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Organic food emerging as lucrative industry in China
Publication Date : 29-01-2014
For the first half year of 2013, the industrial value-added output of food processing ranked second in Heilongjiang province following petroleum and natural gas exploitation, said Lu Hao, governor of Heilongjiang.
"With a 19.3 per cent increase, the food processing industry has exceeded the petrochemical and equipment manufacturing industry."
Located in the northeastern part of China, Heilongjiang is rich in natural resources. Recent years have seen a period of rapid development in the province's organic food industry.
Recognised as one of the industries with the biggest potential, organic food has been made a priority in the provincial government's agenda.
"The government invests 8 to 10 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion to $1.6 billion) in the organic food industry every year," Lu said.
On the opening day of Hong Kong & Macao and Taiwan Commodities Fair in Shenzhen on Nov 28, the province's top 10 organic food brands attracted a lot of attention. Among them, a variety of rice provided by the East Granary Company was the most popular one.
The company has established industrial zones for rice processing in three of the province's high-quality rice-producing areas, including Wuchang, Fangzheng and Zhaoyuan.
With each area's annual processing capacity exceeding 300,000 tons, the company has become the leader of Heilongjiang's rice processing industries.
In the early morning of the opening day, the organic food delegation members from Heilongjiang presented the exhibitors and visitors with some hot and steamy rice cooked in a rice cooker.
"What a wonderful smell! I feel really hungry now and really want to try some," said an exhibitor from Hong Kong surnamed Chen.
"The rice is like crystal. I was shocked by the rice fragrance. It is indeed the strongest rice fragrance I have ever had," said Chen.
In addition to rice, agarics and blueberries also showed their charm during the fair.
A Shenzhen citizen told China Daily that he just tried the agarics from Heilongjiang, and it tasted completely different from what he had before.
"Agarics from the south are usually crisp, but Heilongjiang agarics tasted fleshy and smooth." After tasting, he decided to buy some for his family.
As one of the Heilongjiang specialties, blueberry also attracted people's attention.
"I know that Heilongjiang blueberry from the Greater and Lesser Hinggan Mountains is rich in anthocyanidin and has a strong medical effect," said Chen Weikai, the vice president of Shenzhen Yipin Wine Group, "I really expect to distribute Heilongjiang blueberry wine if there is a chance."
More than 100 kinds of food were displayed, including rice, soybean, agarics and honey.
Most of the visitors to the expo shared their concern about food safety and interest in organic food, especially those from Heilongjiang.