One of the six sites operated by the milk giant Lactalis in Turkey was affected by the earthquake that struck the country and Syria.
At midday, two Lactalis employees in Turkey and their families were still missing following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country and neighboring Syria on Monday.
The plant concerned is located an hour’s drive from Gaziantep. 150 employees work there for Lactalis, which has become the leader in milk in Turkey, after having acquired the first local group, AK Gida, in the spring of 2015. Lactalis operates a total of six factories in the country.
“What concerns us here is to help our teams,” said Christophe Piednoël, who explained that as of Monday evening, the group had sent a first food aid truck. Two other trucks, with blankets and tents, must reach the site. “The factory has suffered but it is standing,” according to the Lactalis spokesperson.
The objective is to shelter employees and their families whose homes have been destroyed in a room fitted out in the building. The group has also organized a blood drive from its employees to be able to “address medical emergencies”.
Two-level crisis management
In this type of situation, explained Christophe Piednoël, “crisis management is done at two levels: at the local level, the local leaders have gone to the scene within the framework defined by the Turkish authorities. The head office in France is mobilizing also and industrial experts are preparing to go there, as soon as possible, to see the state of the factory and see when food production can be restarted.
“The other challenge”, specified the spokesperson for Lactalis, “is to be able to collect the milk” that the cows of Turkish breeders continue to produce. The group sees how it can “organize itself so as not to lose material and continue to produce food locally”.