McDonald's Japan denies placing orders with Thailand's CPF

TOKYO Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:55am EDT

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TOKYO (Reuters) - McDonald's Holdings Co (Japan) Ltd (2702.T) said it had not placed any orders to import chicken from Charoen Pokphand Foods Pcl (CPF) (CPF.BK) a few days after senior officials at Thailand's biggest meat and animal feed producer told Reuters they had received such orders.

"It is not true that we have placed any orders with CPF," McDonald's Japan spokesman Takashi Hasegawa said on Thursday.

He said the company had a sufficient supply of chicken meat despite halting all imports from China after revelations of food safety breaches at its main supplier there.

McDonald's Japan said last month it would source all of its chicken meat from its two existing suppliers in Thailand, McKey Foods Services (Thailand) Ltd and Cargill Thailand.

CPF chief executive Adirek Sripratak told Reuters in an interview this week that his company was contacted by McDonald's Japan because its main supplier, McKey Foods Services (Thailand) Ltd, was unable to meet demand.

McKey is partly owned by GFPT (GFPT.BK), a rival of CPF.

Asked about McDonald's Japan denial of the orders, Pisit Ohmpornnuwat, CPF's chief operating officer for overseas trading, told Reuters on Thursday that the volume of orders "had been worked out".

An industry source, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said separately that McDonald's Japan had reached out to CPF and other chicken exporters in Thailand late last month to secure supplies.

McDonald's Japan said last month it was considering sourcing some meat from Brazil, while adding that McKey and Cargill had enough capacity to handle its demand.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim in TOKYO and Khettiya Jittapong in BANGKOK; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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