Dialogue at 2011 Presidents’ Club Translates to Article Addressing China’s Food Industry

Written by: Elizabeth Adams

Dec 19
Dialogue at 2011 Presidents’ Club Translates to Article Addressing China’s Food Industry

After several decades of rapid growth and prosperity, China will emerge as the world’s largest economy by 2020. With the challenge of feeding a population exceeding 1.2 billion, China is calling for greater quantities, higher quality and more variety of food products. According to agriculture business leaders, several economic factors are shaping China as a branded food industry.

The future of China’s food supply was an important topic for food and feed industry leaders who attended the 4th Annual Alltech Presidents’ Club, held in Beijing and Shanghai, China, in 2011 and attended by 105 agribusiness leaders. Discussions during this annual forum served as the foundation for an article that recently appeared in the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review. The article, titled “Toward a Branded Food Economy in China,” addresses six forces identified by agribusiness stakeholders that are projected to drive the development of local, branded food products. These forces are:

  • China’s expanding middle class
  • The necessity of greater  food security, safety and quality
  • Integration and consolidation of industry supply chains
  • The simultaneous complexity and simplicity of the Chinese culture
  • Emergence of a consumer market
  • Emergence of a retail economy

The article also identifies three uncertainties raised during the Presidents’ Club that will influence the six driving forces and ultimately determine the future of the Chinese food industry. These uncertainties are:

  • How will China access and use the resources it needs to develop the next stage of its food industry?
  • Will China allow its food industry to develop to international models or will it seek another way?
  • How will Western influence shape food consumption in China?

Authors of the article included Aidan Connolly, vice president of corporate accounts for Alltech; Steve Bourne, vice president of Asia-Pacific for Alltech; Damien McLoughlin, professor of marketing at the University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School; Mary Shelman, director of the agribusiness program  at Harvard Business School and president of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association; and Frank Bradley, emeritus professor of the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. The authors concluded that food suppliers should facilitate the development of China’s branded food industry by providing technologies, products and processes. The article also cited the benefits of knowledge-based services to encourage food companies to build branding skills.

For more information about Alltech’s agriculture industry leadership, click here

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