Business / Industries

Brand is the new way for China's agricultural dream

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-02-07 17:15

BEIJING - High quality, modern production and food safety are China's top agricultural development priorities this year and achieving them could be as simple as creating a brand, according to some agribusiness giants.

"Agribusiness players should be pioneers in advancing agricultural modernization. You can't just rely on the old tricks of expanding production. Only with a brand can modern agriculture go further," Yu Xubo, president with China's largest food company, COFCO Corporation, told Xinhua in an interview.

However, a brand is not as easy to nurture as crops. Forced to weather headwinds such as food safety concerns, resource shortages and difficulties with promotion, agriculture brands are facing their biggest challenges to date.

Go whole industrial chain  

Chinese food brands have struggled with safety concern since a tainted milk scandal damaged consumer confidence in domestic food products in 2008. The scandal highlighted problems at all links in the production chain, from raw material to processing.

To enhance quality and safety supervision, COFCO set up a mechanism to keep an eye on the whole process of food production, from the field to the dining table.

"All agribusiness players, big or small, should be held to top accountability for food safety and introduce a whole industrial chain to keep close scrutiny throughout the process," Yu said.

Another bonus of the whole industrial chain is rising enthusiasm and income for farmers.

"You can't just rely on price rises to increase farmers' income, what we are doing is to include farmers into part of the whole industrial chain by offering them packaged services from seeding, training and financing," said Yu.

"You have to let them feel like a strategic partner with the company, not just farmers."

Go overseas

China released its 2015 rural policy, or the "number one document" last weekend, highlighting modernizing agriculture and food safety as key priorities this year.

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