Photograph: Anthony Lee/Getty Images/OJO Images RF
John Scott of Scotts Farm, Muri has announced that it is closing the cool room in Avatiu, blaming changing markets and government policy for its demise.
Scott said the original purpose of the cool room, launched on Christmas 2009, was to combat the onslaught of imported eggs and provide a town outlet for its local production when existing outlets were closed to it.
the encouragement and support of both Cook Islands Party and Cook Islands
Democratic governments in the 1980s Scotts Farm was, by 1985, supplying 85 per
cent of the market.
pork industry, with similar support, was also flourishing,” Scott said.
Scott said that changes to government policy since have drastically reduced
both activities to a level which requires imports to satisfy demand.
the removal of price control, larger profits on imports, pressure not to enact
a Commerce Bill are just some of the contributors to this sorry state of
affairs,” Scott said.
He said Scotts Farm egg production was now at a level which means if they were to continue to supply the cool room, they would be denying their few remaining loyal wholesale customers.
“As eggs were the reason for the cool room in the first place without eggs it was pointless remaining open,” Scott said.
“Apart from eggs, pig and poultry feed which are sold from the cool room, will continue to be available but sold from containers either from Ruatonga or Muri, or both.”
said although there would always be room for the small operator, “it would be
madness to invest heavily in the poultry and pork industries, as we have done,
without official commitments that can be relied upon”.
The last trading day from the cool room will be July 30, but Scott is looking for a purchaser of the cool room.