30 Apr 2013

Dairy industry protocols needed

6:38 am on 30 April 2013

Establishment of industry protocols to prevent dairy companies being left in the dark during incidents such as a recent milk contamination will be discussed at a meeting on Tuesday.

Dairy cooperative Fonterra discovered traces of the chemical dicyandiamide (DCD) in its milk in September last year.

Fonterra alerted the Ministry for Primary Industries shortly after, but the ministry only told the public, international markets and other New Zealand dairy companies in late January 2013.

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries are meeting for an update on DCD.

Westland Milk Products chief executive Rod Quin said while New Zealand may be a small milk producer on a world scale, it is a very big exporter and it is important that all companies are on the same page.

Mr Quin said protocols are needed to stop that delay happening again.

DCANZ chairman Malcolm Bailey refused to discuss the meeting, or even confirm that one was taking place. He is also a Fonterra director.