China future market for Swedish meat

China is the future market for Swedish food, especially Swedish pork. The Swedish quality and food security, combined with the importance of pork in the Chinese food culture, provide great, positive potential for both Sweden and China in our future collaborations, states the Kött- & Charkföretagen (Meat and Processing Companies).

Photo: Matthias M. Creative Commons
Photo: Matthias M. Creative Commons

The Chinese Ambassador Chen Yuming and Sweden’s Rural Affairs Minister Sven-Erik Bucht in late 2015 discussed the Swedish raw materials and Chinese food culture during a press conference in Stockholm, prior to Swedish Minister delegation to China to continue talks to get Sweden approved as exporter of pork.

China is well known for its good food culture and variants of its cuisine has been available in Sweden since 1944 when Chinese food was served for the first time in Stockholm. As China’s economy has improved the demand for pork has risen sharply, especially bone parts with meat, but also other qualitative Chinese delicacies.

China is the world’s second largest importer of food and the country that consumes the most pork in the world. The average Chinese citizen eats 39 kg of pork per year. This is more pork than the average Swede consumes. Pork is in China associated with success, fertility and virility. The very fact that Chinese people consume more and more pork daily is a concrete symbol of China’s economic success. This positive trend is spreading rapidly to all parts of China, which means that the increase in consumption of pork in China is expected to continue for many years to come.

The Swedish delegation headed by Minister Sven-Erik Bucht, along with representatives from industry, trade associations, government agencies and others visited China to bring attention to the opportunity for a long-term cooperation concerning Swedish food, including Swedish pork and ultimately processed meat products. This export cooperation would partly benefit the Chinese consumers in having access to quality and safe Swedish products, while the cooperation is also expected to have a positive economic development for the Swedish meat processing companies and even Swedish livestock producers.

“The Chinese food culture represents great potential for the Swedish meat processing industry. In the cities there is a strong, growing trend to buy healthy and convenient food, especially among young Chinese. In Sweden there are products, both meat and processed products, that matched this trend this trend well,” says Magnus Därth, President of the industry organisation Kött och Charkföretagen. “According to our estimate, about 25 million kilos of pork produced by Swedish farmers can fetch a higher on an average price of four Swedish Krona (SEK) per kilo in China. It is an income gain of SEK 100 million annually for the Swedish meat industry.”

According to Magnus Därth, the Chinese customers and consumers appreciate that the Swedish products produced in a safe and sustainable way. The production chain’s focus on food safety and traceability, but also low antibiotic consumption and good animal welfare are all factors that contribute to Swedish products having a high confidence in China.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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