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McCormick halts Russian operations

The US group has also paused its business in Ukraine.

By Simon Harvey

Schwartz spices owner McCormick & Co. has suspended operations in Russia and “paused” activity in Ukraine.

New York-listed McCormick did not detail what operations and sales it has in either country in a brief statement on Friday (11 March). The spices, seasonings and flavourings maker noted the “decision follows the action the company took at the start of the conflict to stop all advertising and promotional activity and other investments in Russia”.

The company added “operations in Ukraine have been paused in order to focus on the safety of employees and their families”.

A spokesperson for McCormick confirmed the company has an office and distribution centre in Russia where it imports products but has no factories operating in the country. It declined to provide the number of staff in Russia or Ukraine other than to say “it’s relatively small compared to our overall number of 14,000 employees”.

“McCormick hopes for an immediate end to the conflict in Ukraine and the suffering of innocent people. The company will continue to monitor and assess the situation as circumstances evolve,” the statement read.

In a separate announcement on LinkedIn, president and CEO Lawrence Kurzius said: “As a result of the continued conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis across Europe, McCormick & Company has decided to suspend operations in Russia. We condemn the violence in Ukraine and hope for an immediate end to the suffering of innocent people.

“This newly announced suspension will be managed in an orderly and respectful way.”

NestléPepsiCoUnileverDanoneMars and Mondelez International are among those to have announced they are to suspend their investment in Russia but maintain the manufacturing and sale of certain food products.

Others have decided to stop operations in Russia. Dairy giant Arla Foods has “initiated preparations to suspend its business in Russia”, a move that would “cover both its local operations and imports”.

On Friday, Norway-based food group Orkla followed in the footsteps of its Scandinavian peers Valio and Fazer by pulling the plug on its Russian operations.

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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