While this blog is on the subject of earthquakes, I think it only proper that we should consider one of the really devastating consequences of the Christchurch earthquake. The great Marmite Shortage of 2012, or Marmageddon as it is also affectionately known. A story so severe, it has its own wikipedia page. Well, section at least.
Production of Marmite (far superior to the Australian Vegemite) in Christchurch was halted in November when one of the cooling towers in the factory was cracked following the February earthquake and aftershocks. Supplies slowly dwindled and by March of this year, producers Sanitarium, announced stock was running low. In a few short weeks there was a nationwide shortage. 500g jars have been selling for close to $50 in recent weeks on online auction sites. Further delays to reconstruction occurred when asbestos was discovered in the wall linings.
The folks at Scott Base, New Zealand’s Antarctic research base are fine though. They apparently have plenty, and are willing to trade their Marmite for that other necessity in life, fresh fruit and vegetables. With no resupplies in winter, they finished off the last of their fresh fruit and veggies last week. And one would presume they’d like some natural light too, since then sun set on April 24th and won’t rise again until August.
Production is expected to resume in mid-July, with stock back on the shelves in August. At which point New Zealand will once again become a shiny happy place to visit.