Nongfu Spring fights back, says water safe, accuses rival

By Zhang Ye Source:Global Times Published: 2013-4-12 0:18:01

Nongfu Spring, a domestic mineral water producer, Thursday denied recent media reports of the company producing substandard mineral water and claimed that one of its rivals was responsible for the rumor.

C'estbon Food & Beverage (Shenzhen) was behind the reports, alleged Nongfu in a statement on Sina Weibo Thursday.

It claimed that its State-owned rival had impugned the quality of Nongfu's products, which are made from natural spring water, by posting a list of spring water pollution events from the past 10 years on the Internet on March 22.

Nongfu refused to comment when contacted by the Global Times Thursday on whether they will pursue a lawsuit against C'estbon.

C'estbon, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-listed China Resources Holding Co, issued a statement on Sina Weibo late Thursday, denying Nongfu's accusation and saying it reserves the right to pursue legal action against Nongfu.

Given the low profit margin in the domestic drinking water industry, fierce competition for market share among players in the sector is inevitable but should occur in a healthy way, Yan Qiang, a partner with Beijing-based Hejun Consulting, told the Global Times Thursday.

Nongfu said in its statement that its natural mineral water products always comply with national standards. It has invited journalists and consumers to visit its production factories around the country to find out the facts for themselves.

Many people have inquired about the activity and specific details will be revealed soon, a PR representative from the company told the Global Times Thursday on the condition of anonymity.

He said the company will release another statement soon in response to domestic suggestions that it had used a quality standard from East China's Zhejiang Province for products made and sold in South China's Guangdong Province.

The Zhejiang standard allows higher levels of fungi and yeasts in drinking waters, the International Finance News reported Tuesday.

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