Mengniu: Not so innocent anymore
Mengniu’s sales manager in Yiwu, Zhejiang province has been arrested for altering production dates on 5000 boxes of the dairy giant’s products.
The manager surnamed Wang, together with his accomplice, surnamed Zhao, purchased 5000 boxes of Mengniu milk which were going out of date at half price from different places in Zhejiang, removed the original production dates of December 24, 2011 and December 28, 2011 and replaced them with new production dates of May 2, 2012.
These products were then resold at normal prices to various places in Zhejiang.
Wang was arrested on August 6, while his accomplice Zhao gave himself up to the police on August 20.
During the police investigation, Mengniu said the milk should have been sold at a discounted price when it is half expired and be banned from sales when it is 2 months away from expiration. Any out-of-date milk should be destroyed, according to staff at Mengniu HQ.
Police told the Beijing News that a customer found that the milk he purchased had quality problems and asked the supermarket to return the products. The supermarket also contacted a local dealer surnamed Pan, who the supermarket bought the products from.
Pan then reported the case to the police on August 3, since a large proportion of his order from Wang had been sold by that time.
In response, Sun Yiping, president of Mengniu, told the Beijing Youth Daily that this “separate incident” would not affect Mengniu as a whole and that Mengniu would cooperate with police investigation.
“Any company cannot guarantee that every employee behaves in the same way. Mengniu has a very excellent and ambitious management and will implement all managing standards thoroughly,” she said.
Mengniu has been involved in several scandals concerning product quality this year. In May, netizens revealed that some milk producers for Mengniu mix cow urine into milk to lower the cost and pass examinations at the same time. Megniu quickly denied this.
In June, an intern wrote online that Mengniu’s ice creams were produced in an “outrageously dirty environment,” with “dirty water all over the floor” and garbage burning right outside.
Although Mengniu admitted some problems in its OEM factories and promised investigation, the Beijing News and the Chinese version of Bloomberg Business Week also found that Mengniu also managed to clear all relevant posts on internet forums.