The Plight of the Local Dairy

Image Credit - Rosemary Parkinson

Image Credit – Rosemary Parkinson

The following article was extracted from Rosemary Parkinson’s Facebook Page. She has become known on Facebook and BU as a strident advocate for one cause or the other as it affects Bajans. A read of Rosemary’s Bio can be an intimidating experience; where does she find the time and energy!  At the core of what she does is publishing books about the foods of our region BUT her interest gleaned from her BIO is far-flung.

Love it. First OUR LOCAL DAIRY tries to fool the people with their so-called “fresh” milk that was not fresh but some new-fangled bad-tasting excuse for milk that could last on a shelf for 90 days.

When the people screamed, OUR LOCAL DAIRY thought they could fool even more people by putting same into the coolers of supermarkets but the taste remained the same and no matter what OUR LOCAL DAIRY did for marketing, nothing worked.

CEO of OUR LOCAL DAIRY says “consumption not like it used to be”…well Sir WHOSE FAULT IS THAT, PRAY TELL? You admitted that people used to drink more milk in the past…so you gave yourself the answer one time but just in case you still doan get it. WHEN THAT HORRIBLE MILK DID NOT SELL, WHY DID YOU NOT TAKE YOUR LOSSES, SCRAP DE PROCEDURE AND REVERT TO THE REAL MILK THAT HAD BEEN SELLING WELL FOR YEARS EH? Oh! No! No!…you believed that we the people would soon get over our disgust and begin the consumption of what you felt we had to consume whether we liked it or not. Perhaps your marketing man should have heeded my words at BMEX when you first launched there and he insisted this milk was “fresh from the cow”…for I said clearly…THE PEOPLE WILL NOT LIKE THIS…YOU WILL LOSE!

It took awhile to sink in…and then outta de blue…without much pomp…you tried in a most limp manner to re-introduce a fresh milk but de people dem by then had lost faith in your marketing…everyone wondered what was in there this time? Ya try to fool some of de people dem, some o’de time, but ya cyan’t fool all de people, all de time. Simple ting.

THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN STRONGLY. But still instead of doing the right thing, you gine punish we….yes…you will punish the country…by your decision to buy less milk and force dairy farmers to cut back production and therefore their herd AND THEREFORE THEIR EMPLOYEES, SOME OF WHOM HAVE BEEN WORKING THESE FARMS FOR YEARS AND WHOSE FAMILIES RELY ON THIS MONEY TO FEED AND CLOTHE AND EDUCATE THEIR CHILDREN.

….and to add insult to injury…what a lot of people ent know is that our local dairy has been playing “Let’s take a roller coaster ride” with dairy farmers for a long long time now lowering the contracted price as they feel and further…”increase the herd” “decrease the herd” “increase the herd” no no no “decrease the herd”…perhaps LOCAL DAIRY your real goal is to just close down the dairy farming industry in this country in order to allow for the importation of powder milk from China et al or wait…maybe…maybe…could it be? No! I do not want to believe it…PHD from a parent company in a neighbouring island eh? No! Never! Bajans would not do that to Bajans. But it is food for thought one has to admit! SHAME SHAME SHAME.

Perhaps this is the time for A NEW CO-OPERATIVE DAIRY that will purchase the farmers production of the good old fashioned milk we were accustomed to in the past. A CO-OPERATIVE WHERE FARMERS ALSO HAVE DAIRY FARMERS TIME TO GET TOGETHER…GO BACK TO GOOD OLD ORGANIC GRAZING…..GIVE US THE GOOD STUFF AND PUT OUR LOCAL DAIRY OUTTA THEIR MISERY. GOAT FARMERS JOIN THE DAIRY FARMERS WITH GOAT MILK….PERHAPS YOU BOTH CAN CREATE YOUR OWN PASTEURIZING PLANT (get an EU grant). DESIGN GREAT LABELS, ORGANIZE SOME COOL MARKETING AND BRING BACK THE REAL THING INTO OUR DIETS. Using both these milks, we could also have great yoghurt, incredible cheeses…AND STOP ALL THE DYAMNED IMPORTS!!! I PUT MY ENERGY WHERE MY MOUTH IS AND WOULD BE PREPARED TO HELP HERE..

We got ‘nuff money floating ‘bout on this island but those who have it seem to not have any creativity imbedded in their DNA. If I had money (and perhaps a certain very wealthy dairy farmer might just take note – WE DO NOT HAVE TO GO TO GOVERNMENT FOR EVERY LITTLE THING) this would be what I would invest in big time. Cheese is not difficult to make…and experts are already here who can teach locals…and if they do not want to…bring in a few from Italy…New Zealand wherever…we bring in experts to talk shite and do nothing…bring in some for a change with an agenda…an agenda to give us the knowledge to create all manner of products from dairy…de guy in these photos makes an incredible butter right here…and garlic spreads…some with dried local tomatoes…delicious yoghurts – savoury or sweet with our local fruit! And what about beautiful Gelato ice creams (I know a young man in Italy who would come here like a shot to teach the latter and he knows our fruit, did all the studies, and has used them all in ice cream + more…!) WE ARE IMPORTING STUFF WE CAN MAKE HERE. Does not take a rocket scientist…just a government who would do all in its power to give us the food security we need so desperately at this time.

LAWD I GET SO VEXED AT THOSE WHO GOT IT AND PUT IT INTO CONCRETE INSTEAD OF INTO FOOD!!!

By the way…I have been EATING THE FABULOUS CHEESE MADE BY THIS ITALIAN (perhaps he could work as a consultant…who knows?) FROM GOAT’S MILK purchased at HOAD FARMS with COW’S MILK FROM GREENWICH FARMS…have documented the making of same in my book – Barbados Bu’n-Bu’n. For months now I have been drinking delicious fresh cow’s milk from Greenwich Farms (just call and collect or get same every Sunday at Holders Farmers Market)…have been at the farm, seen the whole procedure…the cows graze like cows should…milk is taken from them under the most hygienic of systems…and for the first time in ages I have begun to enjoy milk to the fullest…’cause it is totally delicious, even got all that lovely thick cream at the top! So? Bet if great high quality milk and its by-products were on the shelves well packaged, with a marketing thrust behind same…the people would buy. How about “Shock Your Parents, Demand Milk!”

IT IS CERTAINLY WORTH A TRY BEFORE YOU BUCKLE UNDER THE PRESSURE OF GREED. Just my gut feeling….for life can be simple and there is always an answer to stupidity. Or is there? Sometimes I do wonder!

And now further…the news that farmers might have to or are considering dumping milk…now really really really….why not give same to all the schools, the children’s homes, the homes for the elderly, both government and private eh? That little idea not on anyone’s agenda? You rather just throw it all away? Are we following the ways of the US here? And the same goes for farmers that cannot get rid of their produce…every thought that those in need might be so happy to receive? FRESH FOOD SHOULD NEVER BE DUMPED!!!!

I WONDER WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF OUR DAIRY FARMERS REFUSED TO SELL OUR LOCAL DAIRY ANY MILK FOR ONE WEEK BUT INSTEAD GAVE IT AWAY? OR SOLD IT REALLY REALLY CHEAP TO PEOPLE AND/OR INSTITUTIONS…ALL IT NEEDS IS A BOILING IF YOU FEEL THAT THE MILK WOULD BE SAFER….AND IF TRANSPORTATION OF SAME IS A PROBLEM, HAVE PEOPLE COME TO THEIR PARTICULAR DAIRY AND PICK IT UP….MAYBE I AM NOT SEEING ALL THE PROBLEMS BUT…SURELY THERE IS A SOLUTION…YES! TAKE THE LOCAL DAIRY TO COURT IF YOU HAVE TO FARMERS BUT MEANWHILE??? HOW ABOUT GETTING TOGETHER WITH A PLAN??

93 thoughts on “The Plight of the Local Dairy


  1. Man I had to laff at Dennis Johnson on Friday when this topic came up …. You know the man talk and talk and talk ’round the subject that the fault for the fall off in demand fell squarely in the lap of the Dairy… Man it would have been a funny scientific study on the Talk Hosts “responsibility” to protect all of the sponsors, past, present and future, had it NOT been such a f*cking serious matter …!


  2. Cozier should have been a public servant … ’cause there would be good cause to spend another 600,000 dollars on a Commission of Inquiry to get he transfer to some place else, preferably not in Barbados. Pine Hill is the classic example for any argument against privatization. Dey got as many assholes outside of the Government as inside passing themselves off as decision makers …!


    • Why wait until the cows are full with milk at this time to cut supply? Don’t they have planners at the dairy?


  3. Don’ worry Dennis reading this all like now and he gon’ be gunnin’ fah me watch. But lemme tell wunna, this Jack Ass hey lead the charge against the take over of Pine Hill all dem years ago, and this Jack had ALL of the farmers, half of the management and all of the staff on board save for Cow Williams and the brown nosing President … so lemme see wah kind of opposition shaping up … I ready … HA HA HA ..


  4. The Dairy is/was (a lot of good people have retired or have been made redundant) full of experienced people in many areas and the knowlege of cows is one of them. Cows like plants are seasonal and the people that interface with the farmers are very aware of the concerns that the farmers would have. The decisions that appear to be counter productive are management decisions designed to mitigate against the damage that previous poor decision making is bound to create


  5. UHT was a bad decision, a f#cking bad decision, and now the farmers are going to have to pay for the brunt of the error. They had many taste test a couple years ago, and they had feed back including mine. The milk tasted horrible. It reminded of a McDonald’s hamburger after we got accustomed to the good ol’ bajan brand. It was a rubbish product. But they went ahead with it anyway. Somebody’s head should roll, but that person should not be a farmer


  6. Please note that it was Andrew Bynoe that started the run on the Dairy when he got a lot of Super markets to stop buying product from the Dairy. The result of that initiative is still being experienced by the poor farmers. Yea Parkinson I hear you loud and clear. Perhaps you could talk to Mr. Bynoe and asking him to repeat his effort, but let me say this, in Barbados producers ALWAYS suffer, not the merchants, so expect a similar out come here.


    • The irony is that in a country where productivity is sluggish we have dairy farmers producing and for what? This problem has its root in decision making from PoS.


  7. “It must be about how we can generate byproducts?’

    David PHD prefers to try and convince the consumers what fresh milk is all about and have neglected to look at the by products that could generate sales, it is their loss. Butter, butter milk, cheese, cream, sour cream, creme fraiche, cottage cheese to name a few they can look into.

    Farmers now have to get creative and learn to make some of these by products. Perhaps they can arrange to have retired farmers from France or UK come and teach them how to make these products.


    • @islandgal

      The retort is that many of the byproducts can be produced at a cheaper price in T&T where the parent is based.


    • @HAnts

      What food security what!?!

      Do you think Bajans will switch from New Zealand cheddar for local?

      No way!


  8. Lockjack was not to own Pine Hill according to Allan Fields and his sycophants because he had planned to shut the dairy and its juice processing capabilities down and open a similar operation in Trinidad. Fields gain control of Pine Hill with a share swap, A SHARE SWAP for pete’s sake. Mind you Pine Hill and Banks Holdings were the same size operations, two mediom sized fish and one was allowed to gobble up the other and NOT the other way around. NO FOREIGN EXCHANGE WAS GAINED when this national treasure to employee, consumer and farmer alike was lost. And Fields became a Knight. Lockjack now sits on the board that owns significant shares in Banks Holdings which owns Pine Hill. Banks incidentally sold off a sizable part of its equity to a foreign concern without the normal rights offering being made. Not a man ask …

    Now this …!


    • @Baffy

      Didn’t some question the loan sourced by BHL without bringing it to the shareholders? A little fuzzy!

      What is easy to recall is that Alan Fields son controlls(ed) all the drink dispensers around Barbados.


  9. I believe that the Barbados dollar is seriously over valued. If cost are to be compared the process has the be done with a better or truer assessment of the Barbados dollar.

    Powdered milk is the answer that was developed in the US in response to overproduction. From powdered mik comes evap milk and ice cream and so on


  10. David wrote “What food security what!?!”

    I hope the day will never come when Bajans have no forex to buy imported food but it is completely asinine for a tiny Island of 166 sq. miles and 280,000 people to risk starvation.

    The Lord helps those who help themselves. It is a construct that applies to atheists and especially Bajans who have an excessive dependence on Foreigners.

    Well wunna probably full wunna guts wid puddin n souse today. Dah is wunna food security.lol


  11. I suspect Cozier, Fields et al are working on government for a grant to reinstall refrigeration that they stripped out when PHD went UHT. I believe the equipment used to pasteurise the milk can be reprogrammed to a ‘lighter’ profile that would give a better taste but must be refrigerated.

    Better to give the money to someone else that can get an alternative milk producer up & running within 6 months. This will give PHD competition and greater security for farmers, maybe spur PHD on to find the money from within their own (considerable) war chest.

    Either way, best wishes to the dairy farmers, who are in a real bind right now and deserve immediate, decisive and practical solutions from the private and public agencies and the support of the public.


    • BU reported on the grant financing (millions) which BHL got because of its export interest from EGFL. Perhaps equivalent funding can be sought for a startup which produces local milk and by products. This would count as import substitution.


  12. David

    “Didn’t some question the loan sourced by BHL without bringing it to the shareholders?”

    Hell yeh big time … Shareholders (ALL of them, not just the minority holders) were hopping vex. But you know the GoB, very much as was the case with BL&P, the sale represented an injection of FOREX … So the share cried foul to no avail.

    Chattel

    It might be of interest to you to know that Banks Holdings twice walked with a million dollars in GRANT money from the Enterprise Growth Fund. Twice, in two years. How will the production oriented farmers benefit from any of that money …?


  13. What would happen if the farmers slaughtered their cows to adjust to the demand and then a few of them decide to get out of the business.

    Where would PHD get their raw milk from?


  14. Of course. Powdered milk can replace any fall off that the Dairy could experience. BICO fought and I believe one its case to import powdered milk. The farmers are on the shitty end of this stick and Errol Barrows dream of a vibrant dairy industry has been laid waste in the Arthur’s error (or should that have been ‘era’ …?)

    I have no problem with Fields taking advantage of a sorry situation and creating an opportunity for his son. My problem is with those that allow the Fields of this world to move so smoothly along without challenging them at the appropriate times. Fields simply said (after Bynoe started the run on the Dairy) “You see that Pine Hill, I gun be running it in a couple of moths …!” or something to that effect. At the Dairy it was referred to as a Cattle Wash decision ….


  15. I make my Greek yoghurt with 2% milk and it comes out perfect all the time. After going to Holetown to get a good imported culture, I tried making Greek yoghurt last March when I was in Bim with PHD 2% milk and got a thin gruel. The bacteria had nothing to grow on. I would like to buy some soft cheese (paneer)down there, for a vegetarian dish with chick peas, but cant find it and the milk is not fat enough to make my own.

    They should make some proper yoghurt and stop selling that corn starch laden garbage you find in the supermarkets. I am sure it would sell. Other soft cheeses like ricotta, mascapone and cottage are easy to make, need no ageing and are nutritious.

    I did not even know that PHD was owned by foreigners. Do Bajans own anything?


  16. The focus should be on demand / consumption.
    If people are not buying milk, how can we expect PHD to buy it from producers and sell it to us – that’s the “us” who are not buying it?
    COW can take PHD to court but whatever the verdict from that case, the milk producers will have to adjust to whatever the real demand is.
    It may mean job losses, but the last thing we need now is another Government supported industry that bleeds our tax money away.


  17. Dragon
    Don’t be an ass. The Dairy changed the offering to the market and the market rejected it. Read the submissions before you decide to shit all over the place.

    David
    Those concessions particularly the ones that target personal effects of expatriate staff are f#cking offensive. These people will represent net outflows of foreign exchange. Now how much money was donated for the running of the political campaign in the new year …uh? The Barbados Labour Party could say what they like, but are prone to doing the same blasted thing. Expats does run free ’bout hey…


  18. Money that could be generated to pay the public servants will now be diverted to fund the promotion campaign of a private members’ ghost association called the Democratic Labour Party


  19. St George’s Dragon wrote “the milk producers will have to adjust to whatever the real demand is.”
    Nonsense.

    A cow is not a delivery truck that you can park until needed.

    The Dairy has to manage the utilisation of excess supplies and any cuts in quotas should phased over a period of time to allow farmers to reduce their stock.


  20. @Pat…you can buy milk, real milk, from grazing cows, the old time way, to make your yoghurt. This same Italian gentleman I speak of above buys his milk from Greenwich Farms and Hoad’s Farms and makes the most delicious yoghurt from it.

    I am still of the opinion that Barbados could have (as it did in the past to a point) the best dairy products evah from such milk as above. If I had not tasted what can be done here, and rated them as good as any produced in Europe, I would be just talking outta me head. Please note I said Europe…I ent seh US ’cause I am still to taste something from that country that has a natural taste although it is always claimed loudly on the packaging…’natural chemicals’ more like it…sad enough!.

    Just think: Fresh milk, delightful tasty and good-for-ya fresh milk – some flavoured with real chocolate, vanilla (bring these in from islands that grow and produce in its raw form), butter (real honest to goodness real butter that has not travelled thousands of miles to get hey…normal, salted, unsalted, garlic, herbed), cheese (does not mean one has to stop the favoured New Zealand for ‘we cutters’ and ‘macaroni pie’ if that is a concern) such as cottage cheese (made already by the Hoads with goat milk, also by Crystal Sands Farm the latter includes Goat Moss in her offerings)… gourmet cheese using produce such as peppers, fruit, spices etc within – the variety is endless …see the book Nyam Jamaica and the story on Joanna Bulova’s successful business in Portland and all the wonderful cheeses she makes from goat milk reared on an organic farm selling to hotels and restaurants in Kingston! Then there is Yoghurt, Quark (a by-product of milk used in Germany for breakfast – divine intervention and so good for you). Buttermilk for hotels to make their pancakes for visitors. The list of possibilities is endless. One just has to have a creative foodie-mind….something that an island based on tourism, and now beginning to realize the money in ‘foodie-destinations’ still does not seem to have…we still think that people will flock here to taste Chemical America in our foods.

    We real missing the boat here big time over and over and over again. But then….maybe I sleep and wake with a dream in my head and that is to see the Caribbean producing ‘clean’ products, importing and exporting within the islands, that would put us on the food map of the world.

    Maybe I sleep and wake with the dream in my head that if other islands do not want to begin the procedure to achieve this…Barbados can!


  21. Perhaps if we can scream loud enough…someone will hear? Just posted on my Facebook page:

    Two links now discussing the plight of dairy farmers…the time has come for us to get PROACTIVE and stop being NINE DAY WONDER INACTIVES.

    DO NOT ALLOW OUR LOCAL DAIRY TO KILL ALL OUR DAIRY FARMERS AND ALL THOSE EMPLOYED ON THE FARMS. WE CAN STOP THEM. SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS, ASK THEM TO SHARE…SPEAK THROUGH THE MEDIA…THE TIME HAS COME YET AGAIN!!!!

    BUY YOUR GOAT MILK FROM HOAD FARMS OR CRYSTAL SANDS FARMS.

    BUY YOUR COWS MILK FROM GREENWICH FARMS (extracted under hygienic conditions, sold in well-labelled bottles – if you will not drink from the cow, simply boil to pasteurize) ALL WEEK LONG OR ANY OTHER DAIRY FARM THAT DOES THE SAME – REMEMBER HYGIENIC!! FRESH MILK IS SOLD AT HOLDERS FARMERS MARKET EVERY SUNDAY.

    STOP THE CONSUMPTION OF UHT, PHD, LTD, ORD…THINK FRESH!!! REPEAT AFTER ME – FRESH FRESH FRESH!!!!!

    We, the people, can begin to demand health for us and our children. We, the people, can begin to boycott products that are not good for us…both for us on a personal level and for the country on a financial level. We, the people, can begin to purchase as much local Bajan as is possible (as long as it is of good quality, not because it says Bajan it has to be good…some manufaCturers are producing less than perfect products and they need to come to the table with bettah!).

    http://bajan.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/the-plight-of-the-local-dairy/comment-page-1/#comment-618073

    http://www.bajanreporter.com/2012/12/curdled-dreams-the-plight-of-dairy-farmers-vs-our-local-dairy-by-rosemary-parkinson/comment-page-1/#comment-710390


  22. It seems in this case you need a coopt model where farmers would supply an entity owned by them to produce by products of milk and deliver fresh milk to the market. The individual dairy farmers maybe too small or lacking in expertise to drive the transformation at that level.


  23. Our farmers have the same identical problem as out Credit Unions. There are FAR too small minded and hold themselves in too low esteem.
    After all these YEARS of being screwed by the PHD they have not started their own Coop Dairy? Why Not?

    Look again at Denis Johnson’s recent comment….WE DISLIKE EACH OTHER. WE HATE TO SEE OTHERS SUCCEED. WE ARE CUTTING OUR OWN NOSES TO SPITE OUR FACES.
    White Bajans sell to foreigners or close down, rather than invest in talented blacks, and black Bajans will NOT support a talented brother if it leads to that brother’s success…

    After YEARS of accumulating reserves, the Credit Unions still do not have basic banking capabilities….Caswell still waiting on some government official to come and HAND them these powers (Despite having Maxine Mcclean, James Paul and a host of other so called credit unionist in government)….handing their huge savings over to REPUBLIC to make massive profits for Trinidad.

    Any people who want to sit back and depend on others to look after their welfare are GUARANTEED to get screwed….GUARANTEED.

    …if wunna going mind foolish Inkwell, then wunna will need to invest in a lotta Vaseline….. 🙁


  24. maybe the days of the “oldfashioned ” milkman maybe upon us. milk delivered everymorning on the doorsteps . granma said it was fresh and in bottles cream swimming on the top.


  25. PHD doesn’t get it, the consumers got it! PHD has shot themselves in the foot! PHD your days are numbered!

    I like the idea of David’s that farmers should form their own co-op and start making the by products and selling the milk directly. I wonder if the government will allow them to bring in the equipment they need duty free? The same government who keep preaching to us about entrepreneurship.


  26. Like the Bushman said one would have thought with James Paul, Haynesley Benn, Irene Sandiford-Garner, Maxine McClean et al we would have seen some movement towards implementing a legislative framework/models to promote/empower the ordinary business people/entrepreneurs along.


  27. Dennis J and Sir Cow got a good on air rapport. The time has come for DJ to ask the Sir why go to Court, why not encourage others to encourage a PPP to produce by products and fresh milk and let the T&T interest go with Nescafe as Wickham wants. Has he become shy because of Southern Meats?


  28. …..and put who in charge of it? Does he have any more brothers, children or cousins?
    Apart from David Seale, which such Bajan started a business that created a black success story of that order?
    ….or even supported / cooperated / encouraged such…?

    Read Denis Johnson again. That man got sense and he does put things real diplomatic (- not like Bushie)…..he does just talk too much when he gets all worked up.. 🙂


  29. Pine Hill cannot sink. They are and have been for some time primarily a drink and juice processing plant. The private sector ownership have traditionally viewed the milk processing aspect of their business comparable to a ‘White man’s burden’.

    Farmers like ALL other business and entrepreneurial type people, are fiercely independent and competitive. Johnson like so many ‘Employed’ commentators will need to wrap his mind around this reality. They are NOT the normal brand, and that is a good thing. BTW it was COW who lead the way in the selling off of the Dairy (he was quickly relieved of his responsibility as Chair, an outcome that lead to him taking the entity to court). Every other farmer opposed it. Why should they listen to him now?


  30. I confess I have it all wrong. Demand for milk is not an issue.
    I now realise that the way to deal with this situation is for me to buy some cows, milk them then sue PHD if it chooses not to buy my milk.


  31. Cozier should be fired. He is so incompetent he cannot generate a profit on a monopoly ! Price dump the damned milk in St Lucia, St Vincent, or into the sea. Make ice cream. The knock on effect of marginalising these farmers will come back to haunt us. All the while these white bajan band of brothers continue to enjoy full employment when making STUPID after STUPID decisions.


  32. I don’t understand why farmers do not make tier own cheese and butter. When I was a child growing up we made our own butter all the time. I never tasted foreign butter until I was almost an adult, and none not even the high end foreign butter imported form France is as tasty as homemade. There is nothing as good as fresh home made butter, and it makes the sweetest Bajan pudding (cake) you can imagine.

    Any elementary aged child can make butter. It is that easy.


  33. Am not maligning anyone here, but these minority knock-on and i might add not so educated bajan white band of brothers are allowed by the majority black, laid-back, lazy majority to do whatever, because they do not want to do it themselves and would much prefer each other not do it and progress and prosper from doing it. the majority prefer to work for the minority, that way they would not have to use the free education paid for in the billions by taxpayers, or use any brain power whatever in their own survival. That is the root of the problem in bim and why everything is now lost. Did the Williams brothers not have some dairy farm plan in the works?? now all bajans can go work for them, something they so love to do that, and have generations of their children and grandchildren continue the cycle. Sick of the mess.


  34. Simple Simon,
    Totaly agree. I cannot imagine what we collectively spend on imported cheese, butter and yogurts just for the tourism industry and I have never understood Pine Hill making yogurts with flavours like strawberry and cheesecake. Our visitors want REAL fruit yogurts with LOCAL fruit content like mango, paw paw, golden apple etc.
    If Pine Hill cannot make money at selling milk at $7.99 a litre, considering what they pay the farmers, then there is something fundamentally wrong.
    In the USA, I understand a galon of fresh milk is about US$3.65 and in the UK a litre can cost as little as 52 pence (BDS$1.66 a litre)


  35. And I forgot about ice cream. I understand the BICO was using imported New Zealand milk powder, at a time when ‘we’ have a glut of milk. Am I stupid or something. This endless talk about tourism linkages with other sectors. We sure are good at talking.


  36. A listen to Minister Kellman last week suggest he is fully in support of developing the dairy industry. So what is the problem?

    Also Minister Estwick has been very silent.


  37. Just got back from the Holders Farm Market … (Bare White people boh … good t’ing my chauffeur was wid me) and I got a chance to taste the cows milk. Well it tasted exactly the same as the OLD Pine Hill 3.7% Milk (pasteurized), exactly the same. The problem of course was that it cost three times what I would have normally paid. Pine Hill had a GOOD affordable product. Now consumers have been robbed of this good affordable product as it has now been replaced with crap …


  38. Baffy yuh ent got to go to Holders get a pasture wid a cow pon it so yuh could go and squeeze de milk outta it. What about de one yuh got home at yuh. Um dry up?


  39. Island I hope you are not referring to this exquisite example of a human female specimen that has so adorned my life with tales of unconditional love and boundless devotion who has fulfilled my every expectation, my every dream for wondrous companionship … wait I comin’ back … Dis blasted woman wun lef me be fah two minutes … $%#@


  40. The reduction in the demand for milk looks as though it is at least in part a consequence of the switch to UHT milk.
    There was an Advocate interview back in June 2010 with the (then) MD of Pine Hill in which he talked about the reduction in “spoilage”. At that time he was predicting a reduction from 9% to 2% for milk bought from farmers and not processed by PHD; he also mentioned losing $500,000 a year on milk which went beyond its sell-by date and predicted that would be cut to “10% of what we were experiencing before”.
    The overall percentage reduction is unclear but there must have been a significant reduction in PHD’s requirement for milk.
    One of the annual reports mentioned that PHD would be working with its milk producers on a marketing thrust to increase consumer demand. It doesn’t look as though that got anywhere.


  41. And Pine Hill does sell the old “real” milk again. Look for the red boxes in any supermarket.
    Buy it and help the dairy farmers.


  42. The management of the Banks group of company are all bout making as much profits as possible. So don’t be surprised if this is a move to bring in milk from somewhere else. Check who is Manager at the diary. They did the same with a small company my cousin worked for in Newton that was making plastic bottles and forced it out of producng here in barbados so that banks could bring in plastic bottles cheap cheap from outside. They were not concerned about putting people of of work a everyone lost they jobs. Same thing will happen to the farmer and this ignorant government will allow them to bring in milk duty free. Watch and see. Why is mr Cozier speaking to the press and not the manager at the diary. Barbadian need to stop buying Banks products until they change their bad decision making way.


  43. Fedup I agree. They also shut down a thriving cannery.

    I like every other beer to Banks and prefer every other malt to Tiger simply because Banks products are too blasted gassy …. TAH MUCH GAS … But BHL has always been at the forefront of the Buy Local and protect jobs campaign so I stuck with their shite. But now, particularly that they have demonstrated a preference to buy from outsiders at the expense of local jobs they could tek their products and stuff them up the channels that produce the most gas. My God, If it cost 10 cents more per pop to use a locally produced bottle it would not hurt consumers to understand the thrust, and it would be consistent with their buy local image. Workers and consumers are one and the same. This needs to be emphasized to employer and consumer alike. You see Busta, Dr Mohamed’s is the only beverage company in the region that could give Coke a run for its money and Pine Hill better watch out.


  44. The answer is yup David…and guess what it is not as good as ours direct from the cow…go figure!

    I do believe that people coming on to this blog should read my comments right through as it appears that instead of coming up with some new suggestions, the same old is being repeated. We need for individuals to perhaps give some positive input as to how the whole dairy farming industry could be saved…without doubling-up on ideas…on the other hand perhaps this doubling-up on same might produce the effect of “hello! Now ya reading the same thing a thousand times…perhaps Pine Hill…perhaps ya can get it now?” might work!!!! Who knows in the scheme of things…who knows….


  45. When Banks moved to take over Pine Hill, Hoyos and a group of people got together to buy the Dairy portion of the plant. The offer was rejected. Now with hindsight …


  46. Agree with that…a birdie told me that they are being proactive….apparently there will be a radio program or something anyhoo with dairy farmers… where some ideas will be milled around…will give more news as it comes in later.


  47. @Pat I did not even know that PHD was owned by foreigners. Do Bajans own anything?
    ………………………………………………………………………………
    Yes . Buddy’s Soca, Roslyn’s Hideaway , Two-Sons Funeral Home etc etc.


  48. @ BAFBFP
    I have not woken up. I am not a sleeping giant. What I said was:
    1. We cannot expect PHD to buy more milk than they are selling.
    2. The demand for milk hasvreduced as a result of UHT being introduced by PHD.
    Unless PHD and the milk producers either get their act together on a marketing campaign to create additional demand for milk or find export markets, the milk producers will have to accept they will only get paid for milk that PHD can sell.
    It seems unfair but so is life.


    • Dairy farmers get reprieve on quota reduction

      1/1/2013

      The Pine Hill Dairy’s milk intake from local producers will continue at the current 25 per cent reduction in quota – at least for the month of January.

      This latest development was announced in a joint statement issued by Brian Allan, President, Barbados Dairy and Beef Producer’s Association; James Paul, CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) and Richard Cozier, CEO of Banks Holdings Ltd. (BHL), PHD’s parent company, following a meeting yesterday between the PHD and members of a Farmers’ Representative Committee headed by Mrs. Annette Beckett, and comprising Mr. Allan, dairy farmers Barry Bishop and MacDonald Stevenson, along with Mr. Paul.

      http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=local&NewsID=28494


  49. @ Rosemary

    Thanks for the useful information. I am coming down again this March. I will get my girlfriend to drive me to one of those farms you mentioned. I will even bring my rennet and cheese cloths for my paneer.

    @BAFBFP

    I, unlike most people, take the time to read all my labels. I have to know what I am ingesting. If most the calories come from sugar, of one sort or another, or useless calories like corn starch, I am NOT buying it. I went to Holetown SuperCentre, because I suspected being in the tourist area, they would carry the natural Greek yoghurt with the active cultures. Know what? I was right. So I bought a small container and used it to make two batches. The first batch with the 2% did not work, so I had to buy the whole milk which I never use. However, it was still watery compared to Canadian 2% milk yoghurt.

    @Simple Simon

    Whenever we were churning our own butter, we used to bake bread. Heaven is home made butter on hot home made bread. Now the others at home don’t even own a cow. We all took turns churning and my grandfather would make the butter. He used to take his time washing it in several waters to get out most of the salt. All the while smiling because he knew we were watching and waiting to yam it. ha, ha, ha.


  50. @VAF

    I know that u know that we dont have real businessmen in Barbados, thats why the pine hll dairy is in chaos toaday. From the time they replaced the brown skin man, by this bajan white all hell break loose at PHD. The incest became very evident and hence the position we are in today.

    Havnt we seen this scene played out before and there was a marketing strategy to drink more milk? The poor govt is called to rescue every dick and harry after these nascistic businee men foul up. The William gurru who was chairman of the agro proceesing plant should be ahame that he allowed such an expensive project to fail, but am i surprised having been araound the policy malkers, i marvel as these socalled businessmen we admire who can only succedd when there is a closed market.
    Was it a wise decsion for govt to divest its ownership in phd?
    .


  51. The reprieve means exactly that David….a reprieve. A stay of execution. It is not an answer to the problems faced but at least it would appear (I hope) that this will give farmers a chance to come up with some solutions…because OUR LOCAL DAIRY will start up their game as soon as that stay done.

    Nobody can blame Trinidad or the business practices of this island. They are actually doing what good businesses do. Buy. Clean up. Make a profit. We have no one to blame but ourselves….Barbadians who have sat back and watched. But there is still time to take the cow by the udders.

    People of Barbados – boycott the horrible milk until it leaves the shelves.
    Farmers – get together with a co-operative that will provide Barbadians with real milk.
    Begin with an advertising campaign to ensure that the public understands the goodness of milk….as I said “SHOCK YOUR PARENTS AND FRIENDS – DRINK MILK
    Start to build the business of making butter, yoghurt, cream, cheese, powdered milk et al.

    If a good business plan is put into place…grants from the EU are procured (if Banks Beer could so much why not the farmers?)…and Bajans invest in this plant…there should be no reason that this could not be a success for all. Get the island well placed with the products and then begin to sell to smaller islands…forget Trinidad…they have their own dairies, they love the UHT or PHD or LLC or WC or whatever it is called….

    But then…perhaps I just see things as being easy as long as the finances are available….


  52. Barbadians are waking up to the realities of continued exploitation but in the face of no real real alternatives they have no choice but to continue with what they have and know.


  53. I just love my little island. Finally we starting to see the massive exploitation of the masses by a group of businessmen who could not give too wuk ups about the majority group who are still somw what backward to the real truths


  54. I am still at a loss to understand why government must intervene in this…what do the dairy farmers want government to do apart from buy the dyamed LOCAL DAIRY? Nothing is going to change unless the owners decide to (a) revert back to fresh milk, leave out the nasty PHD, and start to diversify making other by-products, and making them well. I know they make a type of yoghurt – not sure what to call it although “cornstarch” induced put in above does seem very clear to me. But I did say making them well with expertise brought in to ensure this is done.

    (b) the farmers get a good, decent respectful price for their milk that allows them also to live a decent, respectful life.

    OR (c) which is the option I see as best…farmers form a co-op to make excellent ‘clean’ dairy products (grass grazing cows are a must!) as I have indicated above and no! this is not impossible but would make Barbados the only island in the Caribbean that does this to the highest standards.

    …..the only intervention required by government would help government’s coffers…i.e. give duty free concessions for the supplies required to make such a venture viable and put a hold on the quantity of imports of milk and its by-products…not saying stop the importation but make a quota to give such a venture a chance.

    Today’s advocate:
    http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=local&NewsID=28494


  55. No, I say stop the blasted importation …

    To The Point
    Glad you see the point.

    Pat
    When you come down you must try some ah de men too … Naturally raised


  56. I have read the comments here and am shocked by the mass of people being uninformed. when Pine Hill changed over to UHT they brought a gentleman over from Holland who advised all us farmers to increase the herds and produce more and more milk so they could pay the excess price for all the extra milk and then export it. I pointed out that in a very dry season there would be no food for all these extra animals, I also pointed out that the milk would not sell with the foul taste, I then began to trim down my herd and find outside outlets for my milk. Why couldn’t other farmers see this coming? In UK the farmers have had to bring in other forms of income by converting their old buildings into holiday lets, some started making Ice Cream and other dairy products, some let some of the land to people with horses they all had to find another income, so this is what farmers here must do look for another income to work alongside the cow’s or Barbados will lose the whole dairy industry. Work together go forward with idea’s but don’t rely on Pine Hill or government to find the answer it has to come from the farmer’s. Pine Hill has back tracked and now produce the red box milk again very drinkable if everyone just drank 1 litre of this a day the problem would go away so help the farmer’s by doing this. As for the milk at Holder’s Farmers market this is raw milk and costs $15.00 for half a gallon and whoever said it was full of white people is wrong we have all different nationalities colours and religions coming every week so don’t be put off by the ill informed. The market is there for everyone and it is just what the west coast needed, don’t knock it that’s pure ignorance. I rest my case


    • @hilaryantiques

      If you can see that there is a need for the dairy farmer to diversify the offering why is Sir Cow, James Paul et al meeting with the PHD to extend the quotas? This is obviously not a sustainable tactic?

      On 3 January 2013 00:16, Barbados Underground


  57. You are right. ‘ We have no other to blame but ourselves.’ What is not understood, is that, as we sell off our industries/ sectors to Foreigners for a few cents/ dollars because of greed or in some cases foreign exchange earnings, watchdogs such as the Exchange Control, B’dos Securities & Stock Exchange and even the G’ovt through the Min. of Finance (irrespective of who is in power) do not adequately/thoroughly scrutinize MOU’s and Sale Contracts relative to the sale of local companies. Therefore, this means that protective mechanisms are not demanded by these same watchdogs to safeguard local producers/ suppliers and employees, thus giving any new owners outright ability to do as they please. So the new and relevant company board(s) of Directors (and nobody can blame them) are heavily disposed towards their respective nationalities and so will look after their own. The PHD is a prime example, because the bad tasting milk on our shelves comes out of product from Nestle in T&T at the expense of local producers/suppliers. So who do you think the nationality of the board of PHD is heavily pre-disposed to? Certainly not Bajans, meanwhile, Trinis laughing all the way to the Bank because we buying their products and the profits going into investors’ pockets in their homeland paid with our foreign exchange. Thanks to our ignorance, the horse has already bolted from the stable and running free. So this begs the question : “Wha we gwine do now?”
    We must become creative, The farmers Co-op, cheese making and butter are great ideas but won’t gain support from certain people like the big time dairy farmer who is only crying wolf, because he sold the majority of “Readi-Block” to the Trinis for a few pieces of silver. We Bajans and those who live here and love this country need to harness our collective, negotiating and creative juices, look to int’l financing supported by gov’t and give these invaders who financially rape our country serious/ stiff competition. Maybe then, they’ll stop thinking we are idiots.


  58. To the farmers reading, James Paul and former Engineer at the PHD slammed the door on Barbados manufacturing cheese especially. Cost of production too high and competing with subsidised imported products.


  59. Well that will tell us people to get wunna own goats and cows and mek wunna own. I gine get a cow and two goats.


    • Islandgal, no need, there will be plenty of surplus milk so I’m sure someone will be willing to sell you at a good price. Oh, wait… we in Barbados, they will probably pour it down the drain rather than sell at cheap price. Best put a deposit on the cow.


  60. A discussion on Facebook:

    James Paul: Actually, the article does nothing for the cause of the industry or the farmers so I am yet to see the point of it.
    Wednesday at 2:14pm · Like

    Ian Douglas Bourne: It is saying buy local and cut out PHD – very simple to me & I am way overdue for new glasses!
    Wednesday at 2:57pm · Like

    James Paul: Sorry Ian again you miss the point, attacking the Pine Hill Dairy does the farmers no good, it more benefits Nestle to sell more milk in Barbados which is why the farmers are hurting. Supporting Pine Hill Dairy is supporting Barbadian farmers and jobs. Be a Bajan. When you find another local processor who buys over 12,000 litres of milk per day then we can talk.
    Wednesday at 8:18pm · Like

    Ian Douglas Bourne: When PHD had their UHT and I was the sole supporter, ppl would complain and I’d joke “Buy a Cow,” the response was 2 other buyers are in and where do we keep it? Bajans are willing to go back to old days and do w/o PHD – trust me!
    Wednesday at 8:57pm · Like

    James Paul: Hello Ian the industry would not survive in the old days.
    8 hours ago · Like
    I
    an Douglas Bourne: All I can tell you is PHD better watch itself there are many Bajans who will and are privately investing in a personal cow (three families per livestock) just so they can have their Pasteurised like they used to – Hoad is doing very well these days with his Goat milk these days, so PHD needs to watch out and not alienate their customers and the source of them running
    8 hours ago · Like · 1

    James Paul: I understand what you are saying and that is quite true and PHD will have to respond. However, let us recognise that there are certain realities about milk processing large quantities of milk that we cannot run from and whoever does it has to adhere to them.
    17 minutes ago · Like

    Rosemary Parkinson: Mr. James Paul…as a Culinary Author/Consultant I have been expressing my views and the views of others on whatever media I had available to me. What I said has come true. I would love Pine Hill Dairy to remain open but I also want Pine Hill Dairy to do what is right. Provide decent, healthy milk like in the old days to Barbadians…has anyone looked into the sudden rise in lactose intolerance since this Horrible and I mean HORRIBLE PHD came into existence? Is there no looking into/studying of a product before lashing it out on to the public or are we to be guinea pigs no matter what it does to our health? Pine Hill Dairy had the opportunity with their old time great milk to market ‘milk’ big time….when children stopped reading books the British put out a huge campaign about this – SHOCK YOUR PARENTS, READ A BOOK! and guess what? it worked. Ooops…now why would I put that little bit of info out, I forgot, we are NOT to follow anything Europe does…only America. Sad enough.

    Sometimes harsh pressure gets the job done when obvious figures of loss of business do not. And the only thing that government or anyone should do is to say to Pine Hill “Step up to the plate or sell the business at its pitiful going rate RIGHT NOW to a group of farming businessmen who understand how it is all supposed to work. And produce decent, good, healthy milk and milk by-products for the people of this island.” Is that too much to ask???

    Now…please read Sir what I wrote on BU’s blog (and I will copy this on there too!) Pine Hill Dairy has a choice as far as I am concerned.

    “I am still at a loss to understand why government must intervene in this…what do the dairy farmers want government to do apart from buy the dyamed LOCAL DAIRY? Nothing is going to change unless the owners decide to (a) revert back to fresh milk, leave out the nasty PHD, and start to diversify making other by-products, and making them well. I know they make a type of yoghurt – not sure what to call it although “cornstarch” induced put in above does seem very clear to me. But I did say making them well with expertise brought in to ensure this is done.

    (b) the farmers get a good, decent respectful price for their milk that allows them also to live a decent, respectful life.

    OR (c) which is the option I see as best…farmers form a co-op to make excellent ‘clean’ dairy products (grass grazing cows are a must!) as I have indicated above and no! this is not impossible but would make Barbados the only island in the Caribbean that does this to the highest standards.”

    …..the only intervention required by government would help government’s coffers…i.e. give duty free concessions for the supplies required to make such a venture viable and put a hold on the quantity of imports of milk and its by-products…not saying stop the importation but make a quota to give such a venture a chance.


  61. Pine Hill Dairy has an opportunity to put its mark on the Caribbean by being the best dairy there is. Not with the products it is producing right now. SIMPLY NOT.

    I would love nothing better than to see the success of this dairy…wrote about it with pride in my first book Culinaria:The Caribbean (published in 7 languages worldwide!) but nothing can be successful by trying to dig out de people’s sensibilities…we want decent products…simple.

    Milk…we have already touched on that over and over again…if the PHD ent selling, get rid of it. Pine Hill had better consumption of milk before, the CEO said so himself…so this is not news nor is it rocket science as to how to rectify that. So they lose on all that foolish equipment they brought in, but whose fault was that??? You cannot just hurl products on to a market…anyone heard of market analysis first? lawd this is like pulling teeth with people who should know bettah. Truly. Instead of all that PHD equipment…better off having brought in equipment to make great cheese…and consultants to make better yoghurt…and and and…even butter! Imagine the saving on our import bill? And to say that locals would not buy those products? If they tasted like the imported ones they are used to…hell yes! they would. I believe that not enough credit is given to the intelligence of the Barbadian.

    Outta all those juices, there are probably 2 that taste good…and most if not all are made from concentrate…Good thinking would have been to use up some government agricultural land to grow say (a) golden apple (b) mango (c) guava (d) gooseberries (e) Bajan Cherry (f) Carambola (these are hardy fruits that do well here)…and use the fruit to make decent real juice like say Tru-Juice in Jamaica. St. Andrew’s Agricultural Station for instance…what is going on there? All that land in bush? I stopped drinking those juices long time now…sugar water causes diabetes and we have been screaming in our health sector about this…but we allow sugar water on the market…does this make sense? Reduce the sugar and use more fruit. Better to pay an extra 50 cents on the product than to make the health bill of this country hit the roof. Again does not take a rocket scientist.

    I HAVE NO UNDERSTANDING AS TO WHY WHY WHY ARE WE NOT ALLOWED AS A PEOPLE TO HAVE THE BEST LOCAL PRODUCT THAT MATCHES THE IMPORTED ONES…IF THE PEOPLE ABROAD CAN DO IT, WHY CAN WE NOT HERE? And this speaks for all Bajan produced products…there is much that needs hauling up but put a pretty label, throw it out there and expect the people to make ya rich…DOES NOT WORK. My opinion only, of course.


    • @Rosemary

      Based on the exchanges it seems James Paul is saying look the PHD is the processor and if we don’t grow milk production forget it. It seems the dairy farmers are between a rock and a hard place. And with no leadership and vision this is where they will remain.


  62. Another point: Do we have farmers with dissenting views from those of James Paul and the BAS? A new thinking is required, the Trninis and Sir Cow out manoeuvring everybody.


  63. And yet again….the problems just continue…

    http://www.nationnews.com/index.php/articles/view/sour-dairy-deal/

    Chatting the other day with a small(ish) dairy farmer…farmers have finally come to the conclusion that they need to diversify….problem is that it will take perhaps 3 to 6 months to do so….whatever the decision is…to unite or to go alone on this. During this time they could lose their farm based on how they built same up according to instructions from Pine Hill Dairy….hmmm. So basically the one month reprieve is nothing. Well many of us knew that.

    I also understand that CEO Cozier has been out and about seeking information from dairy farmers…now really….please do not make me say something about this unbelievable state of affairs….

    Perhaps it is time for Barbados to realize that we have so very many non-qualified people in jobs they do not seem to be properly educated for or care to be educated for. When I am offered a job that I have no idea about, the first thing I do is study study study all aspects of same…and I keep on studying as times change so rapidly. I keep in touch with those I am in charge of to ensure that we work in unison and if it is a product(s) I am selling, I keep abreast of what is required by the public from my product(s). Does not take a bloody rocket scientist to know this. Actually I have always known this to be normal procedure…

    Lawd help me to understand silliness….

    We need some serious boycotting on this island…it is the only way to make people stop and think.

    Buy fresh milk direct from the nearest dairy farmer…perhaps if Pine Hill Dairy is squeezed real hard there will be two ways out for them….stand up and fly right with the dairy industry and that means getting rid of UHT, PHD or whatever so-called ‘fresh milk’ it is that we hate and start selling only the good old-time milk, the same one that had people drinking milk diversifying by getting in REAL knowledgeable consultants on how to produce yes…great quality milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt and any other by-products of same.
    OR
    sell off the dairy at a good price (’cause all one would need is some of the equipment) to those who can run it successfully in conjunction with the farmers and perhaps one good dairy farmer from say Cornwall, England – great old-time retired one who would love nothing better than a stint in beautiful Barbados and whose expertise can turn the dairy into one of the best in the Caribbean providing all of the above.

    Lawd I do like to dream eh?

    Meanwhile our dairy industry is in as much trouble as our health. Go figure.

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