JAPAN/SWITZERLAND: Snow Brand hooks up with Nestlé
Snow Brand Milk Products, Japan's largest dairy firm, has revealed today (26 September) that it is forging an alliance with the local subsidiary of Swiss food giant Nestlé. Snow Brand announced that there are "various possibilities" for cooperation within fresh food, such as joint ventures, sales and licensing, and the details of these will be released by the end of this year. At the same time, Snow Brand revealed the measures necessary to make the company profitable, as huge losses are predicted following the recent food poisoning incidents.Bacteria-tainted milk made about 14,800 consumers ill this summer, forcing the president's resignation and deeply tarnishing Snow Brand's image. The Osaka plant, blamed for the initial outbreak of staph bacteria, was closed down but it later emerged that the contamination may have originated at the Taiki plant and the factory on the Northern Island of Hokkaido. Police investigating the poisoning said that the company had not taken adequate sanitary measures, and Health and Welfare officials uncovered the practice of recycling milk returned from stores, including that which was beyond its freshness date. Large scale recalls prompted supermarkets to snub Snow Brand and the poor quality control and risk management systems at the company were highlighted.
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