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Nongfu Spring Packed Water in “Standard Gate”

China Agriculture Report By CnAgri2013-05-06 11:04:46China Agriculture Report Print Recently there have been constant negative reports on NongfuSpring. In the beginning of March there was a media report indicating unidentified black substance in bottled water of Nongfu Spring, later it was exposed the water source was besieged by garbage with serious pollution and the water quality is worrisome. Nongfu Spring declared its products are up to the “DB33/383/2005” standard, but there were doubts again.
The doubts concentrate to the following aspects: first, the standard is Zhejiang provincial one, it is lower than the national one in certain areas, the provincial one is more relaxed on MRL of harmful elements. Second, the standard was promulgated by Zhejiang Quality Supervision Bureau, whereas Nongfu Spring was the only company representative participating in the promulgation. Third, the Ministry of Healthy enacted the “Administrative Methods on Local Standards of Food Safety” in 2011, which requests food producers should abide by their local standards, whereas Nongfu Spring, which original production venue is Guangdong, indicates “adoption of Zhejiang standard” on its packing.
This “standard gate” incident involving Nongfu Spring has aroused attention on the implementation standards of packed water. There are various standards on packed water in China, packed water of different brands abide by different standards. Insiders informed only purified water and mineral water have a national standard, whereas other varieties of packed products including natural water for drinking has non national standard. 
Nongfu Spring explained it aides by stricter standards in actual production and it pointed at Huarun Yibao for false accusation. The two companies engaged in a “mouth water battle” and intended to sue to the court. The incident is still warming up and the “mouth water battle” between the two giant drinking water producers has become a “price battle” among a number of producers.
The backdrop of the incident is competition for market shares of packed drinking water among producers. The negative impact from the incident is profound, there should be a trust crisis and the growth rate of the market may slow down in the near future. Relevant companies shall confront with the challenge of image, market share and drastic slide of revenue, and more seriously, some may have to go bankrupt and give up the drinking water business.

From “China Soft Drink Market Monthly Report

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