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Tuesday
Oct022012

Mussel Industry Upheaval (3)

My earlier prediction has come to pass with the announcement that Sanford and Sealord have done a deal with the receiver that they appointed to North Island Mussell Processors Ltd. (McGrath Nicol) to take over the Tauranga facilities with no loss of staff.  This is reported in today's Herald

The interesting (and unexplained) matter relates to just what is happening to Greenshell. Unlike the newspaper article today, the webpage story leaves out all reference to Greenshell and Peter Viatasovich, his debt to NIMPL, and the fact that he is chair of the Aquaculture NZ. It also refers to Greenshell's 10,000 ton production (10% of the national total), but fails to explain just where this production may be processed in the coming season. It says that Vitasovitch "was unavailable for comment" on yesterday's announcement. Surprise, surprise!

I wonder when the penny may drop at TCDC that things are not quite what they seem at Sugar Loaf and beyond. Rumours are reportedly a dime to a dozen up at Te Kouma, and there are a lot of very anxious farmers wondering just when the other shoe, branded Greenshell, will drop. Sealord and Sanfords will be under considerable pressure to take the production that Greenshell normally absorbs from these farmers, but the market remains in turmoil, despite all the PR hype.

It is fair to assume that Vitasovitch's primo role in the industry is under considerable pressure, and those who have thrown so much weight behind him and his ambitions have considerable 'egg on face'.

I am preparing a further post of anomalies evident in the approach being adopted by our Council in regard to the development of the industry. It is reflective of the 'Gung Ho' approach that is inevitable when councils take on an economic development roles with minimal commercial knowledge or experience. Mayor Leach of course sold himself during the election as the man to do that job, but it is unsettling to observe the almost religious fervour being brought to the task following the appointment of Hammond and Day, and I use the expression advisedly.

 

 

 

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