5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey on the Fonterra-Caused Crisis

5AA's Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.

On this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how Fonterra, New Zealand’s largest agriculture dairy product exporter, has become the focus of an international recall of bulk whey mild powder exports and baby formula milk products. (See below for details).

Bulletin Notes:

New Zealand’s primary agriculture exporter Fonterra is in crisis after global markets have been removing its products from sale or product manufacturing.

The crisis hit a wall this week after Fonterra owned up to a problem where Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism, was found in three batches of a whey protein concentrate.

It is believed that contamination occurred at one of its Waikato plants when whey concentrate was processed in a dirty pipe.

Compounding the shocking revelation was that Fonterra had suspected the contamination since March but only raised it with the New Zealand Government on August 2.

The revelation is hugely damaging to New Zealand’s reputation worldwide as a reliable producer of high quality agriculture products.

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Baby milk products were immediately recalled. Those products were: Karicare Stage 1 New Baby Infant Formula (from birth) – all batches and Karicare Gold+ Stage 2 Follow On Formula (from six months ) – all batches. Click here for more.

Other bulk whey power exports have been identified and isolated.

On Wednesday, Fonterra revealed two batches sent to Australia had been contained in a warehouse, while another two were released for distribution in Hong Kong. A product recall had been issued and New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries reps were working with Hong Kong authorities to ensure consumers were safe.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry issued an assurance Wednesday afternoon stating: “The Australian dairy industry, consumers and export markets that dairy products made with potentially contaminated NZ dairy ingredients have been removed from the Australian dairy production system.” Click here for more.

An internal inquiry is underway into the contamination and Fonterra’s internal standards reportage. We understand the Government will initiate an external inquiry into the matter as well.