Late last month importation of the soft, creamy and seemingly harmless cow’s-milk cheese Brie was banned in China. The edible mold that helps form Brie’s bloomy rind saw it and a host of other platter favourites including blue, Camembert, Roquefort and goat’s cheese become the latest prohibited foodstuffs in China. They follow a string of fast-growing imports, from chilled beef to kiwifruit, which have been banned and unbanned over the years.
The blacklisting is another reminder of how unpredictable selling into China can be. Even the most prepared cheese exporter would have struggled to foresee and plan for the [hopefully short term] ban. China is well known for its unique regulations – most are a little more predictable, but do require vigilance to ensure you won’t end up with a series of unnecessary fines or even be banned in China.
Unpredictable changes in China’s regulation can be frustrating or even damaging, yet the opportunities and ever-growing demand for imported foodstuffs will usually outweigh the downsides. This is particularly true for those brands who stay abreast with and understand the regulations, and the market, marketing and sales channel trends – something agencies like China Skinny can assist with. Go to Page 2 to see this week’s China news and highlights.