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This Week on STRAIGHT TALK - Friday 5th August, 2011 8.30pm

This Week on STRAIGHT TALK - Friday 5th August, 2011 At 8.30pm

This week on STRAIGHT TALK, Mandi McLeod is joined by special guests Neil McLean, dairy farmer and Fonterra Shareholders Council member and Roger Wilson, Senior Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hamilton.

Topics up for some straight talking this week include - how Japan may be the answer to some Aussie farmer prayers for survival, recent protests in Seoul against milk prices and the recent announcement on the Fonterra milk price debate.

Families farming on the Liverpool Plains have a new ally in their fight to preserve land from mining and energy companies - one of Japan's main grain processors and noodle manufacturers.

Hakubaku Agri is one of the largest grain processors of barley and minor crops such as buckwheat in Japan, and also has a moderate-sized wheat milling business.

An associated company, Hakubaku, manufactures organic noodles at a factory in Victoria, for supply to the Australian market.

Frustration with Japanese government restrictions, and middlemen trading businesses which made life difficult for end users, prompted Hakubaku Agri to look at investing in its own farm. The Hakubaku Agri farm itself sends approximately 1200 tonnes of wheat, 1200 tonnes of barley, and 400 tonnes of buckwheat to its operations in Japan. Their decision to explore new sources is part of a trend of Japanese food producers to pull out of buying from China because of food safety scares and price changes.

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Could this be the saving grace Aussie farmers are looking for?

Dairy farmers in Seoul have protested against the government and free trade agreements at a recent rally demanding an increase in milk prices near the National Assembly in Seoul?

Thousands of dairy farmers opposed Korea’s signing of free trade agreements that could lead to more milk imports. Our Fonterra guest, Neil McLean shares his thoughts on what this action says to them.

Also on the show, is the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry playing Russian roulette with the Government Industry Agreement on the Bio-security Law Reform Bill?

The recent review of the Red Meat Sector Strategy plan has identified a few holes. The team discusses what these are and how to plug them.

For all this and much more, please join Mandi and her guests on this week’s Straight Talk, Friday 5th August at 8.30pm, only on Country99TV.

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