Qual­ity ex­ported food turns to home mar­ket

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

More than 1,500 com­pa­nies that once pro­duced food to high stan­dards chiefly for ex­port are now selling prod­ucts made to the same stan­dards on the Chi­nese mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties that over­see qual­ity.

More than 10 bil­lion yuan ($1.48 bil­lion) of such prod­ucts were or­dered last year in China, ac­cord­ing to the Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

A cam­paign launched early last year en­cour­aged the na­tion’s food ex­porters to make prod­ucts for do­mes­tic con­sump­tion us­ing the same pro­duc­tion pro­cesses as for over­seas mar­kets, to en­sure the same level of qual­ity.

The cam­paign cov­ered 5,778 prod­ucts, largely agri­cul­tural and other food prod­ucts, with most pro­duc­ers based in Shan­dong, Guang­dong, Fu­jian, He­bei and Liaon­ing prov­inces, the ad­min­is­tra­tion said.

For ex­am­ple, in Guang­dong, 189 food ex­port com­pa­nies now sell more than 500 foods, in­clud­ing frozen snacks, sea­son­ings, bis­cuits, nuts, meat and egg prod­ucts at 4,130 stores across China.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion said other goods will be cov­ered in the fu­ture to bet­ter meet con­sumer de­mand.

With the ini­tia­tive, Chi­nese peo­ple may not have to go over­seas to buy high-qual­ity prod­ucts that are ac­tu­ally made in China and ex­ported — such as elec­tri­cal pots and toi­let cov­ers — as has been the case in the past.

In the long run, the ad­min­is­tra­tion said, en­cour­ag­ing the same stan­dards for ex­ported and do­mes­tic goods can help im­prove over­all food safety in China and boost con­sump­tion.

Qiao Ya­jun, op­er­a­tions man­ager at Long­nan Changcheng Fruit Juice Co in Gansu prov­ince, which be­gan selling its con­cen­trated ap­ple juice, its chief prod­uct, in China around 2015, said do­mes­tic sales now ac­count for about 20 per­cent of its to­tal sales.

Pre­vi­ously, the com­pany, which is cer­ti­fied as a food ex­porter, only sold its ap­ple juice out­side China in 24 coun­tries and re­gions, in­clud­ing North Amer­ica and Europe, he said.

“The over­seas mar­ket has not been per­form­ing well in re­cent years be­cause of the eco­nomic down­turn,” Qiao said. “We hope our busi­ness can de­velop faster in the do­mes­tic mar­ket.”

The com­pany is pro­mot­ing its prod­ucts i n the do­mes­tic mar­ket but faces chal­lenges such as pro­duc­tion costs that are higher than its Chi­nese com­peti­tors — be­cause of its higher qual­ity stan­dards — and a lack of brand recog­ni­tion in China, he said.

The ap­ple juice, which has no ad­di­tives un­der ex­port stan­dards, is pack­aged in 250-mil­li­liter con­tain­ers and sells for about 4 yuan per pack­age — about 50 per­cent higher than many other sim­i­lar prod­ucts sold in do­mes­tic stores, he said.

“We have been par­tic­i­pat­ing in big trade ex­hi­bi­tions to pro­mote our prod­ucts,” he said. “We are also plan­ning to open an on­line store on ma­jor e-com­merce plat­forms such as Tmall.”

The Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion said it will con­tinue to pro­vide guid­ance to ex­port com­pa­nies to pro­mote sales in the do­mes­tic mar­ket.

China has nearly 20,000 cer­ti­fied com­pa­nies that ex­port food and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts val­ued at more than $50 bil­lion to more than 180 coun­tries and re­gions ev­ery year, ac­cord­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The coun­try strictly su­per­vises the com­pa­nies to en­sure that the food meets both na­tional stan­dards and the stan­dards of the des­ti­na­tion coun­tries and re­gions. For many years, vir­tu­ally all food pro­duced in China for ex­port is up to stan­dards, the ad­min­is­tra­tion said.


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