Yogurt No Go for Olympics Trip, Heads to Food Banks

Dairy

2/14/2014 5:52 AM

In case you have not noticed, the 2014 Olympics Winter Games are under way. Watch your favorite sporting event and you will catch a commercial of with U.S. Olympians reaching for their favorite quick meal on the go, Chobani Greek yogurt. Unfortunately, Chobani’s Olympic team donation of yogurt is not heading to Sochi, but to food banks in New York state and New Jersey.
After a weeklong saga, the company announced on Feb. 13 that they would donate the stranded yogurt.
"As a proud supporter of the Olympics and Team USA over the past four years, we're disappointed our athletes won't be able to enjoy Chobani while they compete in the games as we all hoped, and are deeply appreciative to everyone who tried to help get it there, especially Sens. (Charles) Schumer and (Kirsten) Gillibrand, and various officials here at home," Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani founder and CEO said in a statement. "We'll be waiting for our athletes when they come home while cheering them on every step of the way," he added.

Chobani is one of the U.S. Olympic Team sponsors and had plans to send its yogurt over for U.S. athletes to enjoy during the games. However, those plans were snarled in a dairy export dispute with Russia.
The shipment of 5,000 single-serve flavored yogurts and larger plain yogurt containers for smoothies were stuck in cold storage in Newark, N.J. Russian officials did not grant the paperwork needed to clear customs.
Schumer, a New York state democrat, had been working alongside the USDA to untangle the mess to get the New York state-produced dairy product shipped to Russia.
Russian authorities said last week that the USDA has refused to provide a certificate that is required for dairy products under its customs rules.
--Charlene Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor


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8/20/2014 | Last Updated: 1:15 PM