2 Sep 2013

Fonterra top brass head to China

6:59 am on 2 September 2013

Fonterra's chairman and chief executive are off to China later this week with a delegation of the co-operative's directors on a confidence rebuilding mission.

They will meet Fonterra management and key stakeholders in China, following last week's revelation by the Ministry for Primary Industries that the botulism contamination alert was a false alarm.

Fonterra chairman John Wilson says now that it has been confirmed there was no clostridium botulinum in whey protein concentrate, the co-operative wants to reassure stakeholders in China about its food safety and quality systems.

However, a New Zealand financial adviser based in China says that's not enough.

David Mahon says what's needed is a high level delegation representing the Government and dairy industry to reassure Chinese consumers that New Zealand milk really is safe.

He says while there was intense Chinese media coverage of the botulism contamination alert there has been far less reporting of the fact it was a false alarm and there was no threat to people's health.

David Mahon says many Chinese consumers will not be aware of that and many who have heard the latest announcement will believe it to be a cover-up.