Friday, 13 June 2014 09:23

Tribunal says Fonterra broke rules

Written by 

THE NEW ZEALAND Market Disciplinary Tribunal says Fonterra breached its rules by not releasing information to the markets as soon as was aware of potential contamination of product during last year's false-alarm food safety scare.

Fonterra disagrees with the tribunals findings, but has agreed to a settlement of $150,000.

The tribunal says Fonterra should have told NZX as soon as soon as it was aware of results from AgResearch testing of potential botulism contamination on Wednesday, July 31, 2013.

Instead it told NZX after midnight on Friday, August 2, after the markets had closed.

After a massive international recall of three batches of whey protein concentrate WPC80 manufactured at Fonterra's Hautapu plant, the Ministry for Primary Industries announced on August 28 that further conclusive testing showed the batches did not contain the botulinum strain of clostridium and that the affected product posed no risk to the public.

Fonterra's group director governance and legal Mike Cronin says Fonterra had co-operated fully with the NZX and the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal throughout the investigation.

"As part of a full and final settlement, we have acknowledged the Tribunal's views and agreed to make a payment of $150,000.

"Following the Fonterra board's independent inquiry into WPC80, and as the tribunal's statement sets out, Fonterra has made significant changes to ensure improved identification, management and escalation of emerging risks across the cooperative, with a particular focus on food safety and quality.

"Fonterra remains committed to fully complying with the rules governing the Fonterra Shareholders' Market and the NZX listing rules," Cronin says.

The Tribunal says in its findings that while Fonterra cooperated fully with the inquiry, it was "concerning and disappointing" it has not accepted a breach of rules had occurred.

"The tribunal also records that Fonterra could have managed its compliance with continuous disclosure obligations better in this case," it says.

"The tribunal reinforces the need for organisations, and particularly those of the size and standing of Fonterra, to devote proper resources, time and training to their continuous disclosure obligations and to foster a culture of openness and transparency in relation to continuous disclosure issues."

More like this

Cheesed off

OPINION: Fonterra's plan to trademark Maori words used for its Kapiti cheese range is cheesing off some in Maoridom.

Capital structure woes

OPINION: It seems Fonterra's revised preferred option for its new capital structure has fallen short of farmer expectations.

Cow manure to fire up the BBQ

A study between Fonterra, Beca, Firstgas Group and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has found using organic waste is a viable, untapped solution to provide an alternative to New Zealand's current residential gas supplies, with the potential to replace nearly 20% of the country's total gas usage by 2050.

Fonterra reacts to feedback

Fonterra's board is getting some kudos for listening to shareholder concerns as it works on a new capital structure.

National

West Coast resilience tested

DairyNZ head consulting officer in the South Island, Tony Finch, says his first priority has been to get an accurate…

New red meat awards

A chance to celebrate all the good work being done in the red meat sector and tell this to the…

They have a point!

Beef+Lamb NZ chair Andrew Morrison says he understands why the Groundswell protest was so big.

We messed up - Minister

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor admits the Government "made mistakes" with its initial freshwater farm plans.

Machinery & Products

Keen on easy-to-use spaceship

Reporoa based Murdoch Agricultural Contracting, owned and operated by couple Harry Murdoch and Samantha Parker, started by targeting a niche.

One-pass cultivator moves 70% less soil

According to Kverneland distributor, Power Farming, the KultiStrip system will bring opportunities to farm environmentally, while improving yields and profitability.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Real or reel?

OPINION: Your canine crusader reckons people should be very skeptical of video footage supplied to TV news by vested interests.

It's coming!

OPINION: This old mutt reckons the 'woke' epidemic - currently rife in left wing and government circles - is now…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter