Food industry

Did Key never exploit weakness when he was at Merrill Lynch?

John Key has said that government officials have been telling privately owned companies that they shouldn’t exploit market gaps as a result of sanctions against Russia, because it would apparently be a bad look for NZ.

Mr Key also revealed that although New Zealand has not officially imposed trade sanctions on Russia, government officials had called in Fonterra and other companies to ask them not to exploit the gap left in the Russian market. Mr Key said it was made clear that would be a terrible look for New Zealand – and while the Government could not stop them doing so, he believed they were acting responsibly.

Fonterra general manager of trade strategy Robb Stevens yesterday confirmed the Government “has asked agricultural exporters, including Fonterra, to show restraint and not take advantage of the restrictions imposed on other nations”.

How pathetic.  Read more »

Now the doctors union is advocating for taxes on sugar

The pressure is ramping up on food producers as the doctors union gets involved in suggesting taxes for sugary foods, especially drinks.

New Zealand is fat, getting fatter, and doctors say urgent action needs to be taken.

The New Zealand Medical Association, which represents thousands of doctors, says the soaring obesity rate is now a “public health crisis”.

In a report published today, the association calls for drastic cures for the bulge, including taxing or minimum prices for sugary drinks, restricting food advertising aimed at children, and taking fast food out of schools.

Tackling obesity should be embedded in everything from new building developments to school curriculums, the report says. Despite overwhelming evidence of the massive cost of obesity, the official response had been “piecemeal and largely ineffectual”, lagging behind many other countries.

The current Government’s move, when first elected, to scrap healthy food in schools, was singled out as a particularly troubling decision.

Reliance on self-regulation of the food industry was not working, the report says. “A prevailing ideology of individual responsibility and vested commercial interests have combined to thwart, dilute and undermine previous attempts at effective policies to counter the challenge of obesity.”

Association chairman Mark Peterson said more needed to be done to make healthy choices easier. “It is killing us and it is also costing us a lot of money.”

New Zealand was the fourth fattest country in the OECD, behind only the United States, Mexico and Hungary.

Otago University health researcher Professor Jim Mann said he supported the report’s recommendations, particularly a fizzy drink tax. Kiwis were becoming so big that they were almost blind to obesity. “Parents can’t even identify when their children are overweight or obese. Obesity is fast becoming normal.”

New Zealand’s poverty rates, particularly among children, and cheap access to fatty tasty foods were largely to blame, as was a lack of political will. “There is this obsession with the nanny state, that we shouldn’t be telling people what to do.”

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Christchurch gunning for fast food in latest assault by health control freaks

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Yesterday The Press ran an article about Vicki Buck (former Christchurch City Mayor and now Deputy Mayor) opposing the establishment of any further fast food outlets on Memorial Ave (main
route from airport) on the basis of containing “fat and sugar”.

And yes KFC and McDonalds got a mention.

Christchurch City councillors yesterday discussed banning additional takeaway outlets along Memorial Ave, near Russley Rd, but instead opted to have them pushed further back on sites.

Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck said there was at present no limit on the number of fast food outlets allowed near the airport. She was concerned tourists’ eyes would be assaulted by a lineup of “fat and sugar” as they entered the city.

“I don’t want it to be, ‘Welcome to Christchurch, and here’s McDonald’s and KFC’,” Buck said.

Council senior planner Mark Stevenson said it was possible to create a rule to ban fast food outlets from fronting on to Memorial Ave.

Read more »

They are coming for your food now with tobacco tactics

As I predicted the calls are growing for controlling food manufacturers like tobacco manufacturers…they are coming and they will use the same tactics.

Any food manufacturer who now thinks that plain packaging is only about tobacco really does have their head in the sand.

The food industry should be regulated like the tobacco industry as obesity poses a greater global health risk than cigarettes, say international groups.

Consumers International and the World Obesity Federation are calling for the adoption of more stringent rules.

These could include pictures on food packaging of damage caused by obesity, similar to those on cigarette packets.

The Food and Drink Federation said the food industry was working to make healthy options for consumers.

The two organisations – CI and WOF – said governments around the world should impose compulsory rules for the food and drink industry.

They said global deaths due to obesity and being overweight rose from 2.6 million in 2005 to 3.4 million in 2010.   Read more »

Herald Editorial on Aussie supermarket bullying

The NZ Herald editorial discusses the Aussie supermarket anti-Kiwi sentiment.

A buy-Australian campaign in two Australian supermarket chains is a sobering lesson for the Green Party and anyone else in New Zealand who advocates the same thing here. The unfairness to suppliers from this country is exactly the effect a buy-New Zealand campaign has in other countries, though the scale of our market diminishes the impact on most of them and increases the damage to us.

The smaller a population, the less it can afford to favour its own suppliers – unless it wants to settle for a more limited range of goods and services, at higher prices, than the rest of the developed world enjoys. That is precisely the reason New Zealand is in the vanguard of global efforts to liberalise trade.

A world in which all markets are accessible to the most competitive suppliers, no matter where they live, is much more important to New Zealand than to, say, the United States or France, though they stand to benefit too.  Read more »

The World is coming to an End?

As predicted, MSM repeaters are so desperate for stories that this Fonterra cream recall suddenly is taking all their attention.

Take TVNZ’s Matty McLean. He’s crawling the ‘burbs (from his desk) looking for a busy-body nana desperate to be listened to.

If it’s not the berms she’s moaning about, it’ll be her baking. So when Matty McLean calls up granny, she’ll complain bitterly about her cream being off and her pav didn’t rise like it used to.

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Silver Lining to Fonterra botulism scare

You won’t read about this in the main newspapers, or on TV3.

It’s tooooo good for and so must be buried in the NZ Farming on Stuff.

Handling of this year’s Fonterra whey powder contamination scare served to raise Chinese confidence in New Zealand as a safe food exporter, rather than damaging it, an expert says.

The revelation emerged out of this week’s Global Food Safety Forum in Dunedin. The Fonterra food safety scare, where testing showed the possibility of a deadly botulism germ in some of the company’s whey protein concentrate, was among the main topics of conversation of the gathering.

Keynote speaker of the forum Xiaoming Huang, professor of International Relations at Victoria University in Wellington, told delegates China was dismayed at the New Zealand response to the scare.

When the story broke in New Zealand the first question being asked was how the contamination would affect New Zealand’s image in the Chinese market, Huang told the forum.  Read more »

Ryall really needs to rein in Health Nutters

Like most New Zealanders, I pop into the supermarket to pick up food for the family. Never once have I thought that the local owner of the supermarket as a “drug dealer”.

But surprisingly, there are some that do. And you don’t have to look far to see someone who seems hell bent on bashing the people who manage, employ kiwis and who contribute significantly to their local communities.

So who is one of these supermarket haters?

Surprise, surprise, it’s none other than taxpayer funded  Professor Doug Sellman who said;

given that alcohol is a Class B equivalent drug, a new liquor licence would therefore elevate the new manager Philip Blackburn to being the biggest drug dealer in Ilam

Not content to let it rest there, Sellman went on to say;

Although disguised as a large family –friendly grocery store, supermarkets are in fact primarily mega-liquor stores which also sell grocery items. New World supermarkets… are probably the single biggest drug dealers in New Zealand”.   Read more »

The Huddle

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I was on The Huddle again last night with Josie Pagani.

Our topics for discussion were:

Now a case of AgResearch lying to cover its arse

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Via the tip-line

There’s the old saying when in the sh*t stop digging.

The people at AgResearch don’t seem to know this old adage, instead continue to dig at a more rapid rate.

Here’s yet another example of AgResearch repeating the line they told / recommended to Fonterra to get further work done.

I have it on very good authority that they did NOT do this.  Read more »