China Conference Looks At Food Safety

CHINA - With China’s meat industry growing in a booming economy, food safety is the major problem facing processors. Chris Harris reports from the China International Meat Industry Conference in Beijing.

The Chinese meat industry is growing strongly after a year when it suffered from the effects of avian influenza and from problems with rising feed prices and a fall in agricultural land and water shortages.

Despite these problems, the meat industry in China still accounts for more than 28 per cent of worldwide meat production, and it contributes 34 per cent of the country’s GDP, the China International Meat Industry Conference in Beijing heard this week.

The conference, which is organised by the China Meat Association and backed by the International Meat Secretariat, was opened by IMS president Paddy Moore, who told the conference that China is now experiencing a time of economic boom, and its growing influence is having a major impact around the world. “The change being seen in the meat industry is equally ambitious,” said Mr Moore. “It wants to be a player in the world as well as in its own markets. There is a favourable wind behind the meat industry in China, because consumption is rising.”

At the same time, Mr Moore stressed that China has also a long road to run to ensure that its food-safety and animal-welfare practices meet and are accepted around the world.

Mr Moore added that the International Meat Secretariat stood to promote a freer meat trade around the world. “In the meat industry this can only happen when meat professionals come together,” he said. “With a proper spirit the problems that the World Trade Organisation have been facing will be overcome.”

calendar icon 21 July 2005
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