FONTERRA ACCEPTS MPI CHARGES
Fonterra Limited (Fonterra), a wholly owned subsidiary of Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited, accepts the charges arising from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) investigation into events leading up to the precautionary whey protein concentrate (WPC80) recall last year.
It was subsequently confirmed that the recalled WPC80 did not present a health risk.
MPI examined whether Fonterra had complied with all its food safety and quality obligations, under New Zealand’s Food Act and Animal Products Act in connection with the events leading to the precautionary recall.
MPI has filed four charges against Fonterra Limited relating to breaches of the Animal Products Act.
Fonterra’s Managing Director People, Culture and Strategy Maury Leyland said Fonterra had co-operated fully with MPI throughout its investigation, and accepts responsibility for the allegations made in the charges.
“We have accepted all four charges, which are consistent with the findings of our Operational Review, and the Independent Board Inquiry.
“We have previously detailed issues relating to the decision to reprocess the original WPC80, and being slow about escalating information – which are reflected in the charges laid by MPI.
“Food quality and safety remain our top priority, and are fundamental to our business. New Zealand’s dairy food production and safety systems have been affirmed by both the Board and Government inquiries as being as safe as any in the world.
“The WPC80 event caused us to examine in detail what happened, why it happened, and what we must do to minimise the risk of it ever happening again.
“We are making good progress on implementing the necessary improvements the Operational Review and Independent Board Inquiry identified.
“We are also working with the Government to progress all the recommendations of its review of New Zealand’s dairy food safety regulatory framework, undertaken last year.
“Our customers and consumers need to know that New Zealand’s food quality and safety regulations are being robustly applied by food manufacturers and enforced by New Zealand authorities.
“Fonterra is committed to complying with New Zealand’s food safety and quality regulations, and being held accountable if it does not,” said Ms Leyland.