Wednesday, April 30, 2014

China to enact strict new guidelines re safety of milk products.

There has been a great deal of publicity in recent hears over the safety of New Zealand (and others) diary produce that enters the huge Chinese markets. Fonterra has been in the limelight for this and the guidelines that now operate are sending a message that we must comply or risk the ongoing success this massive trading venture. It appears that the Chinese market has been nervous about the prospect of their babies being poisoned by the possible contamination of some of our ;products. That some of the 'action' was around the testing that was not accurate does not seem to have come in to the equation and the ripple effect has come close to bringing a halt to the exports from New Zealand.
New Zealand needs to use these 'slip-ups' to bring home the seriousness and importance of the Chinese market to our economy. Without a doubt, as more Chinese are able to afford our products, and the fact that our closer economic relationship is now a factor in New Zealand's success as a trading nation, we have to take heed and learn that 'near enough is not good enough.'
To state the obvious; New Zealand exporters have very high standards and in some ways it is hypocritical of China to single out New Zealand when many of their 'food products' are far less trusted than the imported versions. The fact that pollution has all but destroyed the safety of many Chinese grown products is a glaring fact. Chinese housewives regularly choose imported food over tier own, even when it costs more. The miracle of the Chinese economy and the many hundreds of millions, the export sector now returns to their economy has come at a huge cost---that of turning a massive agricultural sector into a 'questionable' one when it comes to safety. China should, I respectfully suggest, look to its own standards and try to turn this terrible issue around or is it going to buy up large tracts of agricultural land around the  world in  order to feed its burgeoning population? Actually it already is. Still, New Zealand is more than happy to continue the very successful relationship we have developed between our two nations, but please--lets keep a balance as to how we describe the 'actual 'safety of our products when compared to the home-grown Chinese examples. As with many other imports of the goods New Zealanders need (or want) China is a major market we turn to. I do not see that as changing and New Zealand needs to reassure the Chinese , through action, not words, that our products are beyond reproach.