Baby formula company A2 Milk has taken a crucial step forward in making sure it can keep making its infant formula in China, as food safety rules in the lucrative market are overhauled.
A2 shares jumped on Monday after New Zealand-based Synlait Milk, which makes the Chinese-label infant formula for A2, said it had received the necessary regulatory approval to keep making the product, while it works through China’s new regulation process.
The product registration for the $4.1 billion dairy giant’s China-label infant formula, produced by New Zealand-based Synlait Milk, was due to expire in late September, but has now been renewed by China’s food regulatory body – the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) – until February 21 next year.
After that date, infant formula sold in China will have to undergo another regulatory process to meet the Asian country’s more stringent food safety rules.
Chinese parents represent a lucrative key market for the dual-listed company: in the 2022 financial year, revenue from its Asia market rose by 24.5 per cent.
A2 Milk chief David Bortolussi said he was pleased that the Chinese-label product’s registration had been renewed for five more months and would work with Synlait and China’s regulatory body to make formula in line with China’s new standards.
“We remained focused on the China market and are looking forward to the opportunity to make our newly formulated infant milk product available to parents and infants in China,” Bortolussi said.
A2 Milk is permitted to sell baby formula manufactured before February 21 after that date.
Investors in the dairy giant cheered the news, with its share price finishing Monday’s trading session up 2.5 per cent to $5.70.