What Future for the NZ Family Farm?

What Future for the NZ Family Farm?

The family farm and the wholly owned dairy producer cooperative were the key components of the spectacular development of the NZ Dairy Industry over the past 140 years. The past two decades has seen a steady deviation from that successful base. The “suits” from commerce have entered the structure and been allowed to apply their measure of “business” success to the family farm and cooperative using only the financial tools that that they favour. Asset valuation for security and benchmarks for performance. Both harbour the toxic elements that are progressively destroying the fabric of the industry. Leadership has lost its independence of thought and action, responsibility for consequence of decision and each individual farmer is now challenged by a plethora of “experts” collectively setting intrusive standards for the benefit of others by manipulating the prime target of the politics of community change – the strong cooperative.

The cooperative has changed from being the servant of the producer to the producer being the servant of the cooperative. The single seller ethos was discarded for the mirage of bigness in milk processing being success of itself. Production at any cost and irrespective of consequence is the savant now driving this once responsive industry. The industry servants are blind to the consequence of their “one church for all” approach to technology research.

At what cost has this shift been to the longevity of the family farm. Has it destroyed the capacity of an individual farmer to be innovative in practice, successful in commerce and an example citizen?

Give farming folk the tools and they can do the job. It is our contention that kitchen table planning is far more effective and entrepreneurial than any group of experts seeking to impose a top down production structure for the benefit of all outside the farm gate.

“Prepare to repel boarders – The ticket clippers are aboard!”

It is our contention that the description of The Family Company written below parallel the strengths that lay in the first 100 years of the NZ Cooperative Dairy Industry. Individuals who came together for the benefit of the group with benefits shared equally on the basis of throughput.

  • Who is husbanding that resource now?
  • Who is saying no to the hijack of the industry wealth and principles now underway?
  • Who is pointing the way forward and preparing the path?
  • Who is describing the principles required to recover this once great industry?

Put the Family back into Farming…


The Family Company

Adrian Wooldridge | The Economist | 16th April 2015

The modern theory of the firm assumes that public companies represent the end of corporate history; but outside Britain and America the family company is the dominant model, and looks set to remain so. The family company deserves more attention from business analysts, professional managers and management theorists. The power of capitalism and the power of the family make a formidable combination

THE MODERN THEORY of the firm is the theory of the public company: obsessed with questions such as transaction costs but blind to questions of transmitting wealth to future generations. In numerical terms, this emphasis on the public company is clearly a mistake. Its triumph is limited to the Anglo-Saxon world. The economies of most of the rest of the world—developed as well as emerging—continue to be dominated by family-focused businesses that control a wide range of companies, not just individual firms…

Read more here:  https://thebrowser.com/articles/family-company/