It appears once more that we have put all our export eggs, in this case milk, in one basket. We did it with kiwifruit and we are still doing it with logs and wine. Initial exporters make millions on a product and then we flood the market so that the prices gained reduce to a non-profitable level.

Australia has come adrift with its iron ore and mining. We need to diversify and stop trying to ride in on the coat-tails of former successes. People were encouraged to turn huge areas of former grain-growing land into dairy farms and now former orchards and market gardens into viticulture, which is fine until the market screams out, "No more!" China has huge stockpiles of milk products.

At least Bill English is up front and has not sugarcoated the dairy crises. Maybe the scientists working for the likes of Fonterra can find another way to utilise excess milk rather than dumping it. There are a lot of hungry children even in NZ who would appreciate cheaper and more diverse ways of obtaining milk proteins. A tax on sugar would encourage more milk sales in NZ also.

Marie Kaire
Ngararatunua, Whangarei

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