Dairy feed dis­pute heads to court

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

A dis­pute be­tween Waikato farm­ers and one of the coun­try’s largest palm ker­nel im­porters is headed for the courts.

Wai­hou dairy farmer Stu­art Hus­band is claim­ing Mata­matabased J Swap Contractors owes him $156,375 for loss of milk pro­duc­tion af­ter the feed-sup­ply firm failed to de­liver pre-or­dered palm ker­nel ex­tract dur­ing the 2007-2008 drought.

J Swap blamed ship­ping de­lays from Malaysia when they failed to de­liver some of the con­tracted 250 tonnes.

In­stead Mr Hus­band was of­fered Sum­mer Blend tapi­oca mixed with PKE at al­most dou­ble the price.

The blend was priced at $450 per tonne, com­pared with $240 plus GST for the palm ker­nel ex­tract which Mr Hus­band or­dered in May 2007.

J Swap has is­sued a statu­tory de­mand on Mr Hus­band’s com­pany, Hus­band Fam­ily Farms Ltd, for $17,878 plus in­ter­est af­ter Mr Hus­band re­fused to pay for some of the feed.

Mr Hus­band said the herd took one week to ad­just to the blend and com­bined with the de­layed de­liv­ery of the palm ker­nel ex­tract, which he even­tu­ally got in March 2008, milk pro­duc­tion dropped to dry­ing-off lev­els.

He dried off his herd two months early and trucked 100 cows to Dar­gav­ille to graze when they would not eat the blend.

He said he had tried to con­tact J Swap over 18 months to dis­cuss the out­stand­ing in­voice and re­place­ment feed prices but he felt stone-walled by the firm.

It sent him a let­ter say­ing it was over to him to ar­range con­tin­gen­cies for feed short­ages.

Mr Hus­band said he pre­ordered maize and PKE as a con­tin­gency.

In April 2010 Mr Hus­band en­listed Fed­er­ated Farm­ers to li­aise with J Swap for a meet­ing which was un­suc­cess­ful be­cause the con­tract­ing com­pany’s spokesper­son said the is­sue had be­come a le­gal mat­ter.

A High Court hear­ing has been set for March 2011.

In a sep­a­rate case in June 2008, Ti­rau dairy farmer Ross McQuoid signed a for­ward con­tract with J Swap for 360 tonnes of palm ker­nel ex­tract.

Later that year he also tri­alled the sum­mer and spring blends on the un­der­stand­ing it would be priced at daily spot rates.

He claims J Swap changed his pre-or­dered palm ker­nel ex­tract con­tract to the blend with­out his knowl­edge.

He was then made to pay for the or­der.

Mr McQuoid tri­alled the blend but his farm staff in­formed him the herd had re­fused to eat it.

Mr McQuoid re­fused to pay or take fur­ther de­liv­er­ies of the blend, of which some de­liv­er­ies were also charged at a higher rate than his orig­i­nal palm ker­nel ex­tract con­tract.

Mr McQuoid’s case is go­ing to ar­bi­tra­tion next month.

When con­tacted by the Waikato Times, J Swap, in­clud­ing op­er­a­tions man­ager Marc McCarthy, would not com­ment, re­fer­ring ques­tions to Mata­mata lawyer Peter Hardie.

Mr Hardie said it was in­ap­pro­pri­ate for J Swap to com­ment be­fore le­gal pro­ceed­ings.

He said the com­pany val­ued farmer re­la­tion­ships.

‘‘If any un­fore­see­able prob­lem should arise, J Swap’s prac­tice is to work in part­ner­ship with the farmer to re­solve it in a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial way,’’ Mr Hardie said.

Photo: FILE

FEED FRA­CAS: A dis­pute over the sup­ply of palm ker­nel is head­ing for the courts.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.