In China, Anything is Possible, but Everything Can be Difficult

Written by: Roland Matyasi

May 28
In China, Anything is Possible, but Everything Can be Difficult

As the very last presenter of this year’s Symposium, Dr. Mark Lyons shared his vision of what the next seven years will bring to the world of agriculture. As a strategic decision, Mark moved to China 1.5 years ago to make Alltech China a $500 million business for Alltech by 2020. The opportunities are enormous in the Asian country, which is still facing its own challenges in the areas of food safety, sustainability and biosecurity. The Chinese government launched a five-year plan last year that focuses on finding solutions to these problems. Alltech has created its own five-year plan, which Mark Lyons called the “China Now” program involving strategic research alliances between Alltech and key Chinese universities, investments in production, human resources and several educational projects.

Mark shared a story of Chinese dairy farmer from Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang province. Mr. Lou had a dream of buying a BMW one day and owning 1,000 cows on his farm. Instead of leaving the countryside behind and moving to the city, what most of the Chinese people choose today, Mr. Hou decided to stay and start his business with 40 cows in 2012. Today, he already has a BMW and runs a successful dairy farm with 400 cows.

“China needs to increase production efficiency, and Alltech will strongly support the country in this area,” Mark said, noting that 1 billion pigs are produced in China every year but only 600 million of them reach the market.

Mark urged the Symposium attendees take home five lessons as they approach 2020:

  1. Make sustainability one of your values
  2. Know the virtue of your business
  3. Seek active engagement and dialogue with your stakeholders
  4. Embrace change and technology
  5. Bring integrity to everything you do

The numerous scandals that hit the food industry will have positive impacts on the world as well. Mark believes that in 2020 the world will be more transparent than ever and the feed industry will have a great future.

 “Our industry needs leaders who create more leaders. We need to engage the young generation who will drive our industry to a great future,” Mark concluded.

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