We sold it (or bought it) to/from China… sorry

Told you, we are selling this country out at such a rate that the mind is now beginning to boggle. I heard an interview with an American political commentator who was suggesting that the fact that the USA no longer manufactures, that all the product they consume is now made in China is, perhaps, one of the reason why the economy in that country is so bad and further, why the rate of unemployment is so high. I suspect there may be some grains of truth there.
These web sites (below) will also give you a clear look at what is happening in this country and its hard not to blame the current leadership for this inept and gross bungling of our national assets and pride. Whilst I have never deviated from my political leanings I am now of the opinion that the choices on offer by all parties in politics are woeful and to be forced to make a choice between budgie smugglers and someone needing some sort of implant and the well meaning, but short of indepth thinking of the green parties, is too hideous to contemplate. That said a change seems to be needed.
Now in the food business, we are clearly divided between, those of us who manufacture on a small scale but with high values and concern for various things, environment, preservation, continuity and actually do care what we put in our mouths as well as the mouths of those who buy our products. Opposed to that are manufacturers and sellers of product who are in business purely for the profit bottom line and, answer it seems to masters well off shore. This is an example of the latter.
You will see from the following link, that the Chinese have indeed consumed another bunch of Australia’s food institutions as well as a fair number of International brands and I read that the current management of the below consumed company is excited to be taking his brands to the new and emerging market of China. I am amazed that the Chinese people have suddenly and for no particular reason developed a taste for French cheese and various other deeply western food items. I hope that this excitment is not based on the Hong Kong experience, thats a rarified atmosphere driven by expats.
It was a huge industry gossip of recent months that four of Australia’s well known companies had been purchased by Manassen and the price discussed was very varied and the subject of much speculation. These were companies of high impact in the Australian food scene and it sent a shudder of both delight and concern through the food community as well as much interest in the eventual fate of these companies.
Then, just when things looked like they might offer some interest in the next twelve or eighteen months and we could all see what would happen to such icons as Simon Johnson, Callender Cheese, Australia on a Plate and Black pearl Epicure, when mutterings of well it will be good for my brand, flat line and other unkind comments were being heard, Manassen up and sold 75% of their business to a large Chinese company and the speculation has now reached fever pitch, as perhaps it should. One is left wondering how the Australian ‘gourmet’ population is going to accept that their food tastes may be dictated by off shore owners more hell bent on bottom line profit than on the taste buds of the worlds gourmandes.
In an attempt to have a balanced view, this is the Australian Governments current attitude, well maybe not after the last few days debarcle(s).

Click to access Australia’s_Foreign_Investment_Policy_Jan_2011.pdf

In the end with my new found pragmatism and ready, if not embracing acceptance of the one world, ever changing, electronic, no nonesence, green but so long as it does not impact on me current vogue, now looks forward to being purchased at some massive amount of money by some perhaps wealthy war lord from a previously waring country, but, owing to a change in circumstances, maybe even a crop of poppies, has become rich beyond the dreams of avarice (one is reminded that the Gadaffi family did manage to live a life of extrordinary richness whilst purporting to be the saviour of Libya), and thus enable me to embrace a life of non stop global travel whilst staying in six star hotels and only flying in the very pointy part of the worlds air fleet (sorry for the diversion but I am told that some airlines offer individual cabins in first class, I was amazed, yet not shocked!). Yet I doubt that this will happen.
We need to accept that the world is a rapidly changing place, that a new world order is establishing and that ownership of some of our major food brands no longer will fall into the province of the USA, but that wealthy Asian, Middle Eastern and perhaps even old members of the USSR, will swoop on profitable and other brands which elevate standing in the worlds market place. I do question that the taste buds of the world are keeping pace with this new found internationalism, I suspect that the majority of people around the globe still enjoy the sort of food that their mother and grandmother cooked and that they will be hard pressed to consume such eccentricities as frog legs and cheese infested with maggots as found in Southern Italy. But then hope springs eternal.
Peter Watson

~ by peterwatson on September 1, 2011.

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