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Finland’s Fazer Group suspends exports to Russia

Fazer does have assets in Russia, generating EUR157.4m in sales in the country in 2021.

By Simon Harvey

Finland’s Fazer Group has suspended exports to Russia and condemned the invasion of Ukraine as the conflict continues into a seventh day.

In a statement today (2 March), Fazer said exports to Russia consist of confectionery and “milling products” amounting to annual sales of about EUR12.5m (US$13.8m).

President and CEO Christoph Vitzthum said: “Fazer strictly condemns the war in Ukraine and suspends all exports to Russia.”

The statement added: “Fazer continues to actively monitor the situation and the development of sanctions and counter-sanctions, and to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and sanctions.”

However, Fazer does have assets in Russia, including a bakery business. The company generated EUR157.4m in sales and employed 2,344 staff in Russia in 2021. Fazer’s annual sales last year were EUR1.14bn in 2021.

Just Food has approached Fazer to comment on the status of its operations within Russia.

As well as finished food products, Fazer is engaged in grain milling and last year acquired Sweden-based oat-drink producer Trensums Food, a deal it sealed this week. Over the last three years, Fazer has invested in developing its oats business, including doubling oats milling capacity at mills in Lidköping in Sweden and Lahti, Finland.

In Ukraine itself, Lactalis, the world’s largest dairy producer, reopened its facility yesterday in Nikolaev in the south of the country. One of three plants in Ukraine, the site was earlier closed due to nearby fighting.

Nestlé, the world’s largest food manufacturer, halted the manufacturing and distribution of its products in Ukraine last week. The company has three factories and 5,000 staff in Ukraine, it confirmed.

And Ukrproduct Group, the UK-listed Ukrainian dairy business, has suspended operations at its factory in the north-central city of Zhytomyr, where it produces processed cheese and the fermented drink kvass.

For more on Just Food’s coverage on how the conflict is affecting the food industry, please visit our dedicated microsite.

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