China is establishing a system to monitor the safety record and management of companies that sell children's food, the China Daily reported today (Monday).

"The two archives, one recording the internal management of the company and the other, the credit record of their products, are a must in the upcoming credit system of children's food security," said Wang Baiqin of China's Institute of Children's Food

Trial work on the project began a year ago for children's milk powder and rice flour.

The first archive is aimed at motivating a company to improve and regulate production and information management. The second archive includes information on whether the company's products and sales meet national standards. It also includes market and customer feedback.

When the system officially starts next April, records will only be published by authorized organizations and will be available to both the enterprises and the customers. The new system is not legally required, but Wang Baiqin believed it will help qualified companies improve their reputations and make them more competitive.

She said the government decided on the new system after it was discovered that poor management in the industry was leading to unsafe products and malnutrition in children.

"China's children's food industry has been poorly managed because it's hard to define children's food which covers many sectors. As a result, questionable companies have been producing food that threatens children's safety. So it's hoped the new credit system will help regulate a disordered market by giving consumers the product information they need to make informed purchases," she said.