Till the Cows Came Home
How and why New Zealand became the world's largest exporter of dairy products - and in the process built a huge global business owned and controlled by farmers. The story is told with a pace and clarity that have been compared to the writing of Bill Bryson. More
Till the Cows Came Home is the story of the New Zealand dairy industry - and the huge challenges faced as it became the world's largest exporter of milk products.
In the 1960s New Zealand had 100 dairy companies, almost all of them small and manufacturing just one or two commodities. 95 percent of all production was bound for the British market. Then a dark cloud loomed over what had been a cosy arrangement. Britain decided to join the Common Market and cut imports from its former colonies. Trade diplomacy kept the door ajar, but the writing was on the wall.
Till the Cows Came Home tells how new products were developed and new markets opened - and how, sometimes with others and sometimes alone, New Zealand fought a long battle for fairer international trade laws. Later, as dairy companies became fewer and larger, the future of the Dairy Board as sole exporter came increasingly under the spotlight. The industry’s structure became dysfunctional and de-regulation inevitable.
The final chapters tell the inside story of the intense personal and political battles that developed as the need to form one company gradually became clear.