If you are not a parent, baby formula probably isn’t on your shopping list. An enterprising group of shoppers however are stripping the shelves bare of baby formula and causing a shortage across Australia. A Huffington Post news article recently delved into the phenomenon hitting Australia.
Cayla Dengate authored the original article on the 15th of November, 2011:
“A large proportion of Australia’s toddler and baby formula is being bought by the Chinese market, either through direct shipping or enterprising re-sellers who buy in Australia and sell in China, turning huge profits.”
These practices have left shoppers desperate and pictures that document their desperation have gone viral. Shoppers are loading their trolleys, hoarding boxes of formula and guarding the last few remaining products. They are scenes reminiscent of the scenes from a disaster film, and consumers have had enough:
“There is now a petition calling for a two-can limit in supermarkets and the Federal Government is looking for solutions.”
This might put a roadblock in the way from enterprising individuals who are reselling products, but it doesn’t take in the bigger picture. Families in China are wary of chinese made formulas after a string of recalls and hazards. Parents are not willing to take the risk:
“In 2004, more than 50 babies reportedly died after drinking a counterfeit infant formula. In 2008, six babies died and more than 15,000 babies and toddlers were hospitalised when the chemical melamine poisoned milk.”
The government is in talks with retailers to address local concerns so that supply can meet demand. Manufacturers are also trying to increase supply, with Pharma Care shipping out tens of thousands of tins to pharmacies across Australia. Local start-ups are also promising to deliver:
“Australian start up Marzie’s Baby Formula, meanwhile, launched a crowd funding campaign to start operating a high-volume formula factory in Sydney.”
While baby formula shortages continue across Australia, reselling of baby formula to China is making huge profits that can amount to $100,000 per year.