Organic Food at a Crossroads

On China Dialogue, botanist Jiang Gaoming writes about the challenges facing the organic food industry in China:

A quality of life survey conducted last year by the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) – now the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) – found that food safety was one of the most important environmental concerns for the Chinese public. There is an increasing demand for healthy and environmentally friendly foods that are free of pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides, hormones and genetic modification: organic food, in short.

Unfortunately, China’s organic food industry has a long way to go. China produces 3 billion yuan (US$438 million) worth of organic food every year, with US$200 million going to export: around 1% of the global organic food market. Organic food accounts for only 0.02% of the total domestic food market; the global average is 2%. Many artificial factors are holding back the sector, and here are some.

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