The price of cheese (again)

Fonterra, the huge NZ dairy co-operative, has announced that it will be making a record payout to members of the co-operative, up about 64% on last year’s payout.

Wow! Where’s the money coming from? The price of cheese perhaps?

But that would be the price of cheese paid by other New Zealanders, the ones who don’t own dairy farms, the ones who are struggling to give good food to their children.

Click over for a photo-statement on the price on New Zealand produced cheese in New Zealand, and the price of the identical (save for the wrapper) New Zealand produced cheese in Australia.

Today’s price for a block of Mainland Tasty cheese on the Woolworths NZ on-line shopping site:

The price of a block of Mainland Tasty cheese in my local Coles supermarket (photo taken on Thursday 10 April):


19 responses to “The price of cheese (again)

  1. We subsidise them, they gouge us, it’s the Kiwi dream.

  2. Cheesus! That’s not on.

  3. Another example of corporate welfare.

  4. The packaging difference might be a Clue. Check the use-by date.

  5. Merc I have a question – how do we subsidise them?

  6. 28 August 08 for the cheese sold in Australia. Obviously I can’t check use-by dates for the NZ cheese, but if you are handy to a supermarket sometime in the next day or two, could you check some use-by dates and let me know?

  7. Cheese…..I want cheese….

  8. Hehe, knew that was coming, I posted but too soon, the WordPress bot told me to slow down…
    How do we sub them…oh I dunno, free water, free runoff? I suppose I need to research and substantiate my claim…
    Climate Change, Farmers Can Afford It, post
    Note to self, don’t comment on any environment related matters, ever.

  9. I don’t know about anyone else, but since cheese became more expensive than P (joke) last night’s macaroni cheese tasted more divinely decadent than usual. 🙂

  10. The subsidies are partly overt via government support for trade deals and management, but mostly hidden. There are financial subsidies, like the funding for road repair out of general revenue when trucks do much more damage than their road usage fees cover. That subsidises all trucking, but it can be quite blatant when the only trucks on a given rural road are dairy-related.

    If you subscribe to the idea of environmental costs then we all pay for exported dairy through the degradation of our air and water and the strip-mining of our soils.

  11. I still think this (food prices) is an issue tailor made for Winston Peters. A good bit of greedy corporate bashing in defense of pensioners and Kiwi battlers struggling to afford their dairy product birthright in a land flowing with milk and honey is far more acceptable than immigrant bashing and plays to exactly the same audience and actually has, IMHO, some merit as an issue.

  12. You are quoting the online price at the most expensive supermarket in NZ, in NZ dollars, and comparing it to an extra special at a cheap Australian supermarket in Australian dollars.

    I would never pay anywhere near that much for 1kg of cheese in Wellington. Nor would I ever shop online at Woolworths, or even in their stores unless they had a super special of something I actually needed.

    It’s a bit of a cheap shot, that apple-orange-cheese comparison.

  13. Yes – it’s not an apples and apples comparison. But I did do an apples and apples comparison a few weeks ago, here. Using the same method, and today’s exchange rate, and the regular price for cheese in my local Coles ($10.38), I still come up with an adjusted Aussie price of $NZ12.15, fully $4 less than the price in NZ for exactly the same product.

    And that doesn’t take any transport costs into account, at all.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

  14. we spend about $10 a week on cheese for 2 adults and 3 small kids. I’ve cut back on coffee to allow this. Thank heavens I don’t have teenage boys! Macaroni Cheese is a luxury or special treat here now – what is the world coming too?

  15. Hi, just did a response to this, you are using Woolworths which is the most expensive supermarket here. A middle of the road one would be countdown, cheap would be pack & slave.

  16. Yes, but it’s the only NZ supermarket pricing I have access to. No one else is on-line.

    I noticed last week that in the more expensive supermarket I go to sometimes (on my way home, convenient etc) rather than going to Coles, 1kg of Mainland Tasty is also priced at $10.38, and last week, I picked up a 1 kg block on special for $9.69.

    I’ve stuck to comparisons using Mainland Tasty to try to maintain at least some consistency.

    If you can get me some price data from other NZ supermarkets (New World, Foodtown) for a 1 kg block on Mainland Tasty, GST inclusive, that would be great / grate.

  17. Why on earth would you buy Mainland tasty, the most expensive brand there is?

    All cheese is the same. I get Budget, or Rolling Meadow, and always edam as it is delicious and much lower fat, and far, far cheaper than paying for the Mainland brand.

  18. I buy whatever’s cheapest. It just so happens that from time to time, Mainland is the cheapest here.