Dijksma takes action to increase baby milk supplies to supermarkets

Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma is joining forces with the sector to tackle the illegal import to China of baby formula. She has asked the Dutch Food and Consumer Products Safety Authority to carry out an investigation.

“I will be collecting evidence with the sector about bulk buying and trading from wholesalers in the Netherlands so I can alert the Chinese authorities when they are getting milk powder that does not conform to their regulations. This will ensure it is no longer lucrative to buy up large quantities of milk powder in the Netherlands to send to China.” This is the result of discussions between Ms Dijksma and producers and retailers of milk powder.

There is sufficient milk powder available in the Netherlands, but not always of the required brand. That means disappointed parents. Ms Dijksma is pleased that producers have agreed to boost production of some brands, primarily to better serve the Dutch market. Retailers will also check whether there are customers buying unusually large amounts of milk powder.

The demand for milk powder in the Netherlands has increased sharply in recent months. The Chinese market for baby formula is also experiencing strong growth. Many Chinese parents want milk powder from abroad. Baby food is the fastest growing product category, and now also the largest. In 2009 the export value of baby food to China was about EUR 190 million. In 2012 its export value was approximately EUR 520 million.