Milk powder. In China, it is hunting for quality

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Families in Shanghai are willing to pay an increased price of 14 percent in exchange for safe milk for their babies. The trend was noted in a study presented Feb. 1, 2014, at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association meeting in Dallas, Texas. And it is a direct result of the scandals that have engulfed Chinese milk powder producers over the past decade. The most serious incident was in 2008, when a product with melamine added caused the poisoning of many children.

The dairy sector has an important size in China, and demand is expanding. From 2006 to 2010, household spending grew 189 percent in urban areas. And in Shanghai, where milk powder consumption is doubling, growth has soared 160 percent.

Guiding the choices in China seem to be dominated by guarantees of food quality and safety. And they reward foreign productions with increasing attention. Although more expensive. A survey of 1,500 people living in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu found that 44 percent of milk and dairy consumers distrust the quality of domestic products, and 45 percent believe controls are inadequate.

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