The Ministry for Primary Industries says all infant formula brands manufactured in New Zealand for export to China will soon need to be registered with the department.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of a series of critical news stories about this country's baby milk manufacturing industry broadcast by the state-run CCTV news network in China last month.

Most of the infant formula brands made in New Zealand do not operate factories but instead have their products produced at a number of contract manufacturing plants, mostly in Auckland.

As the ministry approves and regulates the manufacturers, rather than the brands, it has admitted that it does not know exactly how many brands are being produced in this country for export.


The ministry's director of market assurance, Tim Knox, said the brand registration requirement, which takes effect on June 20, had been decided in conjunction with a Chinese request.