Food safety has become a buzzword in China following a number of food scandals. This situation provides a great opportunity for Danish companies to offer their services either as direct suppliers of foods or with agricultural technologies.
High quality food products and Danish agricultural technology stand a good chance of conquering the Chinese market. In the past few years, China has been shaken by one food scandal after the other. First, milk contained melamine, then there was rat meat on the grill skewers and formaldehyde in the soup, and most recently the most fundamental food, rice, was also affected. In several cases, rice from the Hunan province was found to contain unacceptable amounts of poisonous cadmium.
“Confidence in the Chinese producers, and in many cases restaurants, is at an all-time low. That is natural when you have to be afraid that an ordinary restaurant uses cooking oil skimmed from the top of the sewer or that your bāozi – the traditional morning roll – contains cardboard full of chemicals,” explains DI-Asia Base Business Services Managing Director Glen Mikkelsen. The Shanghai-based office currently accommodates 25 Danish companies.
Food-related scandals figure prominently in Chinese newspapers so an explosively increasing trend is that people who can afford it buy imported foods, Glen Mikkelsen says.
Denmark has a good reputation in Chinese professional circles both as a supplier directly to consumers and as a provider of agricultural technology. And as a result of the food scandals and increasing political focus on food safety and control systems, the Chinese market is extremely interesting for Danish companies.
A number of Danish companies are already active today. They have success on the Chinese market selling foods, agricultural technology, control instruments and products for food processing. The most successful businesses, apart from Copenhagen Fur which is somewhat outside category, include Arla, Danish Crown and Foss, but the list is growing.