Aug 19, Colombo: The New Zealand dairy product giant, Fonterra Monday confirmed that it has received notification of a temporary injunction to prevent it selling its products in Sri Lanka and the company is currently working through their legal options in the country.
A Sri Lankan court Friday (16) issued an order banning the sale, distribution and advertising of Fonterra's dairy products for two weeks after taking up a case filed by a health sector trade union seeking a ban on all dairy products from the New Zealand dairy producer.
The order, effective for 14 days, prevents Fonterra from whole selling all its products, distributing or selling through agents as well as any form of advertising in a misleading manner.
Refuting the Sri Lankan court's decision, Fonterra in an announcement Monday to the New Zealand Stock Exchange said the injunction as brought by three individuals who work for a local Union and not by the government.
"We strongly refute the allegations on which this injunction has been made. Our independent testing has found no traces of DCD (dicyandiamide) in any Fonterra branded products in Sri Lanka and no affected whey protein concentrate or products containing it have been sent to the country," the Managing Director Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Johan Priem said.
The National Health Services Trade Union Alliance filed the case in the court after Sri Lanka's Health Ministry banned the sales of 39 metric tons of Fonterra's milk powder in two batches based on the controversial results of tests conducted within the country by the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI).
The ITI found that four brands of milk powder including the two batches of Fonterra's were contaminated with traces of DCD.
However, Fonterra has disputed the test results saying that the ITI is not equipped to conduct the tests required to detect DCD in milk powder.
"We are confident in the quality and safety of our products in Sri Lanka and we are currently working through our legal options there," the Fonterra Managing Director said.
Mr. Priem said the injunction did not affect product already on shelves. He said that the legal action was disappointing in light of Fonterra's long-standing co-operation with Sir Lanka both in terms of supplying high quality dairy products to the country and its commitment to helping develop its domestic dairy industry.
The farmer-owned New Zealand co-operative is the largest processor of milk in the world.