31 Aug 2013

China not yet officially reassured that Fonterra scare over

7:03 am on 31 August 2013

Xinhua news agency says China has not yet received any reassurance after Fonterra's botulism scare proved false.

Calls are growing in New Zealand for the Government to send officials to China to assure consumers dairy products exported there are safe.

An editorial published by Xinhua said New Zealand is one of only a few countries that can put a premium on its exports, and learning the formula scare was a false alert has sparked relief rather than reassurance.

It said the New Zealand Government is intent on making New Zealand the food bowl of the Asia-Pacific region, but it remains to be seen whether it can achieve this without sacrificing its clean green image.

Mahon China Investment Management says Government officials must visit with a delegation of dairy representatives.

Managing director David Mahon said this would be very effective in reassuring Chinese customers.

If the Government doesn't get involved, Mr Mahon said the enduring impression will be that there was contamination and the announcement on Wednesday that the products are in fact safe, will be seen as a cover-up.

MCIM is based in Beijing and provides specialist advice on the dairy industry.

Federated Farmers also urged the Government to quickly send officials to China to reassure consumers there that New Zealand dairy products are safe.