Chinese to audit Alliance plant near Oamaru

Last updated 18:50 14/06/2014

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An audit to be conducted by Chinese authorities is expected to take place at Alliance Group's Pukeuri plant this month.

Officials from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine will inspect the plant to ensure it is meeting China's requirements before it can resume exports.

No date has been confirmed for the resumption of exports if the plant passes the audit.

A Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) spokesperson said audits were part of the normal interactions between the regulators of different countries and provide assurances to regulators that the systems New Zealand used to produce food were robust.

"We welcome audits from other countries as they insure we, and other countries, can continue to be confident in our systems."

Chinese authorities have temporarily lifted the suspension in place to enable the plant to produce product which will be eligible for export to China once the suspension is lifted permanently.

Pukeuri's certification to export to China was suspended by the MPI last July after a container was shipped containing incorrectly labelled cartons of meat.

Chinese market access regulations require a label on both the inside and the outside of the carton, but the affected cartons were labelled on the outside only.

Pukeuri's sheep and lamb season has been extended to ensure processing during the audit.

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- The Timaru Herald

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