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Industry Special: Domestic water brand takes international award

By Zhang Zhao and Li Jin (China Daily)

11:08, March 20, 2012

Kunlun Mountains Natural Mineral Water became the first Chinese brand to receive a world-class honor at the 22nd annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting.

JDB, the manufacturer of the water, won the Watermaster's Golden Award of Excellence "because of its uncompromising and passionate devotion to the quality of bottled water products, especially in the area of purity", according to Arthur von Wiesenberger, president of the event, held each year in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.

Han Ling, a representative from JDB, said that winning this award will give China's mineral water companies confidence that they can produce top-quality water for Chinese consumers.

Berkeley Springs International is the largest and longest-running water-tasting competition in the world.

From Tibetan Plateau

Industry insiders say the source of water is one of the key elements that contribute to the value of products.

The Kunlun water is taken from an area with an elevation of more than 6,000 meters on the Tibetan Plateau, according to the producer's website.

"Not only is the water's source well protected from contamination by being at a high altitude, but also the company's plant is one of the most pristine I've ever seen," said von Wiesenberger.

"Melted snow flows down the Alps to Evian and becomes high-quality mineral water, but turns into nothing when it comes to Geneva and Lausanne," said Chen Jie, secretary-general of the Shanghai Beverage Association, explaining the relation between water quality and elevation.

In recent years, China's high-end mineral water developers have scoured the land looking for better water sources. Tibet 5100, another major bottler, gets its water from Tibetan glaciers at an elevation of 5,100 meters. And the source of Ocean Deep Blue is said to be springs deep under the sea.

JDB's brand manager Pang Zhenguo said the company selected its water source after prudent research about quality and transportation costs.

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