China is changing standards for infant formula products 03-30-2017

The CASA in China works on new standards for infant formula products to ensure higher quality. Besides new classifications of infants and young children, the supervision will be enhanced and labels more regulated.


Source: CCM

The China National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CASA) is currently working on stricter standards for infant formula products. Four changes of standards are the centre of discussion, which is likely to be implemented in the new regulations, according to market intelligence firm CCM.


Firstly, the categorization of infants and children for infant formula will be changed. In the current system, there are two standards for categorising infants, namely GB10765 and GB10767. The first level contains infants from birth to the age of 6 months. The second level includes young children from the age of 6 months to 3 years. The new version will differentiate infants more specifically and divide them into 3 stages with 3 standards. The first stage reaches from birth to 6 months, the second one from 6 months to one year, and the last one contains one year to 3 years.


Secondly, the protein content in the different aforementioned stages will be adjusted to the needs of infants and young children. Hence, infant formula products for older infant and young children will contain more protein than the one for kids of stage 1.


Thirdly, the nutrition types of infant formula products need to be clearly indicated. In the current situation, many manufacturers are labelling their infant products in a misleading or even false way. This shall be forbidden and manufacturers are urged to keep a clear and fair labelling in their marketing strategy. This includes providing some guidelines for enterprises as well as customers to be sufficient informed about infant formula products and their real benefits.


Finally, the new standard is going to enhance the supervision of governmental inspections to ensure an effective way of nutritional content inspection.


According to CCM, the year 2015 has witnessed 104 infant formula manufacturers in China. However, China’s import volume of infant formula remains very high, due to the good reputation and high quality of overseas products, combined with well-known scandals of China’s infant products in the past, like the big melamine scandal in 2008. The import volume in 2016 reached 221,000 tonnes.


Due to the high import rate, both, domestic and foreign manufacturers have to adjust to the new standards to be able to sell their products in China. It isireminded, that these new standards are still under revision. Hence, a change of this measurements is still possible.


What’s more, China seeks to have at least three domestic infant formula companies with a sales volume exceeding USD719.4 million till 2020. The market should be highly concentrated with at least 80% of the domestic infant formula sales is achieved by the top ten of China’s manufacturers.


The measurements for these goals include stricter regulations and standards for the infant formula market in China. Backing this up, the supervision is going to be strengthened and tests of infant formula products, as well as checks on milk producers and transport, will be carried out more frequently. Also, the government is promoting mergers and acquisitions between Chinese manufacturers to build up their competitiveness and research and development in infant formulae will be supported, to create more brand visibility for Chinese producers.


More Information can be found in the Newsletter Dairy Products China News by CCM.


About CCM

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


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