The a2 Milk Company has received approval from Chinese authorities to resume shipments of its a2 Platinum brand infant formula after a break of more than two months.
It announced earlier today that a2 Platinum, imported into China by distributor China State Farm Shanghai, had been added to a list of approved imported brands by the China General Administration for Quality Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).
The Auckland-based firm applied for registration in association with New Zealand-based Synlait Milk, its a2 Platinum infant formula processing partner, and New Milk, Synlait's interim contract manufacturer.
New Milk was added to the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China (CNCA) List of Registered Overseas Dairy Manufacturers earlier this month.
The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) expects Synlait Milk to receive CNCA accreditation once a risk management plan for its new dry blending and packaging facility has been approved.
As of May 1 2014, under revised legislation, infant formula manufactured by firms that do not feature on the CNCA list are not permitted to enter China.
a2 Platinum, which was officially launched in China in October 2013, is the first and only infant formula product made using a2 milk, a2 Milk Company claims.
Most dairy cows produce milk that contains A1 and A2 beta casein proteins. a2 milk is rich is A2 beta casein proteins, but contains no A1 beta casein proteins, which have been linked to digestive discomfort.
This beta casein composition makes a2 Platinum "structurally more comparable to that which mothers naturally produce," a2 Milk Company claims.
Prior to the May 1 rule change, a2 Milk Company ensured that there were "sufficient levels of inventory" held by China State Farm to "ensure consumer demand in China to continues to be satisfied."
With the block on its shipments now lifted, a2 Milk Company is keen to continue efforts to drive interest in a2 Platinum.
“Registration will provide an important confidence boost for our distribution partner China State Farm and its sub distributors in our target markets in China," said Geoffrey Babidge, managing director, a2 Milk Company.
"The market development programme paused while the registration process was progressing and can now be reactivated together with new communication initiatives.”