Attempts to try and repair consumer confidence in China over milk are under way

Happy New Year from China where the trial of the executives of Sanlu, the major dairy company at the centre of 2008's tainted milk scandal are on trial and face possible execution but will probably get long jail sentences.

At the New Year dairy companies tried two strategies to get back in the good books of the naturally concerned and rather angry Chinese consumers, one daft and one more sensible.

First, the daft one: A number of Chinese dairy companies involved in the tainted milk scandal apologised in a New Year text message sent to millions of mobile phone subscribers across China.

The text read "We are deeply sorry for the harm caused to the children and the society. We sincerely apologise for that and we beg your forgiveness."

Apart from being a bit impersonal to say the least remember that most people in China are on two-way billing agreements, i.e. they had to pay to receive the apology!!

More sensible was the news that on December 28, a number of Chinese companies that produce milk, children's clothes and other kid-related items, jointly established the Maternal and Child Brand Enterprise Alliance in Beijing.

This is a non-profit organization formed by domestic companies who produce maternal and child essentials.

They will care about the health of mother and children, guarantee the quality and safety of their products, and take on the issue of social responsibility.

We'll see what they come up with in terms of initiatives.

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