Thursday, July 7, 2022

Competitors poised to pounce

Western European competitors will benefit from the Fonterra whey crisis, Peak Nutrition chief executive Stephen Julian says.

They would take advantage of New Zealand’s tarnished brand and secure contracts in our key export markets, Julian, a NZ milk powder manufacturer, said.

“Holland and Germany are already well positioned to profit from NZ’s dairy issues and sign deals with some of our traditional export partners like China.

“Holland exports around $8 billion in dairy products compared to NZ’s $10b annually.

“If you look at the global players, the Dutch market has been hot on our heels for a long time.

“They are renowned for their dairy production and have much to gain from our latest dairy crisis and Germany isn’t far behind.

“China is a critical market for us and this is not the first time we’ve been embroiled in a dairy scandal.

“We know how particular the Chinese are about standards and this will impact heavily on our industry as a whole.

“The on-going economic repercussions for the nation as a whole could be catastrophic,” he said.

“It is sad to see our global reputation as one of the most trusted dairy producers damaged once again in such a high profile way.

“We have to hope that this crisis does not affect the NZ brand so gravely that it impacts our other primary food producers.”

Compounding the issue for New Zealanders was the frustratingly slow release of information preventing local consumers from identifying affected brands.

Julian said his milk powders are not affected by the crisis but parents were faced with a situation where they were unsure which formula was safe for their children.

He has been exporting food and beverage products to China for more than a decade and wants greater controls around labelling to maintain the integrity of the NZ brand on the local and Chinese markets.

“Product labels can be very misleading to parents who read them and think they are buying a Kiwi-made product when that’s simply not true at all.”

The Made in NZ label should not be used without regulation and should be used only on products made and packed locally.

“Sometimes all of the ingredients cannot be sourced in NZ as they are simply not produced or manufactured here, however, this needs to be stated on labels so the consumer is aware and can make an informed decision and this is what we do on our own labels,” Julian said.

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