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Thursday, January 29, 2009

(In)Fanterror milk scandal

The melamine minutes
Fonterra says it has minutes from phone calls with SanLu that prove it told the Chinese dairy company the only acceptable level of melamine in its products was zero.
"The ongoing handling of this crisis was phone call after phone call after phone call," chief executive Andrew Ferrier said. "And we kept minutes of all these phone calls." However, the cooperative would not make the minutes public while there was a possibility that SanLu chairwoman Tian Wenhua might appeal against her life sentence. Fonterra owned 43 per cent of SanLu the Chinese dairy company at the heart of the melamine-in-milk scandal that resulted in the deaths of six Chinese infants. Tian was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Chinese court last week while two of the owners of independent milk collection stations that put the melamine into the milk received death sentences. During the trial it was revealed that one of the Fonterra directors on SanLu's board gave Tian a document stating the European Union's permitted levels of melamine in food.

I don’t think for one second that Fonterra intentionally suggested that SanLu try and hide the melamine, but what I do think is that SanLu desperately reached out to use an EU report that suggested adult exposure to melamine was acceptable up to 20mg/kg indicates how pathetic Fonterra’s management relationship with the SanLu board was. Fonterra’s incompetence and greedy hope to tap into China’s massive market long term led to Fonterra ending up being SanLu’s bitch, they blew $200 million and poisoned 300 000 babies (killing half a dozen in the process). Hardly a sterling example of international partnership and good economic management. Fonterra’s incompetence at managing the relationship is the damning problem and their fear at annoying China during the Olympics exacerbated that management incompetence.


At 29/1/09 11:22 am, Anonymous Samclemenz said...

All's fair in global Corporatist reaching for the gold on the table over any humanitarian concern for health, domestic NZ economic, or welfare issues!
Share returns to the Company is all that matters - certainly not a matter of ethics or humanitarian concern!
Time for Fonterra to take it's medicine, and pass a teaspoon on to all the NZ Dairy Farmers who went for the cash and turned their backs on the domestic markets, ethics in Co-op / Corporate Management Policy, or honour in their business practices over greed driven returns! Fuck-em! Just like Fisher and Paykel, and all the other sell out Corporatists that have moved NZ jobs and manufacturing plants to slave wage markets to increase their returns at our domestic economic expense.
Fonterra keep promising that the prices of Dairy products will fall domestically, but my budget doesn't show that it's happening - so when is there going to be direct Government pressure on Fonterra to take steps to bail out the local economy? I'm not holding my breath!


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