China officials finish audit

DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Last updated 05:00 05/07/2014

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An audit of the Alliance Group's Pukeuri plant has been completed by Chinese officials.

It is unclear when or if exports to China will resume, as the result of the audit is unknown.

The Pukeuri plant's certification for China was suspended by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) last July after a container of sheep and lamb meat was shipped to China containing cartons that were incorrectly labelled.

Alliance Group general manager of processing Kerry Stevens said the outcome of the audit, conducted late last month, will be revealed in due course.

"We can confirm that officials from China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine have undertaken an audit of our Pukeuri plant in Oamaru.

"We are awaiting the outcome of the report and advice as to the status of the plant for export in China."

He said the plant was currently in its maintenance shutdown period, with processing scheduled to resume in late July.

The plant, north of Oamaru, passed an MPI audit in November.

Chinese market regulations require labels on both the inside and outside of cartons. The affected cartons were labelled on the outside only.

The issue was related to packaging only and not the quality of meat exported.

Around 240 staff at Pukeuri were out of work for nearly six weeks as a result of the packaging error.

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- The Timaru Herald

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