New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra confirmed here on Saturday that a precautionary recall of a batch of whey protein concentrate in the international botulism scare has been fully completed.
Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings made the comment during an exclusive interview with Xinhua, expressing thanks to Chinese enterprises' cooperation during the recall.
Even though Chinese firms suffered losses, the CEO said, "It is admirable that what they care most about is food safety and shouldering responsibility for consumers."
On Aug. 2, the company decided to trace and recall products.
After tests, Fonterra on Aug. 28 found that botulinum was not found in its products. "It was sporogenes which is not a food safety risk."
But Fonterra continued to recall its products. "Because we could not take any risk," he explained.
Spierings pledged that the brand will make the same key decisions but speed up biological checks if similar issues arise.
He said the company has learnt lessons about its manufacturing facilities, on rework procedures and sharing information.
The CEO admitted that there was anxiety but is now confident the business will be back to normal in two months.
"I am sure that by Christmas, we will be in better shape than before," he said.
China is Fonterra's largest market according to Spierings. More than 20 percent of its global capital expenditure budget is spent in the country.
The group will continue with its commitment in China and look for a national partnership rather than multi-regional relationships.