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If you wish to know more about me please click on the following link www.eldredgeandassociates.com.au If reading this blog for the first time please make sure you go to the first blogs (scroll to the bottom of the page and click on older posts) as it will explain the journey

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Hello again

Wow what a huge couple of days, we have been meeting the new global scholars, meeting leaders (and powerful CEO's) of European industry and....maybe....a bit of a drink or 2....

After suffering a slight touch of jet lag, we had a free morning to recover and then had a presentation to do about ourselves, life, career and project...all in 2 minutes...are you serious.... me, trying to do all that in 2 minutes!!!  It was a great insight into the other scholars and their lives and what their passions/research areas are, I hope to collect some details about a couple of really interesting research projects and take photos of the scholars and pop on my blog...so working on that one...I think you will enjoy some of the innovative ideas that are emerging from this group.

What I have learnt over the past couple of days is that Cooperatives as a business model are strong and thriving here in the Netherlands, we spent a day at "FloraHolland" , the worlds largest flower cooperative, turnover $4.2 Billion annually, 5000 coop members, 3000 buyers, 5000 staff...and an amazing system of automation, an auction clock that starts at the highest price for the seller and buyers bid down from the highest price...how good is that!!  I think the Cooperatives work so well in the Netherlands as there is so much competition for the product ie many buyers competing against each other, unfortunately in Australia with only limited buyers I cant see how a cooperative would function,  in effect the buyers throughs acqusitions and mergers can reduce the active buyers/competition and effectively could opt "out" of the buying cycle, with possibly a stand off occuring between the cooperative and buyers.  Still a great model to keep exploring though....maybe some modifications can result in a new super business model for Australian agribusiness...........
Its cold!! From 39degrees at home to
zero, a brisk walk in the countryside

Today we had a great session about European Union policy and the Common Agricultural policy (CAP), this is the driver of "subsidies" that have emerged in many forms over the years...we hear a lot about the desire for the "subsidies" to be removed...it is a complicated system of social welfare, protectionism policies and global responsibility...probably at this stage I am feeling that the "subsidies" need to remain in place as removal would see world markets in turmoil, it will be an interesting debate within Europe during 2012 as to where then CAP will be positioned for the next 7 years as negotiations are taking place this year, and as a continent in financial crisis these "subsidies" are being supported but challenged by the common people too!!
After WW2 Europe decided they would never starve again...and this has been the driver of the CAP and protectionism of Agriculture in Europe.

The drink or 2....well thats another story...we have a global sisterhood occuring and what better way to consolidate it but a lovely dinner and some drinks on our Spido cruise of the Rotterdam harbour (the worlds 3rd biggest harbour)...and so the night went on and on and on.......the best thing is that in our "sisterhood" drinks many of the ladies agreed to come to Australia to catch up with South Aussie girls... in many cases their research is based around rural women...so you will all get to meet these amazing ladies in the next 24 months....just hope they remember commiting to coming!!!  Will follow that up with them in the cold light of day...

We visited a dairy where 150 cows live in this barn 12 month of the year and dont ever go outside to graze, whilst this may be the centre of debate between the public etc, I must say the cows looked really healthy and content.....
 Tomorrow another big day before we fly to London at 8.30pm...will post again when I can get onto wiifi...talk soon x

1 comment:

  1. Hi I wrote a comment and it flew off somewhere in cyberspace. Fascinating to read all your news. great to hear you have been collecting drinking partners to visit Australia. Love your work! Will be great to hear about their projects. I am sure you will have a staedy stream of amazing visitors. Travel safe ! Jane