News briefs: Fonterra in China and Friesland Foods

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags China Milk Infant Fonterra

This week, Fonterra announces support for a Chinese charity to protect infants and mothers in rural areas and Friesland says it will not budge on its provisional 2007 milk price.

Fonterra makes Chinese welfare investment

After being linked through its Chinese joint venture partner to the melamine scandal that had engulfed the country’s dairy and food industries, Fonterra has announced investment to a national welfare program.

The New Zealand-based cooperative says it will donate NZ$8.4m to the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation over the next five years, in an attempt to provide medical care to mothers and infants across rural communities in China.

Group chief executive Andrew Ferrier said that the investment formed part of the cooperatives commitment to the Chinese market, where it says it has operated for twenty years.

“We are part of Chinese society and want to contribute to the development of the rural areas of China via our effort,”​ he stated.

As part of the investment, the company announced that it would be forming the charity, the Fonterra Rural Maternity and Infant Healthcare Community Programme as part of attempts to provide tools and resources for improved postnatal care.

Four babies have died and almost 13,000 were hospitalised after drinking formula contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, which was supplied by Fonterra’s joint venture partner Sanlu.

Sanlu had received reports that babies were falling ill as far back as December 2007.

Fonterra claims that the contamination of the products occurred at the supplier level.

Friesland Foods sticks with milk pricing

Zuivelcoöperatie Friesland Foods says that it has fixed the final price for its milk supplies at €37.07 for 2007 season in line with provisional estimates announced back in May.

The group said that it had decided to keep the rate unchanged from its provisional valuation and would not be making a settlement with its dairy farmers over the costs.

The price relates to per hundred kilograms of milk with contents of 4.411 per cent fat and 3.506 per cent protein, and was based around findings in the annual reports of Arla Foods Denmark, Campina, Humana Milchunion and Milcobel, the group said.

Friesland Foods has had a difficult year for milk pricing after farmers' groups in its native Dutch operations took action in June to boycott production as part of calls for a higher basic pay rate for their products.

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