Blog: Katy AskewManuka welfare scandal another blow for NZ dairy

Katy Askew | 22 January 2014

The reputation of the New Zealand dairy industry has taken another blow, with Chilean authorities reportedly launching an investigation into alleged animal cruelty by Manuka Dairy.

Reports in the Chilean and New Zealand press have accused Manuka's operation in the country of killing "thousands" of calves not needed in the milk processing process by "leaving them starving, slitting their throats or beating them with objects of great forcefulness".

The media outcry prompted Chilean politician Fidel Espinoza to denounce Manuka in the Chilean House of Representatives. An investigation has been launched into the company's activities and any psychological impact these practices may have had on workers, reports say.

While Manuka lacks the clout of New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, the fresh scandal comes as an additional setback for the country's dairy industry on the global stage.

New Zealand dairy has benefited from being well-known for offering high-quality, safe and responsibly produced products. Allegations of animal abuse are hardly in keeping with the country's green reputation.

Fonterra's false botulism recall last year dented consumer confidence in the sector - particularly in key markets in Asia, including China. More recently, an E.Coli recall this month could go some way to tarnishing Fonterra's reputation further still. 

The NZ government has focused on re-establishing the reputation of NZ dairy exporters, with a particular focus on bringing the message that the country's industry is safe to China, a key market. This new controversy can do little to build bridges.

BLOG

Amid the turmoil, Tesco sales continue to slide

Mixed news this morning for Tesco. The under-pressure UK retailer has managed to install new CFO Alan Stewart earlier than planned. However, fresh sales data out of the UK shows Tesco's sales remain i...

BLOG

Food makers pressured to cut salts but Brits fail to see problem

Given the government's efforts to push manufacturers to lower the salt content of foods under the new Responsibility Deal, one would think more would be done - or should be done - to educate people ar...

BLOG

Popularity a challenge and opportunity for US organic movement

Growing demand for organic foods in the US is propelling sales in the sector. Organic products are moving from their niche to gain mainstream traction. Penetration is high - more than 80% of families ...

NEWS

GERMANY: Hochdorf acquires controlling stake in Uckermarker Milk

Swiss baby food maker Hochdorf has set its sights on Germany with its latest acquisition of a majority share in Uckermarker Milk. ...

BLOG

How ABF is fighting back on sugar

The health story of 2014 has been the debate over the impact sugar has on obesity. The issue hit the headlines in January and has stayed there, with only yesterday a study published in the UK calling ...

just-food homepage



Forgot your password?