China Agri News Week 38, 2020

This is the news overview of week 38 from the agricultural team of the Netherlands Embassy in Beijing.

China Customs Tightens Surveillance of Chilled Food Imports

As of last Friday, a new regulation went into force stating that cold food exporters that failed a Covid-19 nucleic acid packaging test twice would be blocked from shipping to China for a week, while those that failed it three times would be frozen out for a month.

The new regulation is based on a study by the South China Agricultural University and the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences which showed the pathogen could survive on chilled salmon for eight days at four degrees Celsius – the temperature at which the fish and most other seafood products are usually transported. 

The new controls come after a Covid-19 health scare at a wholesale food market in Beijing in June that was traced to chopping boards used to prepare imported salmon (source: SCMP).

Ministry Presses for Structural Improvement and Modernization of Agricultural Education

On September 4th, the Ministry of Education and five other agencies released their opinion on strengthening the rural teacher workforce for the upcoming 10 years. Teacher and education resource shortages have been holding back the development of rural education. Meanwhile, urban-rural inequalities are also growing. 

In the ministry's opinions, they vow for improving the number, quality, organizations, and pay of rural teachers within three to five years by modernizing teaching methods and expand long-term development channels (source: UN Theme Group on Agriculture and Food Security, China Policy Brief Volume 24).

Short News:

- Asia Fruit Logistica Online that will take place on November 18 to 20 has opened its exhibitor registration. For more information click here.

- WellFruit has opened its first flagship store in Shanghai with a two-day launch event attracting more than 10,000 customers. The new store features over 300 SKUs of fresh fruits, of which around 80 percent are sourced directly from orchards locally and overseas. Imported fruits are sourced from 26 different countries in five different continents (source: Fruitnet).

- On August 17, the Hong Kong Consumer Council clarified that 15 infant formula products sold in Hong Kong were inspected and 9 of them were tested positive for cancerogen GE (glycidyl esters). However, despite the detection, the GE residues do not exceed the maximum limit stipulated by the EU, and therefore no immediate actions to strengthen their supervision are expected (source: Chemlinked).