The whey contamination problem was the centre of attention for farm advisers and other delegates at the Institute of Primary Industry Management conference at Lincoln this week.
Institute president Hilton Collier says it underlines the importance for the rural sector of paying close attention to everything it does, both on-farm and at the processing end, because the country's reputation is at stake.
He says the industry has to demonstrate its ability to immediately provide feedback to affected parties when products don't meet the highest quality standards.
"My experience with China suggests that what we've done here, in the case of the botulism scare, is to demonstrate the integrity of our systems," Mr Collier says. "Whether it results in illness or not, we've been able to demonstrate our concern about people's well-being."