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Draft standards for raw milk incentive for higher quality

China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-09 07:36

A China Mengniu Dairy Co employee collects milk from a Modern Farming Dairy Co truck for examination in Mengniu's plant in Ma'anshan, Anhui province. LONG WEI/FOR CHINA DAILY

Ever since the current national standard on raw milk was released in 2010, it has faced criticism. Now new draft national standards on raw milk have been released to solicit opinions. Beijing Youth Daily comments:

Health experts complain because there is only one standard for all unpasteurized milk, which is rather low. For example, the upper limit for the quantity of microorganisms per unit is much higher than that of developed countries.

Many leading milk enterprises also complain because their higher quality products are classified under the same standard as lower quality products.

Some consumers complain, too, because they hope to buy better milk products even if that means buying them at higher costs, but without a national standard defining "quality raw milk" it is difficult to distinguish better products from ordinary ones.

All these complaints are because there is currently only one standard for raw milk. Some experts have proposed introducing a stricter standard, but considering the fact that about half of domestic milk cows are raised by individual farmers, a stricter standard for all raw milk might be disastrous for the dairy industry.

This time, the new draft echoes the calls of both milk companies and consumers. If implemented, it will not only better regulate the market order, but also further balance all the interests involved. With different standards for different products, the relatively lower-end producers will survive, while different market demands will be met.

Actually, many leading dairy enterprises have long introduced differentiated standards for their own products to better suit the market. However, without an official standard, it is difficult for consumers to choose among these products and the higher-end products could not win consumers' trust. The new national standards will better regulate the different quality products of the dairy enterprises, which is convenient for both enterprises and consumers.

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