icant dates â&#x20AC;˘ The construction of the second drier began last August â&#x20AC;˘ In May more than 33,000 hours was worked by 315 people on site. This was the biggest construction month to date as the roof was completed. In total 129,808 hours have been worked on the project until the end of May. â&#x20AC;˘ Plant lushing 30 July â&#x20AC;˘ Separator on water 19 August â&#x20AC;˘ Evaporator on water 25 August â&#x20AC;˘ Drier on water 27 August â&#x20AC;˘ Plants combined 1 September â&#x20AC;˘ First milk 15 September â&#x20AC;˘ There is just 10 weeks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 70 days to go â&#x20AC;&#x201C; until the irst infant formula is processed â&#x20AC;˘ First trials and production will take place between November and January

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New chairman, board for NZAEL

Warren Larsen

Robert Anderson


ew Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL) has a new chairman and new board.

The appointments follow a review of the governance and structure of NZAEL commissioned by DairyNZ in August 2010. The review team was led by Fonterra director Jim van der Poel and reported to the DairyNZ Board early in 2011. DairyNZ chairman John Luxton said the review found that changes were needed in relation to the structure, process and support of NZAEL to address the identi ied issues and to position NZAEL and the industry to deal with future challenges that it faces in relation to the National Breeding Objective. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As a consequence, DairyNZ has

Ted Coats

Hugh Blair

appointed a new chairman and a new director to the NZAEL board. The new chairman is Warren Larsen, a professional director who has considerable experience in the dairy industry, as CEO for the NZ Dairy Board for nine years and Bay Milk Products for 10 years prior to that. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is chairman of Centreport Limited, deputy chairman of Landcorp Farming and a director of Air New Zealand,â&#x20AC;? Mr Luxton said. Mr Larsen said there are many challenges ahead for the board. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Continuing to improve the contribution genetics can make to increase the performance of our national dairy herd will be the key focus of NZAELâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work. There is much for us to achieve, and I look forward to

Michael Spaans

addressing the challenges to the bene it of New Zealand dairy farmers.â&#x20AC;? Also new to the board is Massey University Professor Robert Anderson, who is the pro vice-chancellor college of sciences, who chaired the committee which conducted a comprehensive review of the New Zealand Dairy core database in 2009.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would like to recognise all the former directors for their signi icant contributions to NZAEL. The national breeding objective has been a crucial part of the bene its farmers have enjoyed through genetic gain,â&#x20AC;? Mr Luxton said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would also like to acknowledge and thank NZAEL manager Bill Montgomerie for his immense contribution to the company, and for delaying his very wellearned retirement until we were able to appoint his successor geneticist Dr George Cruickshank, who joins us from Sheep Improvement Limited.â&#x20AC;?

They will join existing directors Massey University Professor of Animal Science, director of research and Commercialisation Hugh Blair, NAIT chairman Ted Coats, and DairyNZ director Michael Spaans. Former NZAEL chair Philip Luscombe and directors Jake Chardon, Steve Ireland and Kevin Old have each dedicated several yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; service to NZAEL and are all stepping down.

He said DairyNZ had also increased the skills available to NZAEL and pasture and animal improvement specialist Jeremy Bryant, who has recently joined DairyNZ, will be working with Dr Cruickshank.

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Bright Food in talks to buy Australian dairy company


hina’s third-biggest dairy company, Bright Dairy and Food Co Ltd, owner of New Zealand’s Synlait Milk factory in Canterbury is in advanced talks to buy Australian branded food business Manassen Foods from Champ Private Equity.

Food Holdings Pty, the parent of Manassen Foods, had earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $A50.4 million for the 12 months ended June 2010. Established in 1953, the company owns an array of brands in bakery, biscuits, grocery and confectionery segments, according to its website.

If successful, the deal would mark Bright Food’s irst major overseas acquisition since the Synlait deal a year ago when Bright spent $82 million to take control of the processing operations of the independent dairy company Synlait in Canterbury.

The Shanghai-based Bright Food has previously unsuccessfully tried to buy CSR’s sugar business and French yoghurt maker Yoplait.

It took a 51 per cent stake and four of the seven directors’ seats by buying 26.02 million shares in Synlait Milk Ltd.

First team of JerseyGenome heifers graduate

Bright Food and CHAMP declined to comment. Sources declined to be identi ied because the discussions were private.


he JerseyGenome joint venture between Jersey New Zealand and CRV AmBreed has successfully graduated their irst team of JerseyGenome heifers.

Now the Chinese governmentcontrolled Bright Food is keen to expand From an initial team of 39 2008 born into Manassen Foods, which owns Nomura Holdings is advising Bright heifers, which were named in June 2010 Sunbeam and Angus Park dried fruits Food, while UBS and Bank of America based on both pedigree and genomic and Margaret River Dairy in Western Corp are advising Manassen. Australia. - Reuters information, 35 have completed their irst JerseyGenome lactation with 25 graduating.



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group. Of the three status levels, (merit, highly commended and elite), elite status is the ultimate goal and offers some exciting opportunities and rewards to the heifer’s owners. From the 25 who graduated the group produced four elite, one highly commended and four merit heifers. Merit Hillstar Nevvys Avis S3J John & Ann Ellis - (Hillstar Jerseys) Kelland KC Serena Kelvin & Sandy Tosland - (Kelland Jerseys) Merridowns Crisma Ludo Eric & Colleen Bocock – (Merridowns Jerseys) Upland Park Jonos Britney Andy & Nicky Walford – (Upland Park Jerseys) Highly Commended Pukeroa Tricks Bracetta Alan & Vivienne Lockwood-Geck – (Pukeroa Jerseys) Elite Ashvale Export Trump ET Rodney & Jocelyn Dobson – (Ashvale Jerseys) (Graduates outcross elite) Drumclog Pat Magnolia Ron & Shirley Hamilton – (Drumclog Jerseys) Hawthorn Grove Topaz Ron & Jackie Monk – (Hawthorn Grove Jerseys) Shinarro Munga Kendal S3J Brian & Shirley, Ross & Karena Carter (Shinarro Jerseys)

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Aussie A2 milk demand grows


2 Corporation Ltd says it expects to commission its own processing plant in southwest Sydney next January to meet a growing demand for A2 milk in Australia. Chairman Cliff Cook said the company’s A2 milk business in Australia continues to grow rapidly and the development of its own processing facility would allow for the continued expansion of the business. Mr Cook said sales growth was greater than expected in the six months to June 30 and the new $A7.5 million ($NZ9.23 million) factory would process 10 million litres of milk a year, some of it additional to 20 million litres of milk already supplied by contractors. A2 Corp shareholders last year approved a deal to buy up the remaining 50 per cent stake in Australia’s A2 Dairy Products Pty Ltd that they did not already own. In return, A2 Corp gave its partner in the company, ASX-listed Freedom Nutritional Products Ltd, a 25 per cent stake in A2 Corp, with the option of later increasing its stake to 27 per cent.

licensing agreement with yoghurt brand Jalna. The company has claimed that dairy cows originally produced A2 type of beta casein protein only, but the breeding of European cows for higher yields has led to some cows producing an A1 type of the protein and that many milks in shops are a mix of the two types. It said that milk with only the A2 type of protein “may provide protection” from a range of intolerance responses to cow’s milk protein and assist digestion. When the milk was originally marketed in 2003, it was sold as a “risk-free alternative” to standard milk, such as that produced by dairy giant Fonterra, which contains a mix of A1 and A2 beta casein proteins. A2 Corp claimed the beta casein A1 found in most cows’ milk sold in New Zealand had been linked with the development of coronary heart disease, childhood diabetes and also implicated in autism and schizophrenia.

A2 Corp now has exclusive rights for the production and sale of A2 milk products in Australia and Japan.

But food manufacturers are legally barred from making therapeutic claims for their foods such as being capable of curing illness unless they substantiate the claims with scienti ic testing and register the food as a medicine.

In Australia, up to 15 suppliers across northern Victoria, New South Wales and southern Queensland supply 20m litres for white milk sales and extra milk for yoghurt. The company has a

A European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) review, which canvassed the claims that milk containing A2 beta casein was less likely to cause health problems than the milk containing the A1 form, said that

different types of cow’s milk were safe to drink and no one type of milk was safer than another. The issue is expected to attract new attention in the wake of recent Indian research which showed local cow and buffalo breeds possessed a rich A2 allele gene that “provides a better and healthier quality of milk than foreign breeds”. After screening the status of the A2 allele of the beta casein gene in indigenous cows, National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) director B K Joshi said the A1 allele gene in western breeds “is considered to be associated with diabetic, obesity, cardiovascular diseases”. - NZPA


Got PMS? Milk may help that T

he United States dairy group that created the “Got Milk?” campaign is back with a new marketing strategy that already is generating plenty of buzz. The California Milk Processor Board is encouraging men to buy more milk for their wives and girlfriends, which the campaign says will help them fend off the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. However, the statewide campaign launched last week entitled “Everything I Do Is Wrong” was drawing criticism online for ads saying men are the real PMS sufferers as their wives and girlfriends behave strangely every month. The campaign’s website has a colour-coded “current global PMS level,” a “video apology enhancer” and a “mistake veri ication system” wrapped around pictures of puzzled men. The board’s executive director, Steve James, says the campaign is meant to encourage open conversations between men and women about an awkward subject. “It was certainly not meant to be offensive. None of the humour is aimed at women. The humour is aimed at how clueless men are in dealing with emotional situations,” James said. “All of the humour is built around men’s cluelessness.” The campaign is based on studies that have found a link between calcium intake and fewer PMS symptoms. It cites a 2005 study published in the

Archives of Internal Medicine that found calcium improved PMS symptoms in more than 1000 women. The study received some funding from GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures calcium supplements. The board also refers to a 1999 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition that found calcium could relieve symptoms such as irritability, depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, headache and cramps. Its author also served as a consultant to and had inancial ties with the drug maker. Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr, chairwoman of the University of California, Davis Department of Nutrition, said she was not aware of any studies that showed calcium could improve the effects of premenstrual syndrome, although the FDA recommends daily consumption. “I’m not familiar with research supporting that relationship at this time,” said Zidenberg-Cherr. The board has had success in highlighting the link between calcium and PMS before, said James, the executive director. That included a 30-second TV ad in 2005 called “Milk to the Rescue,” which featured men stocking up on gallons of milk. James said even his wife was sceptical about the campaign, but she laughed at many of the jokes on the website. “It is awkward and it is provocative, but once you let the humour in and you start talking about it, we hope it’ll be a healthy thing for couples,” he s aid. - AP

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Dairy Focus July 2011  

Ashburton Guardian - Dairy Focus July 2011

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