World News: New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has suspended its operations in Sri Lanka with immediate affect.

Earlier this week, it was banned by a Sri Lankan court from selling or advertising its products after the country’s food safety authorities said they found high levels of the agricultural chemical dicyandiamide (DCD) in two batches of milk powder it tested. Fonterra strongly deny the findings.

In a statement, chief executive Theo Spierings explained the company is currently subject to a court order by the Sri Lanka Government.

Fonterra Sri Lanka is currently subject to a court Enjoining Order, which has shut down our ability to sell product, advertise it or make public statements in any way with customers or consumers in Sri Lanka.

“Legal action is under way that is aimed at resolving the Enjoining Order. We are also working with Sri Lankan and New Zealand government authorities on a long-term sustainable solution for our Sri Lankan customers, communities and dairy sector,” said Spierings.

The temporary suspension was the right thing to do, he added. “It is a precautionary measure to ensure our 755 people working there are safe. We have closed our plants and office in Sri Lanka, and have asked our people to stay at home.

“At the same time, we must do all that we can to protect our farmer shareholders’ investment in Fonterra’s Sri Lanka manufacturing and commercial operations.”

Spierings said Fonterra has provided every possible assurance to the Sri Lankan authorities about the safety and quality of Fonterra’s products and it said it remains committed to the Sri Lankan people.

“Recent events, however, have made it difficult to maintain day-to-day operations, and we need to get them resolved.”

Sri Lanka is one of the key markets for the New Zealand dairy industry.  The New Zealand dairy industry has been providing high-quality dairy nutrition to people across Sri Lanka for more than 35 years.

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