Food safety agreement with China dairy giants
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An agreement struck with one of China’s largest dairy companies will help New Zealand sell its agricultural know-how to China.
Government-owned AsureQuality, which provides food safety and biosecurity services, and PwC last night signed a "collaboration framework agreement" with China Mengniu Dairy Company and COFCO Corporation – China’s largest food processor.
The aim is to investigate the development of a China New Zealand agribusiness service and food safety centre of excellence in the Asian giant.
Initially, the parties will work together on a dairy-related food safety and farm assurance project. But it is expected more of New Zealand's agriculture-related companies and research entities will become involved down the track.
AsureQuality sales and marketing manager Mark Inglis says it is too soon to say what the agreement could be worth, but the dollar value will be “quite significant”.
Employing more than 30,000 people, Mengniu Dairy Company is one of China’s largest dairy companies making and distributing a broad range of dairy products.
COFCO – which stands for China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation – is a state-owned food processor, manufacturer and trader with four companies listed in Hong Kong.
AsureQuality chief executive Michael Thomas says the agreement will enable New Zealand’s food safety models, agricultural systems and skils to be provided on a commercial basis in China.