Putting cash back in the cow

By: Daniel Hutchinson daniel@thesun.co.nz

Daniel Hutchinson
From The Hutch

I don’t carry a lot of cash around these days for two reasons. Firstly, I don’t have a lot of cash and, secondly, it tends to disappear when I do have some, which leads back to situation number one.

So I know exactly how the Fonterra people felt when they woke up this week and discovered $600 million had disappeared out of their pockets.

The best journalists always dig deep and find the grass roots folk who are affected by these things. Instead, I read about a farmer who watched his $2.5 million worth of Fonterra shares dip in value to $2.4 million.

This is not exactly Givealittle material but I did briefly consider purchasing a 10kg bag of baby powder as a show of solidarity. Having only just become a great uncle, this is also very timely and a thoughtful gift. Let’s call it an eco-gift because it is the very definition of economically sustainable.

There are other ways that we in the Bay of Plenty can help Fonterra improve its fiscal position. It is time to think big, in the best traditions of large corporate co-ops trying to be the biggest. So here’s just a few ideas to keep the clean, green milking machine from tipping over. And this can also be treated as my application for the ceo’s salary.

Kiwifruit

Combining two mighty industries like kiwifruit and dairy can only result in an endless supply of money and success.

I am simply gobsmacked that nobody has combined these two industries earlier. The ability of the humble kiwifruit to loosen one up, combined with the creamy bounty of its four legged cousin just screams world domination.

And I’m not just talking milkshakes here – kiwifruit ice cream, kiwifruit cheese, kiwi cupcakes made from kiwi butter. I suggest we call this new hybrid company ‘Kiwi co-operative Dairies’.

The case pretty much proves itself so let’s do it and while we are at it we can set up a factory in Shanghai called Chinese Goose Milk. It’s a winner.

Forestry

This may not seem like a natural fit with the dairy industry but when you are looking at rapid expansion you really can’t go past milking stools. These stools could be the defining furniture statement of our century. The Scandinavians have got ‘Scandi’ we could have ‘Kiwi cow chic’ or ‘bovine boho’.

Not everyone drinks milk, but everyone has to sit down at some stage which means this is a much bigger industry than dairy. And, if you have a milking stool, you are going to need a cow to go with it. Why sell a few litres of milk here and there if you can sell the whole cow?

People can get on-trend with their bovine bo-ho and milk their own cow, which will mean farmers get to sleep-in or plant a tree instead of trudging through mud every morning.

Energy

If you’ve never stood in a geothermal steam field and observed a herd of cows first thing on a frosty morning then you’re missing out. It is immediately obvious that steam rises from both the cows and the ground.

Such similarities should not be overlooked if we are to create the biggest and most amazing dairy company ever. These things are not put in front of us for simple amusement.

Cows are clearly capable of making energy as well. In fact cows are so gaseous, and the gas so flammable that they have been known to cause property damage – including a fire in a dairy shed in Germany in 2014. This is known as pyroflatulence or flatus ignition.

This may amuse some people but not me. This is business and when someone comes up with a clever business idea, everyone needs to take it seriously or just stick to milking cows.

Installing methane powered generators in cows means you could harvest the electricity at the same time as you are doing the milking. You could be carbon neutral without even factoring in the trees you use for the milking stools.

This is a virtual Edison moment and easily worth the $2.5 million in bonuses my family trust will receive when I become chief.

Advertising

It is super important to sell our new concepts and our general awesomeness to the wider population so I have designed a series of TV ad’s to go with the new-look, forward thinking, carbon neutral company.

Covered by the slogan ‘Teats on a Bull’, the ad features well-fed executives sitting in a methane-heated spa pool eating cream pies topped with kiwifruit slices. Off to the side is a happy rural family swimming in the river, while in the background, safely behind the riparian planting, cows are dancing on wooden stools.

Don’t run out and buy that new Range Rover just yet though. I want mine first.

Ka-ching!