There were campaigns trying to prevent Shanghai Pengxin from acquiring the Crafar farms. Politiciand from David Shearer and Phil Goff to Winston Peters interfered as well. Then there were the legal battles from people trying to prevent the sale of the decrepit Crafar farms to Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin.
Winston Peters also famously slurred their name in one presumably drunken rant in parliament.
But all the naysayers are being proved wrong as Shanghai Pengxin has literally plowed millions of dollars in to the farms to turn them from dogs to diamonds.
ONE OF the biggest achievements of the Shanghai Pengxin renovation of a former Crafar dairy farm near Hamilton is peace with the neighbours and community.
A while back, Jason Colebourn who manages the Collins Rd property for Pengxin’s sharemilker Landcorp, says he wondered if the local customary wave was a one-fingered salute, so often did he get one when working on the farm whose environmental calamities helped spur the collapse of the 16-farm Crafar dairying empire six years ago.
Colebourn moved onto the farm one year into the receivership of the Crafar farm estate and for two more years until the sale to the Chinese company was finalised, the Collins Rd property would remain an eyesore.
Pengxin has bankrolled the Collins Rd farm resurrection for $1.72 million and counting.
Colebourn and his five staff have supplied the brains and brawn to turn what was by all accounts a train wreck into an operation which this season will produce 365,000kg milk solids and is turning a profit for its owner.