Fonterra Pauses Dairy Exports to Russia

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has suspended shipments of dairy products to Russia. The move is understood to affect only a small amount of product, primarily butter.

“While food, including dairy, is generally exempt from international sanctions regimes and can be traded, we have suspended shipments of product to Russia while we continue to monitor developments,” said Fonterra’s director of global stakeholder affairs, Simon Tucker.

He added the company’s exports to Russia totalled about 1 percent of its annual overall exports.

In the year to March 2021, New Zealand exported $161.96m of dairy to Russia, representing 0.5 percent of all exports of dairy in the period, according to Stats NZ.

Dairy accounted for more than half of all of New Zealand’s exports to Russia for the 12 month period, valued at around $300m.

Fonterra has seven people based in Moscow with Fonterra Russia and about 35 people based in Saint Petersburg with Fonterra’s joint venture Unifood.

Tucker said both entities continued to operate at this time, however, “we are keeping an eye on the situation and will take actions as required. Our people’s safety is our top priority.”

Tucker added that none of its customers were sanctioned individuals or entities, including Russian military or security forces.