Farm Ireland

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Chinese efforts to improve dairy industry may reduce reliance on Irish imports in to the future

Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Ireland’s second biggest dairy market, China is putting in place a strategy to improve the quality of its dairy products and improve the reputation of the industry.

Last year Irish dairy exports to China reached €667m and is a top infant formula brand in the Asian country, however the Chinese government has now published guidelines to improve the domestic dairy industry which could lead to a reduction in dairy imports in to the future.

The Chinese State Council said that the country is implementing structural reform of the dairy sector over the next two years and aims to increase production capacity.

It also plans to increase quality standards, the reputation of domestic baby formula and increase health and safety standards.

The Chinese authorities hopes to create a “golden area” of dairy in the north, north-east and north-west of China and wants to develop standardised breeding methods and produce high-quality fodder.

The dairy sector was hit by a massive scandal in 2008 when toxic chemicals were found in infant formula and led to the death of six infants and the hospitalisation of numerous other babies.

During this time Ireland increased its imports to China and infant formula products with Irish ingredients have become trusted products amongst parents.

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