sign up log in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

How a breakdown of trust in food safety in China is building international networks to supply safe milkpowder to desperate consumers

Rural News
How a breakdown of trust in food safety in China is building international networks to supply safe milkpowder to desperate consumers

Fears in China over the safety of locally produced milk powder for infant and child use has spawned a global underground network to supply a worried middle class.

Website TeaLeafNation has exposed the existance of the networks.

For Chinese citizens, and especially young parents, milk powder safety - and food safety in general - has been an incessant worry, with new small-scale scandals erupting every few months, including a recent finding of some baby formula tainted with mercury and aflaxotonin, a highly carcinogenic substance, they say.

A new food safety law and central government statements claiming that 99% of Chinese dairy products are safe have been unable to restore consumer trust.

Middle-class parents choosing to feed their child foreign milk powder might spend anywhere from 25-40% of their monthly salary on foreign imported product, the website reports.

The story on TeaLeafNation delves into one supply network originating in Holland; how customers clamour to get product, how traders help, the reactions of Chinese who live locally, and how regulators have reacted.

New Zealand is named as one of the preferred supply sources for other networks which obviously start informally but may now be becoming more organised in response to the desperate demand. Sadly, such networks will attract the unscrupulous.

This will become a major challenge for Fonterra and other New Zealand suppliers because even one small mis-step can cause major reputational damage.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


I must admit I lost near term trust in the valuation of the NZD/USD currency pair after reading this Bloomberg article.


The New Zealand dollar fell against its 16 major peers after reports that China has destroyed some milk powder imported from the South Pacific nation.


The so-called kiwi dropped versus the U.S. dollar and yen after Beijing News reported China’s quarantine administration destroyed milk powder for three different brands, citing the government agency. The currency pared losses after Auckland- based Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. said none of its products were destroyed. Australia’s dollar gained after the country’s central bank said an improved global outlook have spurred prices for commodities.


“This is not a case of China singling New Zealand out but the headlines are having a negative impact on the kiwi,” said Khoon Goh, a senior strategist in Singapore at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. “This is temporary and once some clarity around this news story emerges, I expect kiwi to regain those losses.”


Show me the clarity!!!


There's an ad/sponsored story link on Face book that is headed up 'China Import Formula' which states “In 3 hours I’ll show you everything you need to know to start importing your product..."




You are right there C.O.

I had the misfortune of having to stay in Auckland the other night.

Had dinner at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, near the airport.

About 7pm a bus arrives, full of Chinese tourists, they go inside.

About 15 mins later a car arrives and the bus driver opens a baggage compartment and pulls out a cardboard box stuffed to the gills with KariCare milkpowder. Guy in the car loads it in the boot and roars off.

Saw it all as i was outside having a ciggie.

True story.


If allows posting graphs in comments, I have a far better visulization to share and it is produced by myself.