Weddel’s World 1982 – December

Weddel’s World

KAITI – in conjunction with Gisborne Sheepfarmers Freezing Co. NZ



There’s no substitute for meat at Christmas

CHRISTMAS is an annual celebration looked forward to, and remembered yearlong, and the traditional dinner is so much a part of the festivities that Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it.

However, if the dietary experts who favour a much reduced consumption of meat and a replacement of fibre have their way, Christmas and indeed the whole year would lose its flavour.

While chairing an Auckland seminar on dietary fibre, Dr Cliff Tasman-Jones, a leading New Zealand fibre researcher, warned that dietary fibre was in danger of becoming a fad. He said health food outlets were encouraging the consumption of products such as bran, which like vitamins, could be positively harmful in excessive quantities.

Continued page two

G. M.’s message for 1982

Mr P. H Johnston

NEW Zealand in 1982 was a mixture of success and sadness, blended with some confusion, against a world scene where protectionism seemed to be leading more towards depression, than recession.

It was essential that Works produced, and there was success with Tomoana, Westfield and Kaiti all returning good performances. All concerned – both Staff and union merit our thanks; such performances are not an accident but the result of hard work and good relations by all concerned.

Patea’s closure, now complete, was of course sadness, involving as it inevitably did many friends built up over the last fifty years or so, and we wish them happier times ahead.

Normally you wish confusion on your enemies, but in 1982 confusion was world-wide among our valued customers, over New Zealand’s marketing approaches and long term intentions.

Whatever our reservations on temporary Meat Producer Board acquisition of sheep and lamb as the best answer, that is the position for 1982/83 at least, and it behoves all concerned to work together for the best results for New Zealand, a partnership can succeed, a pure bureaucracy will not.

If the meat trade prospers so does New Zealand, so here’s to a continuance and development of this year’s cooperation and a consequently prosperous New Year.

P H Johnston

Korean market has potential

A NEW Weddel office was officially opened in Seoul, Korea, last month.

W & R Fletcher (NZ) Ltd’s Export Manager, Mr Bruce Bishop, said Korea has been importing New Zealand meat from the company for “quite some years” and has such a potential for further development as a market, that an office with full branch status was opened.

Previously, selling was carried out through various agents, but now the branch will sell directly into the market. W & R Fletcher will be supplying any meat coming out of New Zealand. This will include the shipments of carcase lamb, processed into boneless lamb rolls, for the Japan market.

At present, the new branch has a staff of three. Mr John Wood, who has taken up the position of manager, spent several years in Japan’s Osaka office and has a background in Far East trading.

Also figuring in the export news from Korea lately, have been wet salted hides.

By-products Manager, Mr Harry Beauchamp, said 13 percent of W & R Fletcher’s available wet salted hides are exported to Korea. In all, 40 percent of the hides are going to the Eastern markets.

“I am pretty positive that the Eastern markets will continue to hold their own. We are pleased with the sales in the area,” he said.

“Italy and Europe are coming back into the area and showing strength. About 27 percent of wet salted hides and 36 percent of all hides, are going there.

Mr Beauchamp said that although major concern is still very much on the financial side, he can not see any major swing or change to upset the market. In fact, the Eastern market shows promise for further development.

“The market for wet blues has not as yet developed. This is mainly because of embargoes and strict controls to keep their own work force operative. Japan for instance imposes high duties and will not let wet blue hides in unless under special arrangement. We will continue to develop the market and as long as prices do not get out of hand, we hope sales of wet blues to these areas will increase,” Mr Beauchamp said.

He added that the number of kills is low at present, as the industry is in an off-season as far as beef is concerned. But he said the kill will probably get underway in February 1983.

Continued from front page

The magazine “Food Industry” has pointed out that the “commercial implications of a change in dietary habits are mixed and interesting” and said “there is already a worldwide trend towards lower meat consumption”.

It suggested that meat producers may have to consider marketing campaigns to offset the widening of the fibre trend. Mr Tony Ashton of the Meat Industry Research Institute of New Zealand in Hamilton, agreed.

Health food

“As a matter of personal opinion, I would say the meat industry should take the battle to the people. If other products can be successfully promoted, why not meat? It remains, so far as we know, and in spite of its image, a natural health food.

“The health aspect applies particularly to New Zealand’s sheepmeats. We have a healthy, natural, pasture-fed product, free of hormone supplements, artificial environments and laboratory formula feed recipes. I would say it is time we got meat into the health business, where it deserves a ‘prime’ place,” Mr Ashton said.

The Institute has recently made a preliminary review of scientific literature on meat’s nutritional qualities, and Mr Ashton said that on this evidence he would feel confident in asserting that a strong case may be made for the continuance of meat eating.

“People would be making a mistake if they gave up meat without being fully aware of the contribution it makes to their nutritional needs,” he said.

“We would argue that meat is important, at our present average consumption of about 100 grams of cooked meat a day, because:
it supplies more than half our protein intake;
it is a balanced supplier of all the essential amino acids:
it supplies many essential minerals and assists absorption of minerals from other foods:
it is a major B-group vitamin supplier and assists absorption of fat- soluble, A, D, E and K vitamins;
it provides essential fatty acids and fats, saturated and unsaturated, needed for energy and cell construction;
its fat plays an important role in satiety, the feeling of “fullness” which is a natural protection against overeating”.

In reference to fibre as a health-fad food, he said it has been found that it results in severe deficiences [deficiencies] in iron, zinc and vitamin B. There is also a danger that carboyhydrate [carbohydrate]-rich foods, taken in quantities necessary to avoid protein deficiency, would add to obesity problems.

“High-fibre dieting does not preclude meat and other animal products although sample weight-reducing diets recently published, would dramatically reduce the amount of these products consumed by the average New Zealander. This would leave many people at risk from anaemia unless iron supplements were taken. (High-fibre material blocks absorption of iron, and haem iron in meat is more readily bio-available than iron from other sources),” he said.

And while a “moderation in all things” will ensure a balanced and healthy diet at Christmas, rice, beans and bread are no substitute for the flavour of roasted New Zealand lamb.

Picture supplied courtesy of the New Zealand Meat Producers Board. A

Weddel “branches” out into Taiwan

FROM January 1, 1983, Weddel will operate its own office in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.

This was announced by W&R Fletcher (NZ) Ltd’s Wool Manager, Mr Alan Chapman, following his recent tour of Far Eastern markets.

The office will be managed by Mr Julian Awdrey, who spent a period of training in New Zealand and Australia, and is familiar with all aspects of the export industry.

Two of the new staff members technician and the other with experience in leather manufacture, visited New Zealand recently to fully acquaint themselves with W&R Fletcher’s production of these two commodities, which they will sell in Taiwan.

Both Messrs Chou and Pan spent a short training period in Australia before returning to Taiwan.

Pictured above (from left) are: Wool Manager, Mr Alan Chapman; Mr Steve Chou (wool); By-products Manager, Mr Harry Beauchamp; Mr Scott Pan (leather).

Far Eastern markets show resilience

WHILE a worldwide recession is beginning to affect even the strong economies of wool-buying countries such as Japan, signs indicate that a possible improvement in the situation will occur later next year.

So says W & R Fletcher(NZ) Ltd’s Wool Manager, Mr Alan Chapman, following a recent fact-finding visit to the company’s Far Eastern wool markets.

His three and a half week tour with the Weddel Bradford Wool Manager, Mr Raymond Wilkinson, included Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Hong-Kong and was designed to obtain a picture of the current textiles situation in those countries.

In spite of unsettled economies worldwide, Japan was, for the 1981-82 season, the largest single buyer of New Zealand wool. The country’s wool purchases were up 56 percent on those in the 1980-81 season. Mr Chapman said this was mainly because the state of the New Zealand dollar made this country’s wool seem attractively cheap.

The four main countries visited by Mr Chapman are closely linked by cross trading and wool purchasing figures were also up for the 1981-82 season in Korea by 69 percent, in Taiwan by 55 percent and in the combined market of Hong-Kong and Mauritius by 19 percent.

“The Far East is an important market. In all, these countries took 21.2 percent of New Zealand’s total wool production for the 1981-82 season,” Mr Chapman said.

However, he said these countries are now beginning to feel the downturn of the world economy situation.

“Their main problem, at the moment, is that the world recession has finally caught up with them. They are going through a shaking-down period from a high growth with a strong economy. Demand for their export goods has decreased,” he said.

He said Japan, with its large population, will weather the situation by turning in on itself and supplying its home market.

High duties

Imports into countries such as Taiwan, however, must slow considerably during “down” periods, as their governments demand payment of high import duties which are only refunded if the materials are eventually exported.

“The consequences of the recession are that the countries are all endeavouring to keep stocks down to a minimum and are buying only as orders come in. This way, interest rates are kept low. The law of supply and demand means we have more stock than we normally would,” Mr Chapman said.

“What we learnt from the trip was that the first half of 1983 will continue to be very down as far as wool is concerned. But there is hope that in the second half of the year, there may be some improvement.

“We are in a ‘no confidence’ period a span of about six months when trade is down. The wool industry is cyclical and conditions are now ripe for improvement. Someone just has to realise it has bottomed out and can not get any worse,” he said.

“Provided New Zealand and Australian Wool Boards have the courage to support wool strongly during this period, then I think an improvement will be seen.”

Over 6000 visit display

VISITORS to the recent A & P Show in Hastings had an inside look at the Tomoana Works, and what happens to the farmers’ stock, before it reaches their tables.

Describing the display, Tomoana’s General Manager, Michael Sanders, said a moving exhibit had been assembled which demonstrated the control of carcases on a mutton chain.

Tomoana’s system of controlling the identity of farmers’ stock relies upon a system of skid identifications, in which each skid is uniquely numbered, magnetically.

The display showed skids carrying carcases moving over a section of rail and the identification of these skids was read and displayed.

To show how the computer allows the weighing and grading of carcases to be carried out, and a ticket to be printed, the display included a platform scale on which members of the public could be weighed and graded.

Mr Sanders said about 6000 people tried the weighing and grading system during the show.

With the emphasis placed on quality and hygiene control at W & R Fletcher Works, it was only natural that there would be a display on micro-biological quality control. The display included working demonstrations of laboratory equipment and photographs of various types of bacteria and moulds.

Each of these photographs was accompanied by information showing sources from which the bacteria could reach meat products, and explaining what types of hygiene problems were caused it the bacteria were present in unacceptable numbers.

Mr Sanders said that another item of major interest was a chilled counter display of Tomoana meat products, showing how they are prepared for distribution through the Tomoana wholesale trade and retail outlets. Tomoana is a major supplier of these meats to the lower half of the North Island.


BEST wishes for the future to Kaiti Works Manager, Mr Wally Varley, who retires this Christmas, after 47 years with the works.

An interview with Mr Varley, on his years with the works and his busy retirement plans, will appear in the next issue of “Weddel’s World”.

Pictured is the receiving station site at the rear of Westfield Works. It monitors gas intake from the main pipeline beside Mt Wellington Highway.

Westfield converts from oil to gas

DECEMBER has been a month of change for the Westfield Works.

After many years of oil-fuelled boilers, the works have now converted to natural gas. W & R Fletcher (NZ) Ltd’s Chief Engineer, Mr Ian McGregor, said the annual saving resulting from the fuel changeover will approach $1¼ million.

For an energy-conscious company such as W & R Fletcher, another benefit of the conversion is the effect a change from an expensive imported fuel, to one locally produced, will have on the country’s balance of payments. Mr McGregor also noted that natural gas is a cleaner burning fuel.

“For some years we have been trying to get gas. When the decision was made to pipe Maui gas to Auckland, the Auckland Gas Company gave us an option on it. It is definitely a good idea had we been able to do this years ago we would have done so,” he said.

The eight boilers, which have a combined capacity of 72,000 pounds per hour, have been totally converted but a reserve of oil will be retained as a back-up in case of interruption to the gas supply.

Change is also in the air for the Tomoana Works. Early next year, Tomoana will be converting its boilerhouse from oil to coal and the next issue of Weddel’s World will carry the story and pictures.

ALL the best to Messrs Alan Edwards and Alan Parker, who transferred to take up new positions recently. Mr Edwards, formerly Tomoana’s Works Manager, transferred to Kaiti to take over from Mr Wally Varley, who is retiring and Mr Parker, the former Manager at Patea, has taken over as Works Manager at Tomoana.


IN SPITE of the problems which occur from time to time, Jeff Russell from Tomoana describes his work as “a wonderful way of life”.

One of the Tomoana team’s longest serving stockbuyers, Jeff went on the road as a junior stock agent when he was only 18 years old.

He recalls that in his first week, he found himself up on the rail at the Stortford Lodge Saleyards selling his first pen of sheep.

Seven years later, after working with the late Mr Norman Stewart and also Mr Doug Grieve – two of the most respected stockmen in “The Bay” – Jeff approached the then General Manager at Tomoana, the late Mr Alex Kirkpatrick. He was told to gain a further five years experience as an agent auctioneer then come back.

During the next five years he saw much of the North Island but decided that Hawkes Bay was where he wanted to work. In 1958, he joined the Tomoana team.

His clients included Mr Eric Nelson, a grandson of Tomoana’s founder. Now in his 84th year, Mr Nelson is still a valued customer and continues to send stock into the works.

Jeff says he enjoys his job and finds it a challenge. But he looks back with nostalgia in the pre-computer days.

“We used to draft anything from two, to two and a half thousand head of stock in the morning, have them in the yards by midday and be able to tell our client that evening the weight and how much money he had made,” he comments.

“We have learned to accept that those days have gone.

Jeff enjoys swimming every morning during the summer months. He fattens a few lambs and cattle on his own small farm, enjoys fishing and is a keen rugby football fan. He is also on the committee of the Hawkes Bay A & P Society with a particular interest in the sheep section, and is a senior steward in the fat lamb section.

Next year perhaps…

GOLFING skills of five W & R Fletcher offices were put to the test in the. annual inter-office tournament recently. But there was no surprise when Patea, who competed for the last time this year, went out in style.

Group Export Manager and Head Office representative, Mr Bruce Bishop said: “Regrettably, this was the last year that Patea was able to participate, and true to form they managed to take away the team competition for the Rowlands Shield. Patea’s departure will at least make it easier for someone else to win the competition in future!”

Another of the Head Office competitors, W & R Fletcher’s General Manager, Mr Peter Johnston, presented the shield to Patea and farewelled the players who have been the mainstay of the team for many years. He announced that a new competition for a Patea Memorial Trophy will be held next year.

Patea’s Arthur Dunning took away the W & R Fletcher (NZ) Ltd Cup and Don Cameron, also from Patea, won the Wally Knight Cup. Three prizes went to Tomoana: Works Manager, Allan Edwards won the Mark Hinchliff Trophy and the Lauritzen Cup, and David Lay won the Sconz Cup. The Blueport ACT Cup was taken home by Head Office competitor, Laurie Edwards, and Tunny Clark of Westfield won the Cryovac Cup.

Mr Bishop said it was a “most enjoyable weekend” and noted that the high standard of golf lived up the weather!

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Business / Organisation

W & R Fletcher (NZ) Ltd

Format of the original


Date published

December 1982


  • Tony Ashton
  • Julian Awdrey
  • Harry Beachamp
  • Bruce Bishop
  • Alan Chapman
  • Steve Chou
  • Alan Edwards
  • Laurie Edwards
  • Doug Grieve
  • P H Johnston
  • Alex Kirkpatrick
  • Ian McGregor
  • Eric Nelson
  • Scott Pan
  • Alan Parker
  • Jeff Russell
  • Michael Sanders
  • Norman Stewart
  • Doctor Cliff Tasman-Jones
  • Wally Varley
  • Raymond Wilkinson
  • John Wood

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