Dysentery scare boosts sales of other Latvian dairies

  • 2001-02-15
  • BNS
RIGA - Following the suspension of production at the Tukuma Piens dairy, which was suspected last month as the source of a dysentery outbreak, other Latvian dairies saw considerable sales increases.

Tukuma Piens was closed for about a week in mid-January and during this period the Limbazu Piens dairy saw a 35 percent to 40 percent growth in whole milk sales, according to Limbazu Piens President Dzintars Jaundzeikars.

Jaundzeikars said the restoration of the market situation to its state before the closure of Tukuma Piens would be a very slow process.

Dairy Rigas Piena Kombinats President Margers Rava also said that his companyÕs sales increased during the closure.

He would not give any exact sales and turnover figures resulting from the closure of Tukuma Piens, saying only that in February the supply of milk to dairies reduced rapidly. Rava said that one of the reasons for more orders was new clients, especially from the western Latvian region of Kurzeme, where Tukuma Piens is located.

According to dairy Rigas Piensaimnieks Director General Arvids Usca, his company did not see any substantial growth or reduction of sales in January and that the results corresponded to earlier estimates and seasonal fluctuations.

ÒI think the dysentery scandal gave us several lessons which will affect the further situation on the food market. First, every food company will pay more attention to sanitary requirements and product quality. Second, it gave an impetus for improvements in the food supervision area. Third, I am sure that consumersÕ demands concerning safety of products will increase therefore producers will make greater efforts to improve the situation,Ó Usca said.

Tukuma Piens was blamed for outbreaks of dysentery in an army unit and a home for the elderly. The ensuing inspections found that several workers of Tukuma Piens also contracted the illness. However, no dysentery agents were found in the dairyÕs products.

Tukuma Piens has not yet completed calculating the loss it incurred due to the suspension of production.