Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tah tah tah tah...and the Smooth Operator of the Week Award must go to....Ravensdown CEO Rodney Green

Hark the herald angels sing...no it's not a Christmas angel...it's Rodders in all his preened public relations finery in Ashburton this morning keen to unsoap his mouth from the recent gaffes he made in the media when he ignored the existence of the New Zealand arable industry and it's importance to the Ravensdown coffers. (see post further down)

Alas Farmgirl hears there was no mention of that...he'd cleaned up his act and polished his lingo to perfection particularly when it came to the point of the meeting - why Ravensdown continues to be in the PKE market when it disadvantages the arable shareholders he hadn't realised existed until lately.

Ravensdown imported 90 000 tonnes of PKE this year and have sold around 50 000 and apparently on this basis cropping clients should be relishing the opportunity to add a meagre 5500 tonnes to the mix.

5500 tonnes? In arable lingo that's about five small farms that might benefit from the market but hey Mr Green and his cohorts reckon this could be a fantastic opportunity for us poor dumb cereal farmers. Apparently in this recession Ravensdown alone will convince the cash strapped North Island dairy farmers of the poor nutritional content of PKE when they sell it to them and then these same dairy farmers will come back, singing hallelujah you were right Rodney, and purchase bucket loads of the PKE barley mix while we celebrate by emptying our silos down here.

Yeah right!

And then of course Farmgirl understands there were the veiled threats that the Australian Barley Board (ABB) who has recently purchased plant in Hornby would get in on the act and might not put New Zealand barley in their mix. We should fear the Australians and trust Ravensdown was the message. But hold on...up until last week Rodney said it was the Australians that were adding a third commodity group to the Ravensdown market in arable farming, so who should we fear here?

In reality Ravensdown is all PR fluff. Nothing has changed. If the PKE barley market is a goer what's to stop RD1 getting on board anyway? The fact that they're not doing the same thing proves that there is room for doubt as to whether dairy farmers will really buy the more expensive supplement.

Yet again Ravensdown have misjudged the feeling in the arable sector. They should not be in the PKE market at all and no amount of wing preening by Rodney Green will change that.