Mar­mite short­age bites deep

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCKOY

While Jes­sica Allen and Jade Thomas savour ev­ery bit of toast smoth­ered in mar­mite, their class­mates Te Po­ria Marsh and Jonathan Zhou couldn’t think of any­thing worse.

Last Mon­day when San­i­tar­ium an­nounced that the kiwi icon was in short sup­ply, peo­ple rushed to the su­per­mar­kets to stock up.

Count­down was sold out of stock within 24 hours and Mata­mata New World was the same.

Te Po­ria reck­ons all fuss is a bit much Jonathan agrees.

He can’t un­der­stand why peo­ple are up­set be­cause there are plenty of other spreads to put on toast.

But to true mar­mite lovers, the news was dis­heart­en­ing.

Jes­sica doesn’t know how she will sur­vive with­out it.

‘‘I eat it ev­ery sin­gle day, on my toast in the morn­ing and on my sand­wiches at school,’’ she said.

‘‘I was sad when I heard on the news that it was run­ning this and out. Mum went to the su­per­mar­ket but they had al­ready sold out by the time we got there.’’

Jes­sica reck­ons there is an art to the per­fect piece of toast with mar­mite on it. Warm toast, no but­ter and just a thin spread­ing of the yeasty good­ness to make the per­fect snack. She doesn’t quite know where she will find some yet. She said Trade Me is get­ting a bit ex­pen­sive, but she will keep her eyes out.

Jade is also in love with mar­mite and was disap- pointed with the news.

‘‘ Mar­mite and cheese sand­wiches are the best,’’ she said.

‘‘ We have a large jar at home so hope­fully that will last us.’’

Pro­duc­tion of the Kiwi icon had to be sus­pended af­ter earth­quake dam­age to a cool­ing tower at the com­pany’s Christchurch fac­tory ren­dered the nearby Mar­mite build­ing un­safe.

San­i­tar­ium gen­eral man­ager Pierre van Heer­den said hope­fully enough stock was in cir­cu­la­tion to last a few weeks, but pro­duc­tion wasn’t ex­pected to re­sume un­til mid­way through this year.

‘‘The tower, which is next to the Mar­mite fa­cil­ity, suf­fered con­sid­er­able dam­age and has had to be de­con­structed.

‘‘While that is hap­pen­ing, work­ers have had to va­cate the Mar­mite fac­tory be­cause it is un­safe.’’

He said San­i­tar­ium is look­ing at its op­tions so that it can get back to pro­duc­ing the 640,000 kilo­grams of mar­mite it makes each year.

Sweet smell: From left, Jes­sica Allen and Jade Thomas love hav­ing a daily dose of mar­mite.

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