A Hong Kong dairy once known as the territory’s only organic milk farm has lost its licence to own cattle and is claiming products made from formula are fresh milk, according to reports.
Hong Ning Dairy in Fanling, once a popular day trip destination with local families, hasn’t received visitors for the past few years of its 53-year history because of “renovation” works.
However, according to a sneaky Apple Dairy reporter (what other kind are there?), who apparently popped in on the farm, there are no cows on site and workers were seen hauling huge bags of milk formula into the processing plant.
Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department confirmed that Hong Ning hasn’t had a licence to keep cattle since 2008. It is, however, still churning out some 4,000 bottles of “fresh milk” a day.
The loophole? The farm has a dairy processing licence courtesy of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department that allows it to process dairy beverages (made of formula) for sale.
Staff at Hong Ning’s costumer service hotline apparently told Apple Daily reporters that all their milk comes for actual cows. However, a quick read of the bottled ingredients shows the product contains water, milk solids and salt.
Despite this declaration, Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung claims the dairy could still be violating the Trade Descriptions Ordinance through misleading omissions, such as the omission of: “we have no actual cows”.