The company has addressed a letter to Moroccan farmers supplying Centrale Danone with milk, informing them of the company’s decision.
The letter, obtained by Moroccan news outlet Telquel Arabi, includes Danone’s reasons: the consequences of the boycott.
The decision took effect today, according to the letter.
Danone ‘spared no effort’
“Dear partners, as you know, Centrale Danone is experiencing a boycott since April 20. The boycott has negatively affected the sales of this brand and its other products,” the letter said.
Centrale Danone said that it has “spared no effort” to purchase the milk farmers produce and to “protect” farmers from the consequences of the boycott.
The company added that it has been trying to use unsold milk products to produce other dairy products, including butter, sterilized milk, and milk powder.
Their efforts, however, could not help the company to overcome the consequences of the boycott.
“Despite all these serious attempts, and given the average decline in sales, we regret the decision to cut milk supply by 30 percent nationally,” concluded the letter.
Fumbled attempts to reconcile with consumers
Centrale Danone has been trying to reconcile with its customers since the launch of the boycott on April 20.
The company has issued four statements to date. The first and second statements denied that prices increased and apologized to customers for statements by its purchasing director Adile Benkirane, who said that the boycott is a “betrayal of the nation and its products.”
In the third statement, the company provided its customers with a special promotional offer, claiming that it has listened to the demands of citizens. The offer included a 20 percent discount on its yogurt throughout the holy month of Ramadan.
Customers, however, have been reluctant to accept Centrale Danone’s apologizes, urging the company to save its words and lower its prices instead.
Several government officials, including Minister of Human Rights Mustapha Ramid and Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi defended the company, claiming that Centrale Danone makes a reasonable profit.
“I am asking Moroccans, who have always been known for their wisdom and rationality, to suspend the boycott of milk.” According to him, the boycott came in conjunction with the spring peak yield in milk production.
El Khalfi also singled out Centrale Danone in a press conference held earlier this month, emphasizing that “the profit margin of the company is reasonable and does not exceed 20 centimes [per liter].”
The boycott, which started on April 20, also targets Afriquia gas and Sidi Ali mineral water.