Remedia, manufacturer of the soy-based baby milk formula that caused a national uproar last month when its vitamin B1 deficiency apparently caused the death of two infants and the sickness of several others, is to restart its Rishon Letzion plant Sunday.
The company has decided to return to manufacturing milk formulas in an attempt to regain the market share it enjoyed before last month's crisis.
The company will continue to market its products under the Remedia label, according to sources close to the firm, but will turn to the British baby food company Farley's to manufacture the soy-based formula, replacing Humana of Germany, which had made the formula for Remedia till now.
Remedia confirmed yesterday that it was considering transferring production to Britain.
The company believes it is possible to overcome last month's tragic events.
Remedia believes that Humana was responsible for the B1 deficiency in the soy-based formula. While Humana recognized its role in the vitamin's deficiency, it does not accept a proven direct causality between the deficiency and the infants' death and sickness.
Remedia's Rishon Letzion plant was closed following the crisis, but will return to production following an increased demand for the company's products.
Remedia has invited the city's chief rabbi to re-open the manufacturing plant, where he will affix mezuzot on its doorposts. A Remedia spokesman said that all 40 plant workers had been called to deal with product returns during the past month.
Sales of all Remedia products dropped immediately after the scandal was publicized. One market survey company went so far as to say that one week after the crisis, no Remedia products had been sold.
In addition, stores agreed to accept back any Remedia products, not only the soy-based formula.
Demand, however, has slowly returned, according to stores. Pharmacy chain Super-Pharm reported that Remedia is now selling at 70 percent of its pre-crisis level, and even baby formula sales have recovered.
The chain store estimates that the company's market share stands at 14 percent, down from 24 percent before the incident.
Supermarket chain Blue Square Israel reported that, according to its figures, Remedia baby formulas are holding a 7 percent market share, compared to 35 percent in October.
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