Fonterra ‘contacted’ by Chinese authorities probing infant formula prices

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fonterra contacted by Chinese officials probing infant formula prices

Related tags: Milk

Fonterra has been “contacted” by Chinese authorities investigating high infant formula pricing and suspected anti-monopoly law violation by manufacturers, including Nestlé and Danone, in the country.

Earlier this week, reports emerged that the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) had launched an investigation into high retail prices for infant formula, which have increased by around 30% since 2008.

According to reports, the probe is focusing on the pricing practices employed by Danone, Nestlé-owned Wyeth Nutrition, FrieslandCampina, Abbott Laboratories, Mead Johnson Nutrition, and Chinese firm Biostime International.

In a brief statement sent to DairyReporter.com, New Zealand-based dairy exporter Fonterra confirmed that the NDRC had been in touch “regarding a current broad-ranging investigation of consumer dairy products in China.”

It is unclear, however, whether Fonterra is actually under investigation by the NDRC.

“Fonterra understands that the NDRC is reviewing a wide range of consumer businesses in the Chinese dairy industry as part of this work,” ​said the statement.

“Fonterra operates a small consumer business in China and has a long history of engagement with government agencies and is co-operating fully with the NDRC. Fonterra will provide further updates on any outcomes as appropriate, when the investigation is complete.”

Speaking with DairyReporter.com earlier this week, Danone, Wyeth Nutrition, Dutch dairy processor FrieslandCampina, and US-based Mead Johnson Nutrition all confirmed that confirmed that they are “cooperating”​ with the NDRC.

Since then, Danone’s Asian child nutrition business, Dumex, and Wyeth Nutrition have announced plans to cut their infant formula prices in China.

Related topics: Markets, East Asia, Oceania, China

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