22 Jul 2013

NZ's infant formula exporters back brand register

6:35 am on 22 July 2013

New Zealand's legitimate infant formula exporters strongly back a proposed brand register for New Zealand infant formula products exported to China.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says it expects to publish a list next month which will be made available to consumers and Chinese authorities so they can check that formulas carrying New Zealand labels are valid.

Westland Milk Products has just entered the rapidly growing Chinese market, with the launch of three nutritional products in Shanghai last week.

Chief executive Rod Quin says Westland supports the tougher regulations covering formulas, because brand counterfeiting and false labelling are rife.

He said Westland is having to take legal steps to stop Chinese traders using its video images to falsely promote their own products as coming from New Zealand.

Mr Quin said that after consultation with the firm's legal team, letters will be sent to those Chinese companies telling them to cease using Westland Milk Products imagery.

He said the laws in China are enforceable and it's important to bring it to the attention of the authorities.

Mr Quin said Westland Milk Products is emphasising the genuine New Zealand message in its infant formula branding.