At a China Lunch Club event (Australian Business Forum) on 15 March 2013, Danny Armstrong, General Manager, China Banking & Country Head of NAB gave some insights on life in Shanghai, as well as the economic relationship between China and Australia, and food safety – a topic of concern to expats and locals alike in China these days.
He cited the story of a property developer in China with about 12,000 employees in a joint venture with an Australian developer working in Guangdong. The anecdote serves to illuminate the growing concern about food consumption in China and a creative way to secure safe food and at the same time encourage your staff to stay with you. Danny told us that in any one year, there are about 2000 babies being born to staff and the number one concern for parents is safe milk. With both parents working long hours these days, the trend in China is to use infant formula. Entrepreneurial Chinese around the world are using various means to buy up all the cans of milk powder they can find on shelves in supermarkets and despatching it to China at 3 – 4 times the price! The trend has even made it into the headlines here in Australia where parents of newborns are finding their supply very short and voicing their concerns.
A bit of creative human resources on display when this developer in China secured a supply of Australian infant formula to help feed all those babies every year and encourage the parents to stay on. Staff retention on infant formula!