RUSSIA – Swedish-Swiss multinational food packaging and processing company, Tetra Pak has announced a decision to exit its remaining Russia operations after 62 years in the country and would divest its business there.

The Swedish-Swiss group had already suspended all new investments and projects in Russia, limiting its operations to essential food items – something it intends the new entity to continue in an effort to provide continuity for customers and minimize the impact on employees.

But the firm continued to serve Russian clients packaging essential food items, in line with its commitment to the principle that people have a right to access safe food.

This is due to the cumulative impact of the restrictions on exports to Russia leading to an unsustainable supply chain, as a result of which the company is left with no other option than to exit the country,” Tetra Pak said in a statement.

The firm said it will divest its Russian operations to local management, helping ensure continuity to customers providing essential food items, while minimizing the impact on employees.

After the change in ownership, the new business will function as a separate entity with a new name and be unrelated to Tetra Pak.

The move come at a time when Russia’s packaging industry is struggling under the impact of sanctions

A shortage of supplies has led to usually colorful juice cartons being printed mainly in white, footage filmed by Reuters showed.

Tetra Pak, which has also produced juice cartons lacking their usual colors, said this was an example of how supply chains had been impacted.

When presented with a largely blank juice carton by a journalist at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum last month, President Vladimir Putin said sovereignty and independence were important to Russia, not its packaging woes.

Founded in Sweden in 1951, Tetra Pak now employs more than 25,000 people in more than 160 countries.

It is now part of the Swiss-based Tetra Laval group which also includes a beverage packaging unit and a division providing milk production equipment to dairy farmers.

Earlier this month, the company partnered with Stora Enso to explore a shared beverage carton recycling solution to meet the recycling requirement in Benelux.

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