Fonterra Remains Committed to Sri Lanka Despite Suspension
23 August 2013
Fonterra Remains Committed to Sri Lanka Despite Temporary Suspension of Consumer Operations
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited has today taken the precautionary step of temporarily suspending its consumer operations in Sri Lanka because of the unstable situation at the moment.
Chief Executive Theo Spierings said Fonterra has two immediate priorities: protecting its people, and protecting its farmer shareholders’ assets.
“The temporary suspension is the right thing to do. It is a precautionary measure to ensure our 755 people working there are safe. We have closed our plants and office in Sri Lanka, and have asked our people to stay at home.
“At the same time, we must do all that we can to protect our farmer shareholders’ investment in Fonterra’s Sri Lanka manufacturing and commercial operations.”
Mr Spierings said Fonterra has provided every possible assurance to the Sri Lankan authorities about the safety and quality of Fonterra’s products, and remains committed to the Sri Lankan people.
“Recent events, however, have made it difficult to maintain day-to-day operations, and we need to get them resolved.
“Fonterra Sri Lanka is currently subject to a court Enjoining Order which has shut down our ability to sell product, advertise it or make public statements in any way with customers or consumers in Sri Lanka.
“Legal action is underway that is aimed at resolving the Enjoining Order.
“We are also working with Sri Lankan and New Zealand government authorities on a long-term sustainable solution for our Sri Lankan customers, communities and dairy sector,” said Mr Spierings.
Sri Lanka is one of the key markets for the New Zealand dairy industry. The New Zealand dairy industry has been providing high quality dairy nutrition to people across Sri Lanka for more than 35 years.
Fonterra also plays an important role in helping develop the local dairy industry. Earlier this year the Co-operative launched a Farmer Training and Education Programme to help develop dairy farming skills in Sri Lanka.