Danone Nutricia, one of the infant formula companies caught in the Fonterra whey protein contamination scare, says it is still feeling the effects of the incident one year on.
The managing director of Danone Nutricia for Australia and New Zealand, Corine Tap, said the company had made progress but it had not completely recovered from the false alarm that prompted the recall of 67,000 cans of its leading infant formula brand, Karicare.
Speaking before the amalgamation of Auckland's Sutton and Otago's Gardians with Nutricia, Tap said the acquisitions were a sign that the company was on the mend.
"The fact that we are acquiring these two facilities is clearly a sign that the recovery is going well, but it has been a very hard, tough journey I can tell you that," she said.
Danone terminated its supply contract with Fonterra early this year and started obtaining product from Ireland, Australia and other producers in New Zealand to fill the gap.
The French food giant has sought compensation from Fonterra over the scare, but legal action was put on hold in July when a High Court judge said arbitration in Singapore should happen first.
Sutton is best known for infant formula contract manufacturing, while Gardians - a joint venture with Sutton - operates a milk powder spray-drying plant in Balclutha. Nutricia has a factory in Auckland's Mt Wellington.
Tap said the acquisition highlighted Danone Nutricia's commitment to New Zealand, "despite major challenges over the past 12 months".