Han Changfu, Chinese Minister for Agriculture, and Mette Gjerskov, Danish Minister of Food.
New technology and a new centre inaugurated by the Danish Minister of Food and the Chinese Minister of Agriculture was part of the Danish export promotions first day.
The new centre “China-Denmark Milk Technology Cooperation Centre” is part of Arla and their Chinese business partner Mengniu’s effort to re-establish Chinese consumer’s confidence to Chinese dairy products, after the melamin scandal in 2008.
Arla and the Danish analytical equipment company Foss have together with New Zealand Fonterra developed a new technology to screen milk for any abnormality.
“If the screening shows an abnormality in the milk it can be tested through the 18 existing analyzes, each of which can detect a specific substance. The advantage of the new method is that you only have to analyze the milk if the initial screening indicates a deviation,” tells Niels Juul Mortensen, CTO of Arla’s activities in China.
Today Mengnui analyzed all milk for melamin. With the new screening any deviation will be discovered.
“Given that the new screening is safe, fast and cheap, it will be interesting for all dairies in China. When we have finish testing the method on Chinese milk, other dairies can use the screening, so consumer confidence can be restored – for the benefit of the entire industry,” says Frede Juulsen, Senior Vice President at Arla.
Organic Food and Sustainable Production
Han Changfu, Chinese Minister for Agriculture, and Mette Gjerskov, Danish Minister of Food, last met September 2012 in Copenhagen where they signed a framework agreement on cooperation in pig farming. After the inauguration of the new centre today, they had a one hour meeting and lunch, before Mette Gjerskov went on to a seminar on Organic Food and Sustainable Production.
In the afternoon Mette Gjerskov met with Zhi Shuping, Chinese Minister for General Administration of Quality Supervision, who will also host tonight’s dinner.
585 ton pork every day
The Danish export of pork to China equals one container shipped every hour or 585 ton every day. The Danish export to China has increased from DDK 15 billion in 2007 to DDK 24 billion in 2011. Agricultural products constitute 46 percent of the export, with meat and mink fur as the main items.
“The Chinese market has huge potential for Danish food and green agricultural technology. You have to do an effort to obtain trade agreements with China. Intensive contacts at both political and business level is essential. Therefore, I am pleased with this visit which I hope will pave the way for future exports of both food and resource-efficient technologies that respect the environment. It will be an export to the benefit of both Denmark and China “, says Mette Gjerskov.
The Danish Agriculture & Food Council predict that the Danish export can increase to DDK 48 billion in 2016 and that growth in agriculture export will be a main driver.