China Makes Strides in Organic Food Industry
China is poised to become an emerging power in the global organic food
industry. Although home to a fifth of the world’s population, China has
just over 1% of global organic farmland. The country is however making
large strides by becoming a leading organic food exporter.
China leads Asia in certified organic farmland with roughly 300,000
hectares. Much of this is used to produce organic vegetables, beans,
cereals, grains and seeds for export markets. The importance of exports
has led a large number of international agencies to provide
certification services in the country. Organic crops are grown according
to American, European and Japanese standards.
Chinese producers have been most
successful in the European market where they have become established
suppliers of organic ingredients.
China is now the premier non-EU source of organic beans and edible seeds
to Western Europe. Chinese companies dominate the supply of organic
pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, kidney beans and black beans.
Chinese companies are also making inroads
in the organic soya bean market; They now supply over a third of the
organic soya beans used by European food processors. The high market
share is partly due to poor harvests in
especially Brazil. The quality of Chinese soya beans has increased
significantly in recent years. Organic food companies in
Europe also favour Chinese soya beans because of
GM concerns about soya beans from
With the Chinese government pledging more
support for the organic food industry, production of organic crops is
expected to rise. Greater demand is likely from the domestic market as
standards of living and purchasing power of Chinese consumers rise.
However, most certified organic foods will continue to be produced for
the export market as long as they continue to generate hard currency for
the emerging economic power.
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Posted: March 18th 2005
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