China’s organic boom

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The Organic food market in China has been growing impressively, reports the BBC, partly due to food scares and a widspread concern for food quality. The Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2007 shows 27% overall market growth in the UK 2005 to 2006, but in China their domestic organic market grew by 50% last year.

Actually the domestic market is small compared to the export volume for organic food to places like Japan and Taiwan. Exports in 2005 were $350 million, up 50% from the year before!

But the concept of ‘organic’ is not clear to most of the nation, and much needs to be done to raise awareness. Most ordinary Chinese households cannot afford organic – unless of course they are growing it themselves in a traditional local food system!

China has some 5.7 million acres of certified organic farmland. One of the rising stars is the organic dairy Green Yard. Run by Wang Ahanli, who persuaded 50 neighbours to invest in his business, the farm is becoming something of a role model for animal welfare and healthy husbandry. The cows are living on pasture, boosted with hay from Mongolia or maize grown on the farm. Their veterinary care follows Chinese medicinal traditions.

Watch the BBC video: click here.

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