Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is working to get a shipment of Chobani yogurt bound for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, out of a bureaucratic web, according to a media release from his office.
He brought the situation to the attention of Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and the head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, in a Tuesday letter. The New York-made product, which was bound for Olympic athletes and employees of NBC Studios, is currently sitting at the Newark International Airport.
Chobani is an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, and has long planned on providing Greek yogurt for Olympic athletes and other American workers. However, Schumer said, the Russian government is requiring unattainable customs certifications for the food to be delivered.
Schumer noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has already requested that the Russian government approve a USDA sanitary certificate, which ensures on behalf of the agency the safety of yogurt and would allow the delivery to move forward.
Schumer said without the approval, the food will go to waste, Olympic athletes and workers will miss out and a New York company will lose an important marketing and business opportunity.