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The Greening of China’s Food - Green Food, Organic Food, and Eco-labelling

Paull, John (2008) The Greening of China’s Food - Green Food, Organic Food, and Eco-labelling. Paper at: Sustainable Consumption and Alternative Agri-Food Systems Conference, Liege University, Arlon, Belgium, 27 - 30 May 2008. [Unpublished]

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China is rapidly adopting, adapting and developing green technology and ideas. China is now a world leader in organic production and this can have implications for world food production. This paper examines the rapid rise of green food and organic agriculture in China, the multiple motivations that have driven it, and the innovative implementation strategies underpinning it. The first organic export from China was in 1990. The Chinese national organic standard and national organic logo were established in 2005. Thirty eight certifiers now operate in China servicing both domestic and export markets. While “Organic” is still poorly understood in the Chinese domestic market, “Green Food” is well known and readily available. Green Food is a Chinese innovation and dates from 1990. The China Green Food Development Centre was founded in 1992 to oversee the implementation of this food production innovation. Certification for Green Food production involves the regulation of inputs, with the objective of reduced use of pesticides, the oversight of production, and the residue testing of the produce. This Green Food strategy has been used as a “half-way house” between chemical food and organic food production. In 1995 Green Food certification was split into Grade A and Grade AA. It is this bifurcation of Green Food standards that laid the groundwork for the rapid articulation from Green Food certification to organic certification, and thus enabled the reported dramatic ten-fold increase in organic hectares in China in 2006 - and thereby placed China second in the world in terms of hectares under organic management, after only Australia. Longitudinal data are examined to reveal China’s organic and green trajectories, and potential future scenarios are presented. The new phenomenon of Chinese certified organic produce raises many questions. Data is presented to illuminate what role country of origin labelling (CoOL) might play, now and in the future, in a world market that is wary of Chinese food quality. China has gone well beyond being an adopter of organic concepts, and is now an active organic innovator - how successful and how exportable might these innovations be? Is the development of Chinese organics a threat or an opportunity, and for whom?
China's organic sector production is valued at between US$5.6 and US$10.2 billion. China's Green Food production is valued at US$20.7 billion. China's Hazard-free agricultural production is valued between US$29.1 an US$39.7 billion. The total value of China's eco-labelled food production is between US$55.4 and US$70.6 billion.
This paper reports on the new phenomenon of the export of China's Green Food production standards and certification procedures to other countries, including Canada.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:China, organic farming, organic agriculture, organic food, green food, hazard-free food, pollution-free food, China Green Food Development Center, CGFDC, F H King, Canada, eco-agriculture, eco-food, eco-labelling, eco-labeling
Subjects: Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
"Organics" in general
Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Food systems
Food systems > Markets and trade
Values, standards and certification
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Canada
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > China
Research affiliation:Australia > Australian National University
Deposited By: Paull, Dr John
ID Code:13563
Deposited On:19 Jun 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:37
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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