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Briton bets big on baby food factory in Xinjiang

By Xu Wei in Kashgar ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-07-04 08:16:13

"It is a learning process doing business in China. As we are the first foreign enterprise in Kashgar, the local authorities also had to learn how to help us complete the registration process," he said.

The birth of their daughter, Eleanor, four years ago gave the couple the idea of starting a baby food business in the city.

"I want my baby to eat safe and healthy food. So do thousands of parents in China, who I think are more than willing to spend money on their children," Marsden said.

"Xinjiang is a great place for organic agriculture, partly because it has the potential to use less water, and this is a very dry place. We also have a wide range of options for organic food, from Aksu apples and Korla pears to sweet potatoes and Chinese dates."

A bachelor's degree in biology from Oxford University and a master's in agriculture from the University of London have given Marsden the expertise required to succeed.

He has also set up a foundation in London to help raise money for the factory, which he named Eleanor's Garden, after his daughter.

Marsden has hired three staff members for the factory from the US and Canada to act as production manager, quality manager and operations director. Most of the other workers come from a nearby village.

Marsden, who is optimistic about the prospects for China's baby food industry, said he is looking to use e-commerce platforms to boost sales.

"We have the best raw materials and we are producing to international standards. Even the expatriates in China will be a huge market for us," he said.

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