5 Sep 2013

Infant formula exporters firm up plans for delegation to China

6:27 am on 5 September 2013

New Zealand infant formula exporters are firming up plans to send a delegation to China to in an attempt repair the damage to their businesses arising from Fonterra's botulism alert.

Exporters Association chairman Michael Barnett said eight to 10 companies are so far committed to the visit later this month to talk to Chinese government officials along with formula distributors and retailers.

He said trade has literally ground to a halt for many small and medium sized exporters.

Mr Barnett said he's aware of companies who are sitting on supply orders of between $10 million and $30 million who have just been frozen.

He said demand for infant formula doesn't stop, it's just that the New Zealand supply is being replaced by product out of other countries.

Mr Barnett said the formula exporters are still looking for a firmer commitment of support from the Government for their delegation.

New Zealand Trade & Enterprise said it won't be formally part of that, but will be working with the exporters in the market.