5 Sep 2013

French dairy industry looks to capitalise on NZ's woes

1:23 pm on 5 September 2013

Chair of the Infant Formula Exporter Council Michael Barnett says foreign dairy companies are taking advantage of the botulism scare and are looking to snap up business that was once New Zealand's.

He said demand for products like infant formula doesn't stop and the New Zealand supply is being replaced by product from other countries.

"So as long as we don't correct this issue of trust and confidence in the New Zealand brand our small exporters are in danger," he said.

He said a concerted action is required, and required as soon as possible.

"We're seeing evidence of quite purposeful campaigns by for instance the French to try and capture those markets."

Mr Barnett said France is taking buyers and distributors from China to France and impressing on them the safety of their own product.

He said New Zealand needs to counter that.

Mr Barnett will head a delegation of New Zealand formula exporters to China later this month which will try and reassure their clients.