Bubs was the early mover in the application process and was one of the first infant formula manufacturers globally to receive temporary US government approval to help address the country’s baby formula shortage.
Bubs delivered more than 540,000 tins between May and July, funded by the US government’s Operation Fly Formula. Chinese-backed Bellamy’s Organic was approved to sell products at the end of June to ship at least 1.25 million tins of its formula.
The latest Australian formula manufacturer to get the tick on July 8 was Care a2 Plus – a little-known infant formula player formerly named Acell Milk Australia.
Care a2 Plus makes Care a2+ infant and toddler formula using single-sourced milk from Australian grass-fed a2 cows.
The FDA approved Care a2 Plus to deliver up to 4.8 million tins of Australian-made Care a2+ Premium Infant Formula with Iron and added Lactoferrin to the US market. Its first orders for more than 250,000 tins of infant formula are due to ship starting this week.
According to documents lodged with the corporate regulator, the company was founded in 2019 with Dominic Galati, Kerry Hyland and Gary Lissa all named as directors.
In early 2021, it snared $50 million in equity financing from alternative investment group LDA Capital. LDA’s other recent Australian portfolio companies include software group GetSwift, lithium player Altura Mining and technology group BrainChip Holdings.
Comment was being sought from Ms Hyland who did not return calls from the FinancialReview.
About 160 companies have applied under this enforcement discretion policy – including a2 milk and New Zealand’s Fonterra – all of which are seeking to gain a foothold into the world’s second-biggest formula market.
While the Abbott Laboratories’ plant in Michigan has reopened after being shuttered in February due to the contamination worry, and importation from global companies surged, US supermarket shelves in many places are still in short supply as the crisis moves into its sixth month.
Despite the need, the US food safety watchdog suspended emergency imports of baby formula from a UK-based company after accusing it of submitting altered paperwork to authorities in England, according to a Financial Timess article published August 1.
The suspension of Global Kosher’s plans to export millions of tins to the US is a major setback in the country which has traditionally relied on just three major players for domestic production including Abbott, Reckitt Benckiser and Nestlé. However, it might provide more opportunity for local players.