Interestingly, the Dutch have been involved in a few of Hong Kong’s recent controversies.
Dutch company Friso was accused by lawmaker, Gary Fan, to have contributed to the shortage of milk powder, and thereby benefitting from heightened prices. However, Wilfred denies that the alleged milk powder shortages exist, “From what I understand from the milk companies, there has never been a shortage in Hong Kong. There might be small pockets of supermarkets in New Territories that might have had a depleting stock, but “out-of-stock” never happens.”
More recently, another incident put the Dutch under a positive light. With the food safety scare involving Taiwanese “gutter oil”, many firms in the food industry have turned to the Dutch for their lard needs. Local heavy-weight, Maxims, published full page statements in several newspapers to announce their change to Dutch produced lard.
When asked to comment on the seemingly industry-wide switch to Dutch products in such a high profile fashion, he answers, quite matter-of-factly, “We try to have very high standards on food security. We are the second largest exporter of horticultural products in the world… Since this is all produced in a very intensive way…you need to have very strict controls to make sure the product that comes out of these production facilities meets all the standards.”