Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Fonterra food safety practice still improving, says report

Fonterra down the track in boosting food safety after last year's recall

By Paul McBeth

Sep. 3 (BusinessDesk) - Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's biggest dairy exporter, is on track in lifting the quality of its food safety processes, nine months after an independent review into its handling of last year's false alarm food scare.

The Auckland-based company has completed audits of 75 percent of its plants globally and has embarked on necessary improvements and maintenance where needed, put in place protocols to engage external scientific and diagnostic resources and written food and safety quality into all senior management employment contracts, it said in a statement. It's also set up an incident management team, created a food safety and quality council, and appointed Greg McCullough as head of food safety and quality.

The update marks the first nine-month review since a board-ordered independent report, with another review scheduled in nine months.

"The committee was unanimous in its view that Fonterra management has brought a clear focus to rectifying the areas of weakness identified last year during the inquiry," independent inquiry committee chair and Fonterra director Ralph Norris said. "It was particularly pleasing to see evidence of the holistic and disciplined approach being taken to implementing changes that will further strengthen the cooperative."

The progress zeroes in on the report's top operational recommendations to ensure Fonterra's food quality and safety specifications and testing were reviewed to ensure they were 'best in class' and consistent with the most rigorous needs of customers, and that risk and crisis management processes were bolstered, something Norris said at the time of the report would include the creation of a separate board committee focusing on risk.

The update doesn't touch on the report's recommendation to address the perception of a "fortress" mentality at Fonterra, where a "material proportion" of stakeholders saw a lack of responsiveness by the company when the botulism scare unfolded.

Last August, Fonterra quarantined several batches of whey protein concentrate amid fears it was contaminated with a potentially dangerous form of the clostridium bacteria. The whey protein was ultimately cleared as a false alarm. Fonterra cut deals with seven of the eight customers affected and recognised a contingent liability of just $14 million for the recall in its accounts.

French food giant Danone is suing Fonterra over the food scare, claiming damages for the costs of recall, loss of profits, and loss of business and reputation, alleging lost sales of 350 million euros and projecting cost impacts of 280 million euros.

The scare did little to hose down demand for Fonterra's products, and the dairy company last week announced plans to buy a 20 percent stake in China's Beingmate Baby & Child Food, and set up a joint venture with the Chinese firm to supply infant formula into the world's most populous nation.

Units in the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund, which gives investors exposure to Fonterra's dividend stream, were unchanged at $6.15 today, and have gained 6 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Taxing Multinationals: EU Ruling Sours Apple

Shares of Apple slid, down 0.9 percent as of 3.08pm in New York, after the European Commission ruled that Ireland granted the company undue tax benefits of up to 13 billion euros (US$14.5 billion)—"illegal aid” under EU rules that the commission says Ireland now must recover from Apple. More>>

ALSO:

NZX Review: Best Practice Code Recommends Code Of Ethics

NZX, the sharemarket operator, is seeking feedback on proposed changes to its corporate governance best practice code including a published code of ethics, rules about share trading and continuous disclosure, and more transparency over board appointments and chief executive pay. More>>

ALSO:

Auditors:

Signs Of Life? SETI On Russian Space(?) Signal

A star system 94 light-years away is in the spotlight as a possible candidate for intelligent inhabitants, thanks to the discovery of a radio signal by a group of Russian astronomers... Could it be a transmission from a technically proficient society? At this point, we can only consider what is known so far. More>>

Post-Post: Brian Roche To Step Down As NZ Post CEO

Brian Roche will step down as chief executive of New Zealand Post in April 2017, having led the state-owned postal service's drive to adjust to shrinking mail volumes with a combination of cost cuts, asset sales, modernisation and expansion of new businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Company Results: Air NZ Rides The Tourism Boom With Record Full-Year Earnings

Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings in its 76-year history. More>>

ALSO:

New PGP: Sheep Milk Industry Gets $12.6M Crown Funding

The Sheep - Horizon Three programme aims to develop "a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030," according to a joint statement. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news