Australia-based Blackmores Ltd and dairy giant Bega Cheese Ltd have teamed up to capitalize on booming demand for infant formula in Asia and Australia’s new free trade agreement with China. The two companies, which announced a joint venture in October 2015, have accelerated the development and release of three infant formula products which hit the shelves of Australian pharmacies on Saturday [16 January 2016]. Tins of the formula, which boast Bega’s Tatura logo and a small picture of a kangaroo, were released online in China and Australia earlier last week…Full Article: The Global Times Jan 2016

Key Point

  • Approximately 20,000 tins of infant formula from the Australian dairy JV were available for sale on Tmall.com, an Alibaba controlled e-commerce website. Customers can reportedly only purchase two tins per day and up to four total per week.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In November 2015, Australia reported increased bulk purchases of infant formula products during China’s “Singles Day” holiday. Singles’ Day (aka Guanggun Jie) is celebrated on 11 November and is a major shopping holiday within China.
  • In 2008, approximately 300,000 Chinese babies fell ill, with 6 dying as a result of consuming milk that was adulterated with melamine to boost its protein content. The primary culprit, the Hebei-based Sanlu Group, was bankrupt by the end of 2008 and its top executives were imprisoned while two were simply sentenced to death. Though Sanlu was found the most culpable, over 20 dairy companies were discovered to have melamine-tainted products.

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