Background

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture expects that China will be the fourth largest consumer of organic food before 2020. Organic food will increasingly be in demand as the Chinese consumers’ quest for quality, health and safety and the growth in the middle class and their income increases. In addition to this, the Chinese consumers have greater trust in foreign products, because they perceive these as more safe and of higher quality than the domestic alternatives. The Chinese consumers pay 2-4 times more for organic products, which will mean that the relatively expensive Danish products can be sold in China with a profit.

Denmark is internationally well-known for safe food and high organic quality standards. The domestic consumption of organic food in Denmark has been increased significantly for the past few years and has been reached to 7.6% in 2012. Furthermore the Danish government has set the goal in the “organic plan of action 2020”, that the organic farming area in Denmark should be doubled until 2020.

On the other hand, the market is difficult to access, since there is a requirement for Chinese organic label issued by a Chinese certification body, when the foreign organic food is sold in China. This entails a very expensive inspection and an annual renewal of the permit and the process is very much a barrier for entering the market and requires a lot of focus.

The current inspection procedures entail that it is only the large organic producers that has the strength to become certified to the Chinese market. Since the large majority of the organic producers are small and medium sized products, they do not have the same resources to go through such a certification process.

Danish organic food in China supports the story of a sustainable and resource efficient Danish food production. In order for the Danish organic products to have the place in the market as they should, coming from one of the world’s leading organic nations, it is necessary that we from the Danish side follow a clear strategy for how such a status can be achieved in China, entailing a commercial strategy and an authority-strategy. A few Danish organic producers have already been approved by the Chinese organic certification body and the attention of exporting organic food products from Denmark to China has been increased intensively.

In addition to the high demand of premium food from Denmark to China, there is also a big potential need of innovations of high-end food by the domestic industry in China which is encouraged and promoted by the government as well as market.

The challenges of market access do not limited to organic food only, as the food industry is highly regulated area due to increasing focus on food quality and safety. The control of imported food safety by Chinese authorities has been drawn more and more attention with stricter rules and comprehensive management. The understanding of the Chinese regulations in imported food area as well as wise communication with Chinese authorities are essential and crucial for Danish food exporters.

Danish-Chinese Organic Food Center A/S

Ole Maaløes Vej 3

2200 København N

Tlf.: 50 21 63 10

E-mail: info@dc-organic.com

CVR: 38778935