October 2005 management briefing
The food industry in China is expected to generate an income of US$241.8bn in 2005 – a 325% increase in 8 years. Its post-Communist market is being driven by the increased spending power and changing food habits of the country’s ever-wealthier people. However, there are significant risks with an emerging market of this size, complexity and relative immaturity. With the main goal over recent years being ‘feed the nation’, not enough has been done to safeguard health and safety. The country is frantically trying to get in line with international regulations in order to cash in on valuable product exports. Reducing pesticides is one issue being tackled, along with the much talked about ‘bird flu’. Risks of a pandemic are real according to the World Health Organisation and the industry can expect stringent quality testing and a damaging lack of consumer confidence. In addition to health and safety issues, this briefing also looks at export opportunities, raw materials, packaged and processed food and the manufacturers.