Sep 17, 2008

Fran Might Have Wronged Groser In Her Article Today

Fran O'Sullivan has launced a savage attack on Fonterra in her column today. Here is a taste

Fonterra was (typically) in lockdown mode yesterday.
Neither of the two woefully anodyne press releases the company issued when it first fielded media requests were even posted on its company website by 3pm yesterday.
There was nothing - repeat nothing - reinforcing Ferrier's verbal sentiments about the plight of the many Chinese babies affected by the poisoned milk formula. The latest release was a September 9 statement shouting how Fonterra probiotic reduced eczema in infants. How ironic.

We won't take issue with her core message, but we think she might be maligning our future Trade Minister and world authority on the international dairy trade, Tim Groser.

Fran says the following about Groser

The politicians who pussyfoot about to protect Fonterra's name - even National's shadow trade minister Tim Groser was lamenting a possible risk to the New Zealand economy if there was too much focus on this score - should instead pressure the company, not prevail upon their parliamentary colleagues to stay silent.

We think she has taken Groser out of context here. Here is his question in Parliament the other day following a ludicrous and insulting question from Russel Norman about 'dirty dairying'

Tim Groser: Is the Minister aware of the long-term consequences for the New Zealand economy of undermining the New Zealand dairy industry, and is he also aware that the carbon footprint of the New Zealand dairy industry is considerably better than in any other major dairying country?
Hon TREVOR MALLARD: Yes, and yes. But I might also say that some of the people who run the risk of undermining the dairy industry are a very, very small group of farmers—especially the Crafer Group, one of our largest corporate dairy farm owners, which has four separate convictions for appalling environmental practice. There are maximum penalties under the Resource Management Act of fines up to $200,000 or up to 2 years’ imprisonment, and it is my view that it is time for the Crafer family, who owns now more than $35 million worth of farms, to be prosecuted as individuals, rather than hiding behind their company fronts.

Readers can make their own mind up.....