Agribusiness & Food

China says dairy crackdown a safety move

China’s recent move to suspend imports of certain Australian dairy products is based on health and safety concerns, rather than protectionist strategy, the country has said.

Chinese officials last week suspended licenses which facilitate exports from Parmalat’s Clarence Gardens milk production facility in South Australia, and Bellamy’s Camperdown Powder infant formula and other dairy products facility in Victoria.

According to a report in The Australian, the Parmalat suspension was because the temperature the milk is heated to is not what is required by China, and the Bellamy’s suspension was due to unspecified concerns from a third party.

China is a major importer of Australian dairy, and as such is a key market for milk powder manufacturers.

Trading of Bellamy’s shares was granted a temporary suspension by the ASX, as the company said it was working with the Certification Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA) to remedy the licencing issue.

“Bellamy’s is advised that CNCA has not made any findings against Camperdown and is following its processes and procedures, which the company respects,” Bellamy’s said in a market statement this week.

“Bellamy’s understands that the enquiries raised by CNCA were as a result of allegations received by CNCA from a third-party complainant relating to historical filing and records and to certain previous quality issues relating to Camperdown’s processing facility.

“Bellamy’s can confirm that none of the enquiries raised by the CNCA relate to micro-biological or contamination issues or Camperdown’s recent change of ownership.”

Bellamy’s acquired Camperdown Powder in June, and announced plans to expand the facility. It says the recent licencing issues have not altered those plans.

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