Chobani to donate yogurt intended for US athletes

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 12, 2014 at 6:14 pm •  Published: February 12, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — Chobani's quest to get its Greek yogurt to the Sochi Olympics is coming to an end.

The company said Wednesday that it plans to donate a shipment of about 5,000 cups of yogurt it had hoped to send to U.S. athletes at the Winter Games to food banks in New York and New Jersey.

The shipment has been held up in a refrigerated warehouse at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport after Russian authorities said the U.S. Department of Agriculture failed to provide a necessary certificate under its customs rules.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and a big booster of the state's Greek yogurt industry, had pointed out that export trade rules shouldn't apply since the yogurt was only for U.S. athletes and wouldn't have been for sale. But Russia still wouldn't allow the shipment.

"We decided that if we didn't have a resolution by today, we were going to donate the products," said Peter McGuinness, Chobani's chief marketing officer, in a phone interview. He said that the games are already well underway and there was no resolution to the yogurt dispute in sight.

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