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Norway blacklists Mondelez over Russia business

With mounting boycotting of Mondelez products in Norway, Coop Norge, the country’s second biggest retailer, seeks clarifications on the matter from the Ministry of Industry, before taking its own decision in this regard. Several market players ended their collaboration with Mondelez over the past few days, in response to the company’s decision to maintain its business in Russia. Among them are Airlines SAS and Norwegian Air, railway group SJ, hotel chain Strawberry, retailer Elkjop, shipping group Fjord Line and the Norwegian Football Association, Reuters reports. Their decision echoes Ukraine’s pushback against the snack maker this year.

Coop Norge detailed in a statement: “We need advice and clarifications on how the Norwegian authorities want us and Norwegian consumers to deal with companies that are blacklisted by Ukraine. We want advice and clarifications where the government is clear about whether they stand behind this blacklist. No one wants to support Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, not even indirectly. If this specific case had been a simple trade-off, then we would have already banned Mondelez. In this case, we know that a ban from the grocery and kiosk market will affect many Norwegian workplaces and Norwegian consumers through the fact that many goods will be removed from shops for what could be a longer period.”

Mondelez in a statement said it did not sell Russian-made products in Norway. The company stated it complies with “all political decisions and sanctions and will continue to consider necessary adjustments to operations to ensure full compliance.”

Through its Norwegian chocolate manufacturers Freia and Maribou, Mondelez is an established market player in the country.

Mondelez scaled back its business in Russia and announced it would adjust its strategy, but not close its operations there: “As a food company, we are scaling back all non-essential activities in Russia while helping maintain the continuity of the food supply during the challenging times ahead. […] We will focus our operation on basic offerings, discontinue all new capital investments and suspend our advertising media spending. We recognize this is a highly dynamic and very concerning situation that we will continue to assess and adjust as needed,” according to an internal CEO memo that Dirk Van den Put sent out in March last year, which also condemned the war.

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