Economic Watch: China's agricultural supply chain cooperation enriches consumer food choices

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BEIJING, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The abundance of agricultural products from different countries on display at the world's first national-level supply chain expo in Beijing demonstrates the greater range of food choices on offer to consumers in today's globalized world.

From the river prawns of Thailand and the tropical fruits of Malaysia to China's high-yield hybrid rice and the coffee of Kenya, these products not only appease the appetites of customers but also provide food for thought. Enhanced cooperation on agricultural supply chains benefits the consumers and businesses of various nations, while the stability of supply chains has great significance for global food security and safety.

While addressing the opening ceremony of the first China International Supply Chain Expo (CISCE) on Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said the expo is being held in order to create an international platform for all parties to strengthen communication, deepen cooperation and seek common development.

He said China is willing to work with all parties to make the global industrial and supply chains more resilient, efficient and dynamic, and make greater contributions to promoting global economic recovery, development and prosperity.

At the expo, being held in the Chinese capital from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, multinational corporate executives have presented their business models, demonstrating why maintaining the resilience and stability of global industrial and supply chains is so important to the promotion of global economic development.


At its expo booth, U.S. coffee giant Starbucks shared the firm's story in southwest China's Yunnan Province, where it helps local coffee farmers boost their capacity.

In 2012, Starbucks established a farmer support center in Yunnan as part of its commitment to elevating the Chinese province as a high-quality coffee-growing region. Over the years, more than 30,000 local coffee farmers received professional training and technical support. Driven by a series of measures, coffee tasters have witnessed the coffee qualification rate increase from 20 percent to 80 percent in the past 10 years.

In a video address, Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan conveyed his wishes for the success of the inaugural CISCE, and said that coffee can be a bridge connecting the world and uplifting people, while also uplifting communities.

"China's coffee market has enormous potential and Starbucks' confidence in our long-term investments in China has never been greater," Narasimhan said.

"I am deeply impressed by China's leading supply chain capabilities, and excited to open the China Coffee Innovation Park in Kunshan this September for Starbucks. It fulfills our ambition to be vertically integrated 'from bean-to-cup' in China -- a first for Starbucks globally," he said. "With every cup, with every conversation, with every community, we nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection."


At the expo, Syngenta Group, an agriculture innovation company, displayed innovative products covering all aspects of the agricultural chain. They include rice that features high yield and water saving, and that matures early, developed by taking advantage of China's germplasm resources. The product has already been introduced into Southeast Asia and Africa.

"We focus on the product innovation chain and rely on global innovation resources to contribute to world food security," said Liu Hongsheng, president of Syngenta Group China.

Liu said that by joining hands with global partners, the firm plays an active role in building a green, safe, smooth and stable global agricultural supply chain.

The CP Group Agro-industry & Food Business, a leading agro-industrial and food conglomerate, also displayed various food products at the expo. "We implement strict food safety control measures in all aspects of the entire industry chain, including feed, breeding and planting, direct procurement, slaughtering, food processing, warehousing and logistics, retail and catering, and built a fully safe and traceable food industry chain," said Xue Zengyi, senior vice chairman of CP Group Agro-industry & Food Business, China Area.

The company's layer poultry farming project in Pinggu, suburban Beijing, for instance, has realized a breeding system with automated environmental control, automatic feeding, automatic water supply, automatic egg collection and automatic manure cleaning.


"Currently, the stability of the global food supply chain and the green development of agriculture still face challenges, and it is even more necessary to work together and make progress," said Song Juguo, deputy director of the Agricultural Trade Promotion Center under China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Song said that it is also necessary to strengthen the multilateral trade system, further promote international scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation in green agriculture, and nurture multilateral and bilateral cooperation platforms for shared benefit.

At the expo, Chinese dairy firm Yili showcased its carbon-neutral ice cream products and the environmentally friendly packaging for its organic raw milk.

Liu Chunxi, executive president of Yili Group, said that the company, through a green industrial chain strategy, strives for carbon emission reductions in its upstream, midstream and downstream business segments.

"The global food system is in urgent need of systemic change and transformation to a more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable path, and green agriculture in particular is an important focus to promote and realize this transformation," said Zhang Zhongjun, an official with the Food and Agriculture Organization China Office, adding that green agriculture must run through the entire agricultural industry chain. Enditem

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