A delegation to China, of New Zealand Infant Formula exporters led by Michael Barnett, chair of the Infant Formula Exporters Association, is planned for 23-24th September this year.
Mr Barnett says that exporters are the collateral damage of the Fonterra events earlier this year. The result for them is their China business has ceased and is being taken over by other foreign suppliers.
“I am aware of businesses that are losing millions of dollars each month, so we urgently need to see a change in trust and confidence for the NZ brand.
“Our people on the ground in China report that European brands now see an opportunity to challenge New Zealand’s premium position as suppliers and are incentivising Chinese buyers to change,” he said.
The purpose of the delegation is to meet with Chinese officials, distributors and retailers in Shanghai and Beijing to start the process of rebuilding trust.
“To do that we need to front up to our market in China and provide them the confidence and information they need to convince consumers," says Barnett.
“If we are to be successful, this is going to take hard work and that can only happen if our exporters and Government agencies can stand side by side.”