Tuesday, 12 December 2017 10:55

Fonterra made right call – Coull

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman Duncan Coull. Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman Duncan Coull.

Fonterra farmers are confident their co-op was right in issuing a precautionary recall of infant formula four years ago.

Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman Duncan Coull says the decision to put safety ahead of everything else was the right decision.

Fonterra was this month slapped with a $183 million fine in an arbitration claim filed by French dairy giant Danone for recall costs during the false botulism scare at a Fonterra plant in 2013.

Coull says the council is confident the co-op acted with integrity when it issued the precautionary recall.

“ ‘Do what’s right’ is one of our four values and in continuing to put safety ahead of all else we will build on the trust people throughout the world have in us.

“As tough as this outcome is, the lessons learned have enabled our co-op to emerge stronger and we now need to move forward together, proud of who we are, what we have achieved and of our commitment to our values.”

Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings says Fonterra is disappointed the arbitration tribunal did not fully recognise the terms of its supply agreement with Danone, “including the agreed limitations of liability, which was the basis on which we had agreed to do business”.

Both Fonterra and the New Zealand Government conducted extensive reviews into the events. A follow-up review by the Independent Inquiry commissioned by the Fonterra board confirmed that the cooperative’s management acted in the best interests of its consumers and the business at all times.

 “The decision to invoke a precautionary recall was based on technical information obtained from a third party, which later turned out to be incorrect,” says Spierings.

Danone says the arbitration outcome stresses critical importance of food safety procedures and transparency.

 “Danone considers this arbitration underscores the merit of its legal actions against Fonterra, including to champion the highest standards of food safety across the industry.”

More like this

Peak milk?

OPINION: So, Fonterra believes New Zealand has reached peak milk.

Peak dairy processing?

Global food company Olam International is setting up a milk processing plant in South Waikato but there are questions about whether New Zealand dairy needs more stainless steel.


a2 Milk seals Mataura deal

The a2 Milk Company (a2Mc) has been given the regulatory approval to buy 75% of Mataura Valley Milk, Southland.

Machinery & Products

Giving calves the best

Waikato farmer Ed Grayling milks 430 cows on mostly peat soil that is low on trace elements.

Feed system helping grow top heifers

Feeding livestock can bring with it several challenges including labour shortages, wasted feed, higher prices for smaller quantities, intake monitoring…

Hard hat or hard head

A recently released coroner's report into the death of a South Canterbury farmworker in 2019 raised the question of the…

Made in NZ: Trimax

Made in New Zealand looks at the wealth of design and manufacturing ability we have in New Zealand, creating productive…

Vendro badged tedders

Masterton based Tulloch Farm Machines has introduced a new series of Krone tedders badged Vendro, to replace the existing KW…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Microbe power

OPINION: Microbes fished from the stomachs of cows can gobble up certain kinds of plastic, including the polythylene terephthalate (PET)…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter