Six years after China's tainted milk scandal killed at least six babies and sickened hundreds of thousands of children, China's largest producer of raw milk has been given a top international award.
Chinese company Modern Farming won the a Gold Award for its raw milk at the annual Monde Selection: Quality Awards in Bordeaux.
Thousands of products are rigorously tested by an independent professional jury each year, and those that make the cut are presented with an internationally renowned quality award.
"The products are selected based on their intrinsic quality, meaning the chemical composition, the microbiological quality and the nutritional quality, that is the first part. So it is obvious that they can produce products of high quality which comply with legislation, but it doesn't mean that it tastes good. The taste is also very important, so that's the reason why we taste each product," jury president Joseph Bessemans said.
In the past five years, China's dairy industry has grown from being worth around $20 billion in 2008 to $40.6 billion in 2013, but a series of milk contamination scandals since 2008 have affected China's consumer confidence in domestic dairy products.
Modern Farming—the milk-producing subsidiary of the Modern Dairy Holding company—hopes that this international stamp of approval will send a strong message to Chinese consumers.
"We represent the production level of China's raw milk industry. This time it's us to win the prize and many other companies are improving their products' quality. The standard of the industry is improving too. Our company is the first to begin large-scale farming, and many companies are on the way. So I believe China's dairy industry won't fall behind in future and the country will provide the best milk to consumers in the world," Lina Gao, the company's CEO, said.
(CNTV.cn June 4, 2014)