China has launched a three-year initiative to improve the image of the domestic dairy industry. The “Dairy Product Quality and Safety Enhancement Action Plan” aims in particular to improve the quality of the milk products made in China. Among other things, this is to be achieved through improved food safety; dairies must, for example, introduce mandatory HACCP and risk management systems. At the same time, the standards for milk production and processing will be raised. Part of the programme is also to encourage whistleblowers to report weaknesses in the plants. However, employees are also encouraged to report such findings directly to their superiors, for which company reward systems will be introduced.
In 2019, the Chinese dairy industry posted a 5% increase in production, the highest annual growth since 2015. The pandemic impacted milk production, which was down 2.5% year-on-year from January to June 2020, with June up 7.9% year-on-year.
The country’s dairy product imports increased by 9.5% to 2.97m tons from January to November 2020. This included a 2.1% drop in imports of milk powder to 901,000 tons and a 4.3% drop in imports of infant formula to 306,000 tons. Imports of cream rose by 34.3% in the same period, whey products increased by 38.6% and imports of liquid dairy products rose by 13%.