China is increasing industrial standards for several dairy products 08-08-2017

China’s Dairy IndustryAssociation has revealed a draft on enhancing standards for several milk products in China. The step comes at a time, where the government is strengthening domestic dairy producers and works on increasing the quality of local products and hence the trust of Chinese consumers. 

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At the end of July, the China Dairy Industry Association has published the drafts of new industrial standards for concentrated milk, concentrated fermented milk, maternal milk powder, and milk powder for elderly in China. According to market intelligence firm CCM, after the drafts are getting ratified and come in to effect, they will be the first standards for these products in China.   

The draft is stating the maximal amount of protein, fat, non-fat milk solid, and acid allowed in concentrated milk. For concentrated skim milk, the standard is differentiating between semi skimmed and skimmed milk for the maximal allowed amount of mineral ingredients.   

Looking at the draft for maternal milk powder, the items that are regulated in the index are protein, iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, folic acid, and vitamin B12. The new standard for milk powder for elderly is also regulation the amount of lactose allowed as well as calcium and zinc as additional mineral for regulation.  

In fact, the China Dairy Industry Association has declared in this year, that the quality of Chinese milk will get improved to meet with international standards. This measurement is accompanied by a massive media campaign, to build more trust for Chinese customers for local products. According to the government, the campaign aims to ensure a sufficient market share of local dairy products, to not give up a massive market like the dairy market for foreign investors.  

China’s President Xi Jinping said earlier in 2017that his government would impose “the strictest standards, most stringent supervision, toughest accountability measures, and impose the harshest punishments” to ensure food safety and quality in the country.  

China is continuously improving the quality of its domestic dairy products, which still face some hesitant buying behaviour from Chinese customers. The massive melamine scandal of 2008, which killed six babies and left thousands in serious health condition, is still remembered by much Chinese, who are preferably are buying foreign trusted products, especially when it comes to the nutrition of vulnerable people like infants, pregnant woman and elderly.  

According to a newly published report by the China Dairy Industry Association and the Ministry of Agriculture, almost 99.9% of fresh milk in China and more than 99.5% of dairy products, in general, have met the standards. The study has been carried out in 2016 and shows the vast improvement in China’s domestic dairy products.  

The China Dairy Industry Association explains the positive results of the study with the load of measurements that have taken place in China in the last years, such as enhancing the regulations for dairy products, lifting up the industry standards to western ones, and increase the supervision of officials over the production.  

For more information on the new standards or China’s dairy market in general, please have a look at our monthly dairy newsletter and newly published report:  

Dairy Products China News

Governmental Direction of China’s Dairy Industry  

Suspensions and supervision

The efforts of China’s government towards better dairy product quality can also be seen in the suspension of several milk and dairy products. For example, the Food and Drug Administration has recently suspended dairy products from Australia, which were marked of failing the Chinese standards. The reason for the suspension of milk was a wrong heating temperature for the pasteurisation.  


China’s dairy market was enduring a flood of cheap imports from the years of 2008 and following, due to the melamine scandal as well as the overall hardly transparent situation of domestic quality standards in the local industry.  

Since the year of 2014, domestic dairy products began to get market share in China, because local dairy firms got cheap domestic milk available and imports of particular products began to decline for the first time. However, the uprising of e-commerce has influenced the buying channels of Chinese customers, which kept the imports especially for liquid milk on a high level.  

Nevertheless, the Chinese government views the rise of e-commerce dairy imports as interfering with domestic products and is streamlining e-commerce while simultaneously restricting the number of dairy companies that can sell milk products in China. All the recent measurements are decreasing the influence of foreign enterprises on the Chinese dairy market.  

About CCM

CCM is the leading market intelligence provider for China’s agriculture, chemicals, food & ingredients and life science markets.  

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