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Russia - New Zealand News
Russian door ‘not shut on New Zealand’ - Interview with Stuart Prior Print E-mail

Nigel Stirling, AgriHQ, New Zealand, 24 September 2013 - HOPE REMAINS: Former ambassador and diplomat Stuart prior says NZ still has friends in Moscow but few of them are in government circles, as was evident during Fonterra’s recent botulism scare. Photo: Mark Coote
Stuart Prior was New Zealand’s man in Moscow in the early 2000s. He was instrumental in getting Russia to the table for historic free-trade talks in 2010. He tells Nigel Stirling why those talks have hit a brick wall and why it’s NZ’s loss.

Fonterra ban in Russia has been lifted, partially Print E-mail - 06.09.2013, Роспотребнадзор снял временные ограничения на импорт и продажу в России продукции новозеландской компании Fonterra, крупнейшего в мире экспортера молочных продуктов. Как сообщает сайт ведомства, это решение принято после анализа информации Министерства первичных отраслей Новой Зеландии, которую передало новозеландское посольство.

Анализы показали, что обнаруженные в белково-сывороточном концентрате Fonterra бактерии не являются опасными для жизни Clostridium botulinum, а относятся к условно-патогенным Clostridium sporogenes и не продуцируют ботулинический токсин. В конце августа об этом объявил новозеландский регулятор сельского хозяйства — министерство добывающей промышленности (MPI). Роспотребнадзор согласился с этими выводами и проинформировал о своем решении свои региональные управления и ФТС. Запрет на продукцию Fonterra был введен в начале августа 2013 г.

Fonterra botulism crisis was false alarm Print E-mail

28 August 2013 The New Zealand Herald, The Ministry for Primary Industries said it had received results confirming that the bacteria found in the whey protein concentrate (WPC) manufactured by Fonterra was not the botulism-causing clostridium botulinum, the ministry said.

"The organism is confirmed as Clostridium sporogenes. It is therefore not capable of producing botulism causing toxins,'' the ministry said in a statement.

"There are no known food safety issues associated with Clostridium sporogenes, although at elevated levels certain strains may be associated with food spoilage,'' it said.

"When MPI received information from Fonterra on August 2 that it had detected Clostridium botulinum in some of its products, I immediately adopted a precautionary approach to protect consumers both here and overseas,'' acting director-general Scott Gallacher said in a statement.

New Zealand ministers - update on Russia trade Print E-mail

Tim Groser, Nathan Guy

14 August, 2013 - Update on Russia trade - Trade Minister Tim Groser and Primary Industries Nathan Guy say that officials are working closely with Russian authorities to provide the reassurance they need over New Zealand dairy products.

“Russia has formally notified New Zealand of a temporary restriction of dairy imports from 61 of the 83 dairy plants approved for export to Russia,” says Mr Groser.

“Overnight, New Zealand officials in Moscow have confirmed that the restriction is now also being applied by Kazakhstan and Belarus. As the three countries are in a Customs Union, this is not unexpected.”

Work needs to be done on Russian relations - ex diplomat Print E-mail

15 August 2013 Radio NZ - A trade advisor says the New Zealand Government has some work to do to repair and improve the relationship with Russia following the damage done by the Fonterra botulism scare. Russia, along with Kazakhstan and Belarus, has suspended imports of Fonterra dairy products or ingredients from most of its facilities licenced to export there.

That's despite Fonterra's assurance that it has supplied none of the contaminated whey protein concentrate, or products containing it, to those markets. The reaction from those three countries is the toughest market response so far and goes beyond China's action, which is restricted to stopping imports of Fonterra whey protein concentrate and base powder.

Stuart Prior is a former ambassador to Moscow who runs a consultancy connecting businesses with that part of the world. He's also honorary consul for Belarus.

New Zealander Adams wins 4th women's shot put gold at worlds in Russia Print E-mail

MOSCOW — Associated Press, 13 August 2013 - Olympic champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand won the shot put Monday, becoming the first woman to capture four straight individual titles at the world championships.

Adams won with a toss of 68 feet, 6 inches. She has now won 38 straight events and has won every major championship at least twice.

Fonterra dairy products ban in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan could cost $133m Print E-mail

August 13, 2013 Source: ONE News

A ban on Fonterra products by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus following a contamination scare could cost the company tens of millions of dollars.

The dairy giant publicly announced on August 3 a product it produces for infant formula, beverages and animal feed - a concentrated whey product - was potentially contaminated with a bacteria linked to botulism.

Trade Minister Tim Groser's office today confirmed the three former Soviet states had banned all Fonterra dairy products, despite none of the potentially affected product being shipped there.

Dairy exports in the three countries are worth $133 million a year.


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Russia - New Zealand Video

To see the video of Stuart Prior, Prior Group Chairman, talking to National Business Review about Russia - New Zealand business opportunities please go to

Russia - New Zealand Quotes

Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.Winston Churchill, 1939
I myself prefer my New Zealand eggs for breakfast. Elizabeth II
Я никогда до этого не была в Новой Зеландии. Но одним из образцов подражания для меня всегда была Зена, королева воинов, она родилась там. Мадлен Олбрайт, 1995

Prior Group Market Reports

Russia - New Zealand History

Russian knowledge of New Zealand and the Maori dates from the late seventeenth century. New Zealand was the first region of Polynesia of which the Russians had authoritative data, all collected from the Dutch. The Dutch material was complemented in the later eighteenth century by primary accounts of Captain James Cook's several visits to that country and his lengthy stays within Queen Charlotte Sound.
In 1808 and 1814, the first Russian encounters with the Maori took place at Cape Town and Sydney. Though the officers of the Diana and Suvorov found the Maoris from the Bay of Islands (Matara, Ruatara, Hongi Hika, and others) intellectually quick and very friendly, they could not think of them other than as recent and potential cannibals.
The reports of Cook and his associates, published in German, French, and Russian, reinforced this association. Nonetheless, a Russian expedition led by Captain F.F. Bellingshausen paid a visit to Queen Charlotte Sound in 1820, using Cook's charts and accounts. It proved to be most important from the standpoint of ethnology, and was useful for the visitors as well, who were amply supplied with food. Glynn Barratt, Russia and the South Pacific, 1696-1840, Volume 2, University of British Columbia Press, 1988

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