French food group Danone said on Wednesday it would continue local production in Russia of essential dairy and infant nutrition products, but had cut other ties with the country over its war in Ukraine.
The company said it has halted further imports and exports as well as all investments, including consumer advertising and promotions, in Russia, and will not withdraw any cash, dividends or benefit from its activities in this country.
Rival Nestlé said on Wednesday it would halt sales of several non-essential products including KitKat snacks and Nesquik chocolate mix in Russia, as Western companies come under government pressure to avoid Russia over its invasion. from Ukraine.
Danone said it condemned the war, which Russia calls a “special military operation”, from the outset, unambiguously.
He said supporting the Russian people and their employees does not mean he supports Moscow’s actions, and that his first priority will always be the safety of his Ukrainian colleagues.
“We also have a duty of care to our 8,000 colleagues in Russia, to Russian citizens, ordinary people, who rely on us for infant nutrition, medical nutrition, dairy products – essential foods,” Danone said. .
The company said it did not expect to make any profits in Russia or pay related taxes for the foreseeable future, and added that if it made any profits there during the war, it would donate them to humanitarian aid organizations.
Danone said it made about 5% of its revenue in Russia in 2021 and less than 1% in Ukraine, where it has nearly 1,000 employees.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told French lawmakers on Wednesday that French companies, including retailer Auchan, should exit the Russian market.