Soil Association Certification and China’s organic certification body, Organic Food Development Centre (OFDC), have entered into a unique partnership that makes it cheaper and simpler for the UK’s organic businesses to export to China.
Demand for organic products in China is growing rapidly, with the market estimated to be worth USD 7.8 billion by 2015 , indicating that China’s consumers are increasingly looking for food and products they can trust. The partnership will allow Chinese organic consumers to access more high quality UK organic produce, as well as enabling UK Soil Association certified organic businesses, who saw strong growth of 6% in 2013 , to export to this major market.
Xingji Xiao, Director of OFDC in Beijing said: “We think the partnership is good and very important for our collaboration and can help us promote our mutual organic programme.”
Emma Yeats, Senior Certification Manager, Soil Association Certification said: “This new partnership comes at a time where there is positive growth in both the UK and Chinese organic markets and exports of UK organic produce to China can really flourish. Working with OFDC will make the process of certification for our UK licensees wanting to export to China both efficient and cost effective. We are delighted with this partnership which helps develop an important export opportunity.”
The new partnership is part of the Soil Association Certification’s Export Support Programme , where experts are working with international governments, trade associations, export agencies and certification bodies in different markets, working to open up new business opportunities for Soil Association certified organic businesses. The formation of this partnership was supported by the Regional City Engagement team at the British Embassy in Beijing, and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in the UK.
NOTE: This is not the typical type of article that I post but I felt it’s extremely important in a world of increasing steps towards globalisation that we take a look at its potential impacts on things such as food exports and how that will have a knock on affect with prices and supply here in the UK. I foresee a day when to China will buy a large portion or British organic food exports and they’ll do so simply because they will offer a better price to farmers and they’ll also get perks for doing so. This obviously could obviously be financially beneficial for the farmers and businesses but could also cause issues with national and local food security, access to higher quality produce and essentially moves away from locally produced food networks and increases “food miles” (transport pollution), among other things.
Notes to editors:
 BioFach China: http://www.biofachchina.com/news_details.php?news_id=1428&news_class_id=2
 Soil Association’s Organic Market Report 2014: http://www.soilassociation.org/news/newsstory/articleid/6650/soil-association-2014-organic-market-report-reveals-growth-in-organic-sales-for-the-first-time-in-fo
 For more information about the Soil Association’s Export Support Programme visit: http://www.soilassociation.org/trade/exportsupport