Former Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman and Waipu farmer Simon Couper looks at the strategies of Fonterra's competitors to see how the co-op can strengthen its own strategies.
We started our year in the South Island for a few days. Got to see some of the Mackenzie country, something I had always wanted to do. And we caught up with some good friends too, which is always a tonic for the soul.
As many of you readers will, I well remember Y2K, which is now over two decades ago! Can you remember the media and various other outlets and experts talking up all the dramas that were about to descend on us back then? There were some very bleak predictions being circulated.
I know plenty of folks who stayed up on 31 December 1999, many fearfully awake, to witness these dramas as they hit. Of course, there was a big sales rush on key ‘survival’ items, like water and tinned food. I don’t recall if loo paper was on the emergency shopping lists back then, sorry!
In one family I personally know, Dad / Grandad was right into the bad news and fear side of Y2K. It was endless, to the point of curtly telling him to please shut-up. Very cleverly though, on the big night in question, they sneaked up outside his house to the power meter box and right on the stroke of midnight they flicked the mains switch off. As family told me the story about it later, it was hilarious!
I jumped online, went back and read some of the news from back then, just to prompt my memory. Amusing now, for sure. I mention just a couple: Generator hire companies were scrambling to try and get more in, to meet the unprecedented demand. Everything they had on hand or had access to had been booked out for months. And Airlines cancelled flights, most kept their planes on the ground for those few critical hours.
Popular opinion, with the help of the media of course, carried a lot of weight, I recall. If you dared publicly to make light of it, or even worse, dismissed it altogether, you set yourself up for personal attacks from the mainstream know-it-alls.
Sounds all too familiar doesn’t it?
I am all for careful and wise planning, for the present and the future – there is definitely a place for that. I am also equally all for finding out the facts, and being able to discern the difference between facts, opinions, and the false.
I wrote in an earlier column last year that: “Balance is the key to life.” The same is true here; it’s not a choice of one or the other, it’s both. Wise planning and good discernment – what a great balance to have at hand in today’s world.
Common sense and wisdom are not as easy to access as they used to be. Finding people who are well seasoned in life, and who have genuine miles on the clock in the area you need information and knowledge, is truly a great place to start.
For people with an active faith like me, we add prayer into the mix. It slows you down a little, for one thing, plus it gives opportunity for the One who knows much more than we do, to have some input. I have found that’s always a good thing, and it surely has worked well for me in my life’s journey.
After 2020, who knows what 2021 has in store? And yes, I’m truly blessed to know the One who does!
Take care out there, and all the best for 2021. God bless.