China suspends Australian dairy firm’s licence

An Australian dairy company has had its licence suspended in China, and Beijing has “strengthened supervision” for all 41 other exporters, in a blow to producers already battling low prices.At the centre of the dispute is the Camperdown Dairy Company which has been accused of having “disease causing” bacteria in its fresh milk, a charge the company strongly denies.

According to a notice posted on a Chinese government website, shipments of Camperdown’s fresh milk contained traces of E.coli and staphylococcus.

“That is just not true,” said the general manager of Camperdown Dairy, Chris Melville via phone.

“If that type of bacteria had been found in our milk we would have been informed straight away and this is the first I’m hearing about it.

“We have test results to prove it is not true.”

Mr Melville said the federal government had confirmed to him the company had no “food safety issues”.

A spokesman for Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said he department was working with Chinese authorities to investigate reports of non-compliance for nine Australian pasteurised milk batches in the last 12 months.

“It is important to note that the non-compliances related to milk quality issues, not food safety issues,” the spokesman said in a written statement.

 He said it was the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources which suspended export certification for pasteurised milk products produced by Camperdown Dairy.

The singling out of the entire Australian dairy industry for additional “supervision” could be highly damaging for producers given the sensitivity of Chinese consumers to any suggestion of contamination.

China is the second largest export market for Australian dairy producers with trade valued at $295 million in the 2015 financial year.

The Australian Embassy was informed of the additional scrutiny last Friday and on Tuesday notices were put on government websites.

On Thursday news of Camperdown’s suspension and increased supervision of the Australian industry was posted on the official Xinhua newsagency and quickly picked up by other news sites.

Mr Melville said Camperdown voluntarily took itself off the China export list as it was waiting to provide authorities with further test results on the shelf life of its fresh milk.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrives in China on Sunday.

The Turnbull government has protested loudly over Beijing’s aggressive pursuit of its territorial claims in the South China Sea and in recent months has rejected two major Chinese investment proposals in Australia.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. griff griffiths says:

    To our Australian leaders– Stop being wimps –be leaders– You know what is happening– Australians and the Chinese know you are weak willed cowards –Stand up and be men — Australians who died in the wars will be turning over in their graves to see you lot pandering and cowering to foreign interests —


  2. Suzanne O'Connell says:

    This is what happens when you give them a stick, they use it back on you. DONT sell to China, DONT sell our Country to China either. Can you imagine what they will be like once they own a majority of our farms and businesses? WAKE UP AUSTRALIA before its to late and we are subservient to a Communist Country, a Communist Country that has a terrible humanitarian reputation. Our Soldiers fought and died for freedom in other Countries to keep the Communists out and now our Government is just handing the Country to them on a platter. Shame on these Politicians that worships the almighty dollar and not the welfare of this Country and her people.


  3. Mark says:

    Blackmail. Closing down all sales to China. Make the Chinese government explain why their most trusted dairy products are unavailable.


  4. It really should be apparent to the dimmest political dummy that China, controlling more and more of Australia’s assets in every field, can simply deny any Australian trade that they wish at any time, simply to retaliate against ANY action they don’t like. Wake up pollies – limit foreign investment to a maximum of 49% share, keeping the controlling 51% in Australian hands, and weather the storm. There’ll be lots of support for such conditions and eventually we will remain independent of China’s blackmail (Apart from corrupt payments to corrupt pollies and corporations!)


  5. Rebecca Hobbs says:

    Too much propaganda. ..this is their way to force prices down…there r other countries whom u cud sell to….


  6. Deb says:

    Stop sending our milk and milk products over there. That includes baby formulas that they are buying Australians out of!!


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