Food Union cuts ties with Russia and Belarus

The Latvian-based food producer group Food Union has cut "all ties with partners and Russia and also in Belarus", Latvian Television's investigative broadcast Forbidden Method reported March 14.

One of the company's founders and largest shareholder Sergejs Beshmeļņickis, told Forbidden Method:

“I will say for myself, my position is unambiguous – no war! So the aggression of Putin, aggression from all internal supporting forces in Russia against the nation … It has no excuse. It is a war, as we see, it is also a humanitarian disaster and a horror that we will be clearing up for many years, and we will, of course, participate and help,” the businessman said.

“We cut all ties with partners in Russia and also in Belarus,” Beshmeļnickis said.

He said it was a tragedy for him and his family, too, because he was born in Ukraine, Luhansk, and lived there until the age of 22.

“My parents moved to Latvia in 2014 [..] I now deal with the evacuation of my family and relatives, because about 95% of my relatives live in Ukraine. They were forced to flee in 2014 when the war began in Luhansk and have settled in other Ukrainian cities. And now they go through this madness again. Literally yesterday, my cousin and children were brought out of Ukraine,” Beshmeļnickis said.

A few days after the beginning of the war, the Food Union expressed its support for the Ukrainian people by donating food products, providing financial support, and expressed its readiness to take Ukrainian refugees to work in their Latvian and Estonian plants.

“Food Union” exports products to more than 30 countries, the largest of which (by volume of export) are Lithuania, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Romania, Poland, and others. Ice cream was exported to Kaliningrad in Russia at a negligible level of 1% of the entire export portfolio, which is currently suspended. Similarly, purchases from Russia have been suspended, the company said.

The “Food Union” group includes the Rīgas piena kombināts" and Valmieras piens, as well as the largest producer of ice cream in Estonia, “Premia”, the largest producer of ice cream in Denmark, “Premier Is” and ice cream distributor “Hjem Is”, ice cream producer in Norway “Isbjørn Is”, producer Alpin57Lux in Romania and producer of ice cream in Belarus Ingman Ice Cream. Food Union also has two plants in China.

 

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