Finnish dairy company Valio has received an export permit from the Chinese authorities for its range of infant formulas.
The permit allows the company to export its powdered infant formulas, manufactured at its Lapinlahti plant, and ready-to-feed liquid infant formula, made at its Turenki facility, to China.
Last year, Valio boosted its operations in China with a new country head office in Shanghai and the establishment of retail and foodservice business units in the country.
The company has exported milk powders and demineralised Valio Demi whey powders for industrial use in China since the 1990s. In 2017, it started to also export consumer packaged milk powder to China.
Jussi Mattsson, Valio senior vice president, said: “We want to strengthen our position in China as a trusted supplier of high-quality industrial ingredients. At the same time, we are building a consumer product market.
“Naturally, we are looking to generate new revenue, but profitable growth does not happen in the blink of an eye. Valio is, as of yet, an unknown brand in China, so there is a lot to do. In the first phase, we are engaging in negotiations with potential customers.
“Competition for consumer attention between dairies is heated. In China, online stores, markets and baby supply store shelves are filled with choices from dozens of manufacturers.
“Valio’s strengths include Finland’s pure natural environment and extremely high-quality milk, provided directly by our owners, 5,000 Finnish dairy farms. Chinese parents want, most of all, safe food for their children.”
Research released last month by Advanced Lipids revealed that Chinese parents care much more about the quality and nutritional value of infant formula than its price.
As part of the survey of 211 urban Chinese parents, Nearly three in five (59%) named nutritional value as one of the two factors most important to them when choosing formula, while 45% chose quality and 39% chose safety. Only 6% said price was an important factor.
Last year marked ten years since the tainted milk scandal in China which led to the death of at least six infants and affected thousands more, when milk powder was found to be contaminated with the chemical compound melamine.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019