New Zealand farmers have invited former Sex Pistol John Lydon to see how they make butter and other dairy products.

Have your say on New Zealand farmers’ claims about free range cows and GM-free grass in our FWiSpace forums.
The invitation follows a TV advertising campaign in which Mr Lydon – also known as Johnny Rotten – extolled the virtues of English Country Life butter.

The Federated Farmers of New Zealand said the former punk rocker should see for himself the way cows are kept down under.

“Never mind the butter, it’s the quality of the milk what counts,” said Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers’ dairy vice-chairman.

“While all milk may contain the same basic properties, Kiwi cows are in a league of their own.

“Grazing outdoors on GM-free grass and natural winter feed makes for happy cows and fantastic-quality milk.”

European Union tariffs were the only barriers holding back sales of New Zealand’s Anchor butter in the UK, said Mr Leferink.

“While I’d like to think of dairy farmers as being the rock stars of the New Zealand economy, I’d be pleased to host that old punk rocker, John Lydon, on my farm.

“Perhaps Mr Lydon could use some of the money he got paid for endorsing the British brand to pay for his flight down under.”

Only hand-crafted but expensive British butter matched New Zealand butter for quality, Mr Leferink claimed.

“New Zealand’s climate and quality pasture means we are in an agricultural sweet spot. British consumers literally taste freedom when they eat New Zealand butter.”

Dairy Crest’s butter advertising campaign featuring Mr Lydon sent sales of English Country Life soaring when it aired on TV screens across Britain.

The commercial reminded shoppers that the butter was made with 100% British milk unlike other brands from New Zealand and Denmark.

It was being supported by a website encouraging people to sign a pledge that they were “proud to buy British”.


  • Read our Field Day Blog to see our views on the Country Life advert.
  • Have your say on New Zealand farmers’ claims about free range cows and GM-free grass in our FWiSpace forums.