Snow Brand rehab plan receives OK

Scandal-tainted Snow Brand Milk Products Co. said Tuesday the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has authorized its rehabilitation plan.

The rehabilitation plan will be implemented through September 2005 under the industrial revitalization law, the dairy products firm said.

The law provides companies seeking to promote their core businesses and those with growth potential with tax cuts and other benefits aimed at assisting rehabilitation efforts.

The Snow Brand group was hit hard in 2000 by a widespread food-poisoning scandal tied to milk products made by the parent firm. The group suffered another savage blow from a beef-mislabeling scandal perpetrated by its subsidiary Snow Brand Foods Co. The latter disbanded April 30.

Under the rehabilitation plan, Snow Brand will spin off and combine its milk business with the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (Zen-Noh) and the National Federation of Dairy Cooperative Associations (Zenrakuren).

Snow Brand will also set up a joint company with confectioner Lotte Co. to make and sell ice cream.