Westland Milk gets export accreditation into China

Rod Quin of Westland Milk

Westland Milk, the Hokitika-based dairy cooperative, has received accreditation to export products into China, joining the five manufacturers named yesterday.

The company has been notified of its registration by the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China after working with both local and Chinese officials, it said in a statement. Westland differs from other New Zealand exporters in that it doesn't have its own branded consumer product.

"We produce and sell ingredient base powders, which are sold to customers in New Zealand and offshore, including China for further processing and packing," chief executive Rod Quin said. "Nevertheless as a manufacturer we are still required to be registered with CNCA."

Danone-subsidiary Nutricia, Fonterra Cooperative Group, GMP Pharmaceuticals, Dairy Goat Cooperative (NZ), and Sutton Group and Gardians were yesterday named registered exporters to China, after the world's most populous nation tightened regulations to protect product quality. Those five companies represent about 90 percent of New Zealand's infant formula exports to China by volume.

Westland's Quin said the tougher Chinese regulations provide certainty to customers, which "lends significant support to our strategic move into the high added value nutritional products portfolio."

Rakaia-based processor Synlait Milk missed out in the first round of registrations while it waits for the completion of a new facility in Dunsandel. A2 Milk Co, whose Platinum infant formula is manufactured by Synlait, is also waiting to be registered.

Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye said yesterday companies can still be registered although owners of infant formula brands who can't demonstrate a close relationship with a manufacturer may struggle to meet Chinese requirements.

China telegraphed the new requirements to the New Zealand government last week by releasing an audit of a sample of local manufacturers conducted in March, leaving officials and companies scrambling to interpret the changes in time for today's registration deadline.

(BusinessDesk)

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