A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the New Zealand Infant Formula Exporters Association (NZIFEA) and the China Certification and Inspection Group on September 24, 2013, with a goal to preserve the country of origin label, as well as provide the quality of formula.
In August 2013, the New Zealand-based dairy giant Fonterra was in the center of a contaminated formula scandal in China. Even though no infants were reported being ill after consuming the contaminated formula milk, this incident significantly affected the reputation of the dairy giant in the country. After the scandal, the chairman of the NZIFEA, Michael Barnett confirmed that the milk products from New Zealand experienced a huge decrease in sales.
Barnett went on to say that the association will cooperate with Chinese officials in order to make sure that the New Zealand-labeled infant formula which is distributed in China is, in fact, from New Zealand and is safe for both the mothers and babies. At the moment, the NZIFEA counts 20 members, which also include big formula brands from the country. The representatives of member businesses visited China on September 23, 2013 and September 24, 2013 in order to find ways to improve brand reputation and additionally expand consumer markets in China.
Reports said that 132,000 tons of milk products were imported from New Zealand during the first seven months of 2013 in Shanghai Consumer District.
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