New Zealand must recognize the importance of emerging markets like China by setting up a prime minister-led crisis management group to coordinate responses to food safety issues, a leading communications expert said Thursday.

The country and the agricultural food sector needed a high- level response group, comprising industry and government key players as well as senior communications professionals, to act quickly to reassure export markets, Massey University communications expert Dr Chris Galloway told Xinhua.

Within the last three years, New Zealand’s pillar dairy industry and the government have been criticized for poor responses to a series of food safety issues.

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