PepsiCo cheese will be tested by investigators

Rosselkhoznadzor threatens the company with criminal proceedings.
Rubtsovsk milk factory of American PepsiCo, which produces cheese "Lambert", repeatedly violated the law in the sphere of production of dairy products, Rosselkhoznadzor said. The service will pass the materials of the company's inspection to the Investigative Committee of Russia (RKD) to initiate criminal proceedings against the perpetrators, including the leadership of PepsiCo. The company said that they will study the results of the inspection of the plant and consider options for their appeal in court.

Rosselkhoznadzor intends to transfer to the UK a package of materials in connection with the violation of PepsiCo legislation in the production of dairy products, the representative of the service Yulia Melano said today. "Considering that the American company ... has endangered the life and health of Russian citizens, the service is convinced of the expediency of instituting criminal proceedings against the guilty persons, including the leadership of PepsiCo represented by vice-president for corporate relations" PepsiCo Eastern Europe "Sergei Glushkov," said it (a quote from Interfax). According to which article a criminal case can be opened, the TFR will decide, Mrs. Melano told Kommersant.

In November 2017, the Rosselkhoznadzor reported on the re-identification of antibiotics in Lambert cheese produced by Rubtsovsk Milk Plant of Wimm-Bill-Dann JSC (WBD, part of PepsiCo). After the first detection, the enterprise was put in for enhanced laboratory control, then the plant was deprived of the opportunity to supply this type of product to the market of the countries participating in the EAES. In PepsiCo then they did not agree with the conclusion of the service and said that they would appeal against him in court. In January 2018, the Arbitration Court of the Altai Territory adopted a suit against the local department of the Rosselkhoznadzor for WBD.

PepsiCo is one of the largest producers of dairy products in the country, produces products under the brands "House in the Village", "Cheerful Milkman", "Kuban Burenka", "Miracle", etc. In 2016, according to Euromonitor International, the company controlled 11, 5% of the Russian dairy market in monetary terms. The entire volume of the market there was estimated at 1.18 trillion rubles. "Lambert" is among the five most popular brands in its category: in 2016, the brand accounted for 2.2% (8.65 billion rubles.) Of all sales of cheeses (393.6 billion rubles.).

According to Yulia Melano, Rubtsovsk dairy plant regularly violated the requirements regulating the turnover of raw and pasteurized milk.

According to the Rosselkhoznadzor, the enterprise has repeatedly accepted raw milk for processing, which, taking into account the delivery time, was stored for more than 36 hours, which contradicts the requirements of the Customs Union security.

The plant also took pasteurized milk with expired shelf life from WBD branches in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Novosibirsk and Omsk regions, which is confirmed by commodity waybills, Rosselkhoznadzor said. In addition, Ms. Melano continues, the control of raw materials at the enterprise was carried out in an unaccredited production laboratory with numerous violations.

Mr. Glushkov told Kommersant that PepsiCo is studying the findings of the service after the inspection of the Rubtsovsk dairy plant and is considering options for appealing them in court. At the same time, he said that the Rosselkhoznadzor had violated the procedure for informing about the results of the inspection, since the time for their appeal had not expired. "We do not comment on other statements of the department that are beyond its competence," Sergei Glushkov added.

PepsiCo stressed that they are confident in the quality and safety of their products and assured that they act in strict compliance with the law.

The interlocutors of Kommersant on the dairy market associate Rosselkhoznadzor's claims to PepsiCo with the company's statements against the introduction of electronic veterinary certification for finished products. For the same reason, they say, the service also comments on the products of the main competitor PepsiCo in Russia - Danone. In December, Rosselkhoznadzor announced the detection of antibiotics in milk "Prostokvashino", produced by Danone in the Volgograd region. The company accused the service of gross violations during verification, negligence and did not exclude filing a lawsuit in court in connection with damage to reputation.

Why Danone and Rosselkhoznadzor are ready to exchange claims

One of Russia's largest producers of dairy products Danone can sue Rosselkhoznadzor, accusing him of damaging his reputation. The department, previously reported on the detection of antibiotics in milk "Prostokvashino", in turn, intends to file a similar claim against the company.