Denmark will be among the first countries to receive approval to export dairy products to China after the country tightened food safety regulations in this product category following the 2008-2009 infant formula contamination, according to landbrugsavisen.dk
The announcement was made during the Danish royal state visit in China. Three Danish dairy-producers under Arla have been granted access to export milk formulas to the Chinese market from May, 2014 under the new, more stringent rules.
The new regulations were introduced in the aftermath of the infant formula scandal that resulted in death of six children, after the milk formulas were found to have been contaminated with melamine, a toxic chemical compound, which was fraudulently added to increase measured protein content. Thousands of children were hospitalized and China’s lax supervision of its domestic dairy producers came under public criticism. Ingestion of melamine can lead to bladder or kidney stones or reproductive damage.
The scandal and the tightened regulations on dairy products were a cause for concern to Danish Minister of Food, Dan Jørgensen, fearing that it could affect Denmark’s exports to China.
“There is nothing worry about thanks to the good reputation of the Danish dairy industry in China, and also because of a good cooperation between Danish and Chinese authorities, “ he wrote in an email.
So far, Danish dairy companies have only been able to export their products to China after fulfilling regulatory requirements of the Danish authorities. But the tightening of rules means that from May, 2014, China will demand registration and quality certification, based on inspections of the Danish producers, among other things.
Danish dairy giant, Arla, expects to raise its exports to China to 3,5 billion kroner by 2017. At the end of 2013, its exports to China amounted to 1,2 billion kroner. The agreement was crucial to the realization of Arla’s 2017 target.
“This is another important deal being struck with the Chinese to secure growth and more employment in Denmark,” said Danish Food Minister, Dan Jørgensen.
Source: landbrugsavisen.dk, April 28.