Baby milk firms, supermarkets hold talks on Chinese demand

Baby milk producers and supermarkets are to discuss ways of preventing a looming shortage of milk powder because of demand from China, the NRC reports.

Nutrica, Friso and Nestle, together with the supermarkets, want to ensure they can continue ‘to fully serve’ their Dutch customers, food retail industry body ENLD said. Chemists chains are also set to join the discussions about what can be done ‘within the realms of competition law’, the NRC says.

Demand for baby milk powder by Chinese customers dates back to the 2008 melamine scandal but there has been a surge in sales of ‘reliable’ western product in recent months.

Limits

Many Dutch shops have limited supplies and are limiting purchases per customer, the NRC says. Nutricia, which produces the Nutrilon brand, on Thursday took out adverts in national Dutch papers apologising for the shortages.

At the end of last month, it emerged that Chinese investors are planning to build a baby milk powder factory in Assen, in the east of the Netherlands.

The powder would be exported to China to serve local demand. If the deal is finalised, work on the factory will start in January, local council officials said at the time.


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