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One voice vital for infant formula industry

Media release from Infant Nutrition Council

One voice vital for infant formula industry

New Zealand’s infant formula industry must speak with one voice if it is to achieve best practice and regain the faith of export markets, Infant Nutrition Council (INC) Chief Executive Jan Carey said in Dunedin today.

Ms Carey was speaking at the Global Food Safety Forum Meeting which was being held in New Zealand for the first time. 

She said achieving best practice in the industry depended on a number of vital ingredients.

“Having a strong and professional industry association which has one vision and speaks with one voice, both within the industry and to relevant groups outside it, such as the Dairy Companies Association and the Food & Grocery Council, is the first one. 

“The industry also needs to maintain strong government relations across health, regulation, and trade, working with the Ministry of Health, Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

“We must also maintain good supply chain integrity, ethical marketing practices, and have a strong marketing code. 

“And we must ensure we build our international relations. The infant formula industry sits in a global environment and the INC has international relations that extend through Asia, Europe and Northern America.”

Ms Carey told the delegates from around the world that INC is committed to ensuring the safety and integrity of New Zealand's infant formula industry. 

“INC represents manufacturers, marketers and brand owners, who between them are responsible for more than 95% of the volume of infant formula manufactured, sold and exported in New Zealand. Our key purpose is to represent the interests of the infant formula industry in all its aspects, whether marketing locally, manufacturing, or exporting.

“We are committed to supporting both breastfeeding and infant formula. We advocate for optimal nutrition for all infants: breast milk first, or, when a baby is not given breast milk, infant formula – the only suitable breast milk substitute."

Ms Carey said New Zealand formula is a high-quality and high-valued product produced from clean green pastures, and “New Zealand is well placed to take advantage of that in the export market”.

“But we are not the only country with a strong dairy industry trading on a clean green image. Industry, government, and food regulators must continue to work together to ensure the safety and integrity of the industry.

“Best practice is vital to maintaining New Zealand’s reputation as a provider of safe, nutritious infant formula products. But reputation is not the only issue. What is at stake is the health and safety of the world’s most vulnerable population – babies.” 

ENDS

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