This Fonterra issue is going to hurt us all

The Fonterra contamination issue is going to hurt.  Lots.

But don’t worry, before we have even discovered the full extent of the problem, the usual suspects are using it for political advantage.



I’m just waiting for The Green Taliban and the Labour Party to chime in, and the Media to pile in right behind them to somehow link all this to a failure of the GCSB to do its job*.  Or something.

You wait.

Christopher Adams reports

Russia has made one of the most extreme responses to Fonterra’s contamination scare so far, banning all goods made by the New Zealand dairy giant, according to media reports.

Russia was not on the list of affected countries released by Trade Minister Tim Grocer yesterday, which included New Zealand, Australia, China, Vietnam and Thailand.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that the country’s consumer-protection watchdog was recalling Fonterra’s products, including infant formula, and advising consumers in Russia not to buy its products.

This follows China banning all Fonterra milk powder imports.

The only upside I can see here is that it may just distract the media long enough to get it out of its ‘the Government is destroying democracy’ self-pity-fest long enough to switch to a ‘the Government isn’t doing the right thing about this milk powder scare’ beat up.  The spin has been decided.  The evidence will be made to fit.

*) yes, I’m being sarcastic


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  • infusednz

    She needs to GTFO.

  • Phil

    Surely if this was a Chinese company, the executives would have been executed by now.

  • John Q Public

    Yep, this’ll fix the inflated currency, house price inflation, and every other positive economic number, all in one fell swoop. Maybe not as effectively as a foot and mouth scare but pretty close.


      • johnbronkhorst

        We should SHOUT it out more often.

  • johnbronkhorst

    Well helen kelly ….I didn’t realise that Fonterra was a govt. dept., with a minister responsible for it’s running. …You really are a pratt!!!

  • LesleyNZ

    So Helen Kelly is happy that Fonterra has this problem because it serves her political agenda? What a terrible woman to say this.

  • Farmer Joesph

    Helen Kelly is not an expert on this matter.

    Since Fonterra pays 15% of her salaries via the Diary Union fees – I think she should be very very very quiet.

    • Col

      Like telling her to F(&off, that’s a good idea!!!

  • chwaga

    Probably one of her members that caused it all!

  • FredFrog

    Methinks Kelly will find that there is more to the economy than just dairy. Like, for example, the film industry, which she did her best to destroy………

  • Bad__Cat

    She is a nasty piece of work.
    It’s not her fault though, but the way she was brought up. Her father’s actions cost our country billions. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

    The only difference is that he was a Communist, and she is Labour.

    • Dumrse

      I’m puzzled you see those two as being different …..
      Just a thought…

    • Col

      If she was in China today, History!!!!

  • Cadwallader

    I think that provided Fonterra manage a sound product recall it will stem the problems quickly. This instance won’t damage their brand overseas. How many car companies have managed a recall in the past and still bounce along profitably. That said derisive crap from Kelly’s cohorts will not assist in Fonterra’s prospects.

    • johnbronkhorst

      LV Martin:………”It’s the putting right that counts”.
      People, companies and countries, understand that things go wrong, mistakes are made, and it is what you do about fixing the problem and how FAST you react and fix it!!!

    • Rubyred

      If what I read yesterday is correct Fonterra said they will not disclose which brands may be affected by using the contaminated whey and they will leave it to each company to decide whether they will do a recall. Given the possible poison involved Fonterra should be more proactive and advise the public what they know.

  • Kelly is now back pedalling as others have called her on her nastiness.

    • johnbronkhorst

      3 stuff ups in 6 years……that’s excellent considering the 1000’s of tonnes of product they deal with every month.
      On this standard, how many stuff ups has dear old helen kelly made just in the last 6 months???
      Stupid pratt that she is!!!

    • Pita

      If Helen was sincere, her comments should have read “Milk giant’s union members exposed…very worrying…3 stuff ups in 6 years”. Her earlier comment exposes her myopia.

    • LesleyNZ

      Well she is crowing – real nasty crows. This could affect her so-called worker’s jobs. Silly foolish woman. Petal – I thought this verse from the Bible describes her well today:
      Proverbs 9:13 – “The foolish woman is loud, undisciplined, and without knowledge.”

    • Col

      “Here is the News, Helen Kelly the Union boss was found today under a cowpat, the police are not looking for anyone regarding this case as the police say there was no foul play, only shit.

  • surfisup

    I wonder if this end up being a permanent ban.

    It is a bit rich for China with it’s completely dodgy health and safety standards to whine about this.

    Fonterra were quite slow to make this announcement though — it appears they were putting profit above health & safety.

    Incidentally, this can only be good for me, as an exporter. Anything that makes the NZ economy go bad helps me by causing the dollar to drop.

    However, not for much longer, the dollar has been high for so long I can no longer tolerate this so I’m bailing out of exporting. Ranting over :)

    • johnbronkhorst

      Slow??? They warned the companies effected so they could do something about it. It is NOT a first priority to notify the MSM or union (who can do nothing about fixing the problem)!!

      • surfisup

        Yes, Fonterra have known about this possibility since march.

        In what world do you think this is acceptable?

        • johnbronkhorst

          They notified the distribution companies sooner!!!

          • surfisup

            If fonterra were notifying all customers and foreign food safety authorities with all details at the time that Fonterra suspected there could be an issue then that would be OK.

            But, then why didn’t fonterra question why suppliers were not recalling product months ago?

            And why has the Chinese/Russian government only just discovered this now? Surely Fonterra had some responsibility to inform the governments of countries they supply?

            I’d like to see a timeline of all these events to know for sure.

            But, if you are right, then fonterra is squeaky clean but it doesn’t seem that way to me.

          • johnbronkhorst

            Firstly you have to CONFIRM that there is a problem, it’s just as damaging to have false alarm.
            Then you have to TRACK where the product went, who it was sold to, where it was shipped, to determine who is effected.
            Getting this wrong would be a disaster. Especially as you are dealing with 1000’s of tonnes to perhaps 100’s of distributors over SERVERAL countries.

          • surfisup

            Fonterra would not be the first respectable company to put profit ahead of safety.

            I’m not saying they did anything wrong necessarily, only that an investigation is required . This is for the benefit of Fonterra to restore their reputation/integrity if they truly believe they have done the best they could.

          • Rubyred

            Agree, and why is Fonterra not disclosing which brands were affected. They are allowing these companies anonymity at the expense of human health. The public has a right to be informed.

  • Dave

    Bound to be a union member who didn’t follow protocol, now wait for her and her affiliated union to cry foul when they sack someone for this. Never ever trust a union, but especially never trust a union leader with political aspirations.

    Hey Helen, you are a first class fool! And if you can’t work out why I say this your even thicker than I have you credit for.

  • Great opportunity for Synlait!

    • I love that name by the way. Had I come up with it I would have taken the rest of my career off.

    • LabTested

      This was the lead item on BBC world news just now. Saying China (amongst others) has banned all milk imports from NZ & Australia (cos some of the contaminated product got sent there) so not a good day for Synlait either

  • DLNZ

    Helen’s main concern is political muck raking. This of course comes second to the possibility of union workers losing their jobs due to reduced demand for Fonterra products.

  • Jimmie

    Plenty of upset farmer shareholders too – a lot of concern the payout announcement several days ago may head south fairly quickly

  • BobaJob

    Fonterra said Russia didn’t get any of the product that was possibly tainted. So the Russians are up to their old tricks. They will be looking for a sharper price from Fonterra now in order to get the product rolling.

  • Dumrse


  • GregM

    This is going to be a big problem. Fonterra is such a huge export earner, if they so much as fart, we are all going to smell it.

  • Roger

    Russia is hell bent on developing its own dairy industry on an industrial scale on the wide fertile plains in the Ural Region. Best we get that GCSB cranked up the enemy is on the way.

    • Dave

      Roger, I don’t think you understand Helen Kelly’s message, she is firstly blaming J Key, then the the GCSB, its all their fault Fonterra had some dirty pipes, not some shonky union member.

      • Roger

        I do understand her message and for mine she’s lower than a snakes belly. My post was really to point out the Russian action to ban all imports is completely self serving.

        I was pleased we have some semblance of an intelligence community because we will need it.

  • cows4me

    This is really gutting. Things were looking great for the new season. The spring has been fantastic here and the stock are loving it, so are their owners. The payout was the best news after last years drought and it would have helped no end. We fucking didn’t need this, I’m spewing. As for that bitch Kelly, you better not drag your sorry arse down this way you commie mole. What have you and your scumbag mates ever done for this country other then try and screw it for everything you can get your bludging hands on.

    • BigDes

      Yep, well summed up cows. Best June/July I’ve had. Lots of grass, cows all fat, great payout, even been shopping for a new boat. Looks like that’ll be on hold now :-(. Lets hope she turns up in the naki real soon. On the other hand think I’ll buy USD first thing tomorrow morning.


      • surfisup

        But, don’t you need to repay all the money you lost during the drought, or save for a rainy day (drought)?

        Or, when the next drought occurs you’ll just ask for govt assistance :)

        Remember, your cows are supposed to be the reason behind global warming too , so your business model is self defeating.

        • BigDes

          Haha. Lucky for me I get 3.5-4 metres of a rain a year eh!

    • GregM

      Cows and Des, keep the fingers crossed. I believe we are only talking 38 tonnes of whey MAY have a borderline bacteria infection. As long as Fonterra and MFAT pull their finger out the damage can be limited. Good to see Steve Joyce and Tim Groser have been working over the weekend, I hope they can re assure the markets in the next few days that we are on top of it.

    • LesleyNZ

      Such a shame – so sorry……………

  • Bryan

    the shipment was made in MAY 2012 thats 15 months ago so it has mostly been sold used and done and and in many cases used to make other products and I see even the Chinese are saying their processes would have killed it if any of the strain was present in the concentrate
    synlait which has major Chinese ownership has nothing to do with it but russia along with others are quick to use this for their advantage the biggest thing is for the media to stop talking and speculating and just tell THE Facts ! otherwise those overseas turn their ideas into fact its best for everyone to say little and leave fonterra and govt to sort it out less said the better media

  • Toothbrush76

    Surely there must be some very sick infants or even deaths for the media to report as a result of this incident.
    So far all we have heard every hour is a promotion of the negative reaction there will be to our trade and the blame attached to all and sundry from John Key downwards.

  • tspoon

    one more trick than you’ve got helen.