March 25, 2014
Netherlands to help China improve milk production
China and the Netherlands signed a trade pact on March 24, securing Dutch dairy expertise to help Chinese producers boost the quality and quantity of milk, AP reported.
The Dutch government said that experts will help China increase its annual milk production to 40 million tonnes over the new few years.
The deal with the Netherlands is the Chinese government's latest move to reform its dairy industry and repair the damaged reputation after a series of food-safety scandals stemmed from milk products were reported in the past few years.
The most serious incident occurred in 2008, when Sanlu Group's baby formula was found to have tainted by Melamine, which caused the deaths of six children and health problems for more than 300,000 babies.
As a result, imported milk products, particularly baby formula, are preferred by most Chinese consumers and command far higher prices than local brands. This has also driven Chinese buyers to go overseas to purchase baby formula, leading to bans on buying of milk products in large quantities in a few countries and regions, including China's own territory - Hong Kong.
The deal was inked on the second day of a state visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping, who is in the Netherlands with a large trade delegation.