Vitriol on Fonterra shocked and appalled farmer
Andrew Mcgiven, chair of Te Aroha Federated Farmers provides comment on Fonterra’s recent dilemma.
It has been interesting and more than a little upsetting as a supplying shareholder to watch the recent inquisition of Fonterra by the New Zealand media and by default the New Zealand public.
After listening and reading all the hype and hyperbole anyone would think that thousands of people died of food poisoning and that Fonterra had tried to sweep it all under the carpet.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s get the facts straight.
This was a preventive safety recall made by Fonterra on a Fonterra whey product.
As at the time of writing, no-one has fallen ill and all contaminated batches are now located and accounted for.
It is being treated by Fonterra as an extremely serious quality breach, as it should be.
What was disturbing for me as a proud Fonterra supplier was the venom and vindictiveness of the New Zealand public and media who I believe made the whole issue appear exponentially worse to our overseas markets. Did New Zealand get such a shock to suddenly realise that one company contributes something like 27 per cent to GDP?
Anywhere else in the world that might have been a source of pride.
So please New Zealand, get behind and support Fonterra, because we the suppliers want this to be a company for us all to be proud of on the global stage.
Sure, we might be New Zealand’s largest company at the moment, but as a Kiwi I would love to see a whole host of New Zealand companies get to Fonterra’s size because it will only benefit us all, and we need that to continue our climb up the OECD rankings.