US li­cence loss won’t af­fect Lich­field plant

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PU¯RONGORONGO -

Fon­terra has lost its mul­ti­mil­lion-dollar cheese mar­ket in the United States but it is not ex­pected to im­pact the Lich­field fac­tory.

Fon­terra’s direc­tor of global in­gre­di­ents, Kelvin Wick­ham, con­firmed Fon­terra (USA) had not re­newed the li­cences.

‘‘Due to hu­man er­ror, a dead­line was missed which meant that Fon­terra (USA) failed to ap­ply in time for li­cences to im­port New Zealand cheese into the USA in 2015.’’

He would not put a value on US ex­ports, cit­ing com­mer­cial sen­si­tiv­ity, but ASB econ­o­mist Nathan Penny said New Zealand’s to­tal cheese ex­ports to the US were $11 mil­lion a year, or 4 per cent of the coun­try’s to­tal global cheese ex­ports.

Lich­field has been deemed the sec­ond largest cheese fac­tory within Fon­terra and Wick­ham said it would not be af­fected.

‘‘‘Fon­terra has reached com­mer­cial ar­range­ments with other New Zealand cheese li­cence hold­ers to en­sure that we can meet our planned 2015 New Zealand cheese or­ders in the USA. The fi­nan­cial im­pact is limited and our 2015 sales will not be im­pacted.’’

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