9 Sep 2013

Russia lifts Fonterra product ban

3:33 pm on 9 September 2013

Russia has reportedly lifted its ban on Fonterra's dairy products, now that it has been shown the botulism bacteria incident was a false alarm.

However, Fonterra says it has not been officially notified that the ban has ended.

Russian media has reported that the country's consumer rights watchdog has posted a statement on its website saying it has lifted the ban after seeing new test results sent to it by New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries.

The results showed the bacterium detected could not cause botulism, contrary to what the New Zealand dairy company had initially indicated to foreign markets.

Federated Farmers dairy chairman Willy Leferink, who is one of Fonterra's suppliers, says it is fantastic that Russia has accepted the assurances that New Zealand's milk is safe.

"Any customer of New Zealand products is important and we have to make sure that we sell a safe product," he says.

Mr Leferink says the more customers there are in the market, the better the price that products can command.

He says he can understand the fear the botulism scare created in the international community.