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Companies approved for infant formula exporting to China

New Zealand companies approved for infant formula exporting to China

Five New Zealand manufacturers have been approved for exporting infant formula to China, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye have announced today.

“These manufacturers represent around 90% of our infant formula exports to China by volume,” says Mr Guy.

“New Zealand officials have been working intensively with manufacturers and Chinese officials to address corrective actions, allowing these five manufacturers to be registered as of May 1.

“We appreciate the cooperative relationship with Chinese authorities in registering these New Zealand manufacturers. The new rules signal China’s desire for greater accountability for imported infant formula from all countries.

“MPI is working with all manufacturers to ensure the new Overseas Market Access Requirement (OMAR) – issued last night – is complied with. This sets out the requirements needed to produce infant formula for export to China from 1 May,” says Mr Guy.

“China has indicated that other manufacturers can be registered after 1 May if they meet the requirements verified by MPI. There is a team of people at MPI who will be assisting the remaining manufacturers to be registered as soon as possible. Deputy Director-General Roger Smith is currently in China working with Chinese officials, and they have informed us the register will be updated regularly,” says Ms Kaye.

“While the news is positive for manufacturers, for brand owners without a close relationship with the manufacturer the bar is going to be set high and some will struggle to meet the new rules. MPI has been working with industry and Chinese agencies to give brand owners greater clarity on what ‘closer association’ will mean and when this will apply.”

Ministers have briefed manufacturers and brand owners this morning on progress and the latest information.

“The Government is committed to working with those who want to continue with registration. Officials will continue to provide information to industry as soon as it becomes available,” says Ms Kaye.

Exports of retail-ready infant formula have doubled in recent years and now represents about four per cent of New Zealand’s dairy exports to China, or about $200 million per year. The total dairy trade to China was $5 billion last year.

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