China Reaction
China halts NZ powder import
Last Updated: 2013-08-06 14:02 |
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The CEO of New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra made a public apology at a media briefing in Beijing, saying that food safety was the company's top priority. He arrived in Beijing on Saturday to deal with the fallout from a contaminati on scandal that has rocked China, one of its biggest markets.

Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter and a cash-cow for New Zealand's economy, has apologized in Beijing for a milk powder contamination scandal.

It admitted last Saturday that part of its supply chain had been contaminated with bacteria that can cause botulism, a form of food poisoning.

Four Chinese companies have imported the potentially tainted products from Fonterra.

At a press conference in Beijing, the dairy giant's CEO was on the hot seat.

Having the most populous country as their top market, Fonterra has catapulted to become the world's top dariy exporter.

But that could be in jeopardy.

The scandal is expected to sour New Zealand's $9 billion annual dairy trade and Fonterra's own standing in China.

Fonterra said that none of the products tested by Chinese importers have reported problems, and there have been no customer complaints.

"My wife and I use to feed our two-year-old son with the milk powder imported from New Zealand, but now we have to stop using it, and feed him with ordinary food instead." said a Chinese parent.

"The imported milk products are not safe anymore, maybe it is a chance for the Chinese dairy companies to improve product quality, and win back market share."said a Chinese.

China has restricted imports of milk powder from New Zealand, but Fonterra executives said they expect the curbs will be lifted as soon as they provide China with a detailed explanation of the contamination.

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