The Danish food sector looks to have scored a massive result thanks to the food minister, Mogens Jensen, spearheading a delegation to China this week.
Jensen was on hand to open a new Danish Crown factory – located about 100 km away from Shanghai in Pinghu – which is expected to significantly increase the production of Danish pork in the Chinese market.
The 17,000 sqm factory (about the size of four football fields) is estimated to be able to produce 14,000 tonnes of refined pork products annually.
“A big kudos to Danish Crown and the Danish authorities for making this happen. China has big demands and the opening of the factory is only possible because the Chinese trust Denmark and our high level of food security,” said Jensen.
Big plans afoot
Last year, Danish Crown signed a benchmark co-operation agreement with Chinese e-trade giant Alibaba, and the produce of the new factory will be accessible to Alibaba’s 466 million users.
China is the world’s biggest consumer of pork and Denmark exported 213,000 tonnes of it to China last year, worth an estimated 2.3 billion kroner – a figure that is expected to rise in the coming years.
“Our goal is to establish Danish Crown as a premium brand in China over the next five years,” said Jais Valeur, the group CEO of Danish Crown.
Organic label agreement
Jensen was also in discussions with China’s deputy minister of agriculture regarding increasing the sale of Danish organic food products on the Chinese market.
An agreement is expected to be in place soon and it includes China accepting the Danish organic food control label.
Today, it is very expensive for Danish companies to be certified to sell organic food in China – firms have to be certified by a Chinese control authority and must pay a fee, as well as for a Chinese control visit in Denmark, including for travel and stay.
Currently, only Arla, Thise Mejeri, Them Andelsmejeri, Nature DK and Fynbo Food are able to sell organic products in China, but despite that, the export of Danish organic wares to China has quadrupled since 2014.
A Chinese control team is due to inspect the Danish quality control system for beef next week. The opening of the Chinese market to Danish beef could potentially be worth upwards of 300 million kroner annually.