August 14, 2013
Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus ban Fonterra dairy products
Following a contamination scare, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have banned Fonterra products, which could lead to a significant financial loss for the company.
The dairy giant publicly announced on August 3 that a concentrated whey product used in infant formula, beverages and animal feed was potentially contaminated with a bacteria linked to botulism.
The office of New Zealand's trade minister, Tim Groser, confirmed that the three former Soviet states had suspended all Fonterra dairy products.Dairy exports in the three countries are worth US$133 million a year.
The whey product was known to have been exported to Australia, China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong, as well within New Zealand.
New Zealand's Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy, said officials were working to rectify the ban. "We've got our ambassador from Moscow working around the clock with Russian authorities to provide them with the information they are demanding," he said.
Prime Minister John Key confirmed that the New Zealand government will hold an inquiry into the scare, alongside an investigation led by the Ministry for Primary Industries, and two internal Fonterra reviews.