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Massey Chinese milk survey not a surprise


20 March 2014

Massey Chinese milk survey not a surprise

Federated Farmers is unsurprised Massey University research into consumer attitudes in China’s Gansu province, has found 72 percent of those polled regard New Zealand dairy products as "very safe."

“Let’s be clear, this survey was taken only two months after massive publicity surrounding what media thought was a catastrophic failure in our food safety systems,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“As Massey University’s Professor Steve Flint has said, coverage of it being a false alarm was miniscule when compared to the previous avalanche of negative coverage.

“The proposition, there was an issue, would have remained fresh in the minds of consumers when the survey was undertaken.

“Despite concussive bad news, 72 percent of Chinese consumers polled regard New Zealand dairy products as "very safe." You tell me a politician who’d be unhappy with that sort of approval rating.

“While much has been made of comparative trust figures, 87.6 percent for dairy products from the European Union, 86.9 percent from America and 85.1 percent for Australia, that masks the reality that time is indeed a healer.

“I mean both the EU and United States have suffered from high profile food related issues.

“There’s been BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease and in 2011, 39 deaths in Europe from Germany’s ‘killer bean sprouts’. Britain has seen two Foot & Mouth outbreaks while European food traceability was rocked in 2013 by its horsemeat scandal.

“That Fonterra blew the whistle on Fonterra, despite it all being a false alarm, is something that should enhance ‘Made in NZ’ if follow-on surveys take place and we hope they do.

“Yet we cannot underestimate the importance of having our Prime Minister up in China to cement the key message you can trust ‘NZ Made.’ A message reinforced by New Zealand winning the rare privilege of direct trading our dollar with the Chinese Renminbi.

“Front page coverage and appearances on television secured by Mr Key reinforces the vital message that New Zealand products are wholesome, trustworthy and above all, safe.

“If this survey is redone annually, I am certain we would see that proven,” Mr Wills concluded.

ENDS

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