A number of New Zealand-based infant formula manufacturers and exporters have joined forces to protect the reputation of their brands overseas.
The New Zealand Infant Formula Exporters Association, which will be branded as Infant Formula New Zealand, will look to represent and protect the interests of infant formula exporters from the country.
The self-regulated organisation intends to work closely with the country’s government to ensure that exports bought around the world are of true origin and brand.
To achieve this, Infant Formula New Zealand plans to develop an accreditation process for approved New Zealand-manufactured export brands.
“The infant formula market expands, especially into areas like the big China market. There are going to be those that take advantage of New Zealand’s clean, pure and so-on branding that we’ve got associated with our exports,” said Infant Formula New Zealand chairman, Michael Barnett.
Barnett, who is also Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO, added that Infant Formula New Zealand will guarantee that offshore suppliers do not wrongfully use the New Zealand label, as happened recently.
Earlier this month, it was reported that a number of Chinese infant formula firms had been marketing their infant formula products as ‘Made in New Zealand’.
Some adopted the New Zealand Fern Mark logo – a New Zealand government-owned commercial trademark. While another used a picture of the country’s Prime Minister, John Key, to promote its infant formula brand.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) told DairyReporter.com that the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade had taken action in an effort to resolve the issue.
“The image and safety of New Zealand food exports is an important part of the New Zealand brand and reputation, which we must protect,” said an NZTE, which works to improve the international competitiveness and profitability of New Zealand-based businesses.
New Zealand-based exporters including Carrickmore Nutrition, NCA International, Avante International, Biolife NZ, Homecare, Naturlait, NZFF, Oohc-Oohc, Realize Asia, and NZ Yum Yum Milk have been cited as founding members of were cited as founding members of Infant Formula New Zealand.
Fonterra, which is the biggest dairy product exporter in New Zealand and the world, is yet to join the association.