Interview: Denmark considers China's rising demand for high-quality food products huge opportunity

(Xinhua) 08:46, October 08, 2021

A staff member works at a booth for Danish household products at the Lifestyles exhibition area during the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 5, 2019. (Xinhua/Liu Ying)

China has been the most important country in the Asia region for Danish agricultural exports since 2008 and it is now by far the biggest market there.

COPENHAGEN, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Danish companies consider it a huge opportunity to deliver safe and high-quality food products to the Chinese market, and Denmark's sustainable solutions will also "help accelerate the green transition", Denmark's food industry experts told Xinhua in recent interviews.

"We believe that our focus on manufacturing safe, sustainable and high-quality food products offers a huge chance for us to increase our market share in China," said Martin Kristian Brauer, chief economist and area director at the Danish Agriculture and Food Council.

"A survey conducted in three major cities in China has revealed that consumers there are aware of the sustainability concept. Most respondents said that they intend to shop and eat sustainably," Brauer said.

The expansion of Denmark's food exports to China since 2008 makes China "the most important country in Asia region for Danish agricultural exports and it is now by far the biggest market there."

Denmark's success in China is driven by pork exports, accounting for nearly 9.3 billion Danish kroner (1.4 billion U.S. dollars), corresponding to a market share of 26 percent in 2020, Brauer explained.

According to Food Nation, the official branding consortium established by the Danish government and leading private organizations and companies to promote Danish food, this success was the result of hard work and the strict observance of food safety standards.

A girl attends the annual Copenhagen Cooking &Food Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark, Aug. 31, 2019. The ten-day festival concluded on Sunday. (Xinhua/David A.Williams)

China accounted for 47.4 percent of total Danish food and agricultural products exports in 2020, including bio-based products and machinery, according to Food Nation's recently published annual report.

"The decision makers in China highlight sustainability and food safety as the most important considerations when they choose partners for cooperation in the agriculture and food sector," said Lise Walbom, chief executive officer (CEO) of Food Nation.

In contrast to the success of finished food products, agricultural technology, food processing technology and biosolutions currently make up just a small part of Denmark's exports to China, but this trend is expected to reverse soon.

According to Walbom, in the next two to five years China will become a major target market for food technology companies using sustainable solutions.

At the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE), to be held in Shanghai between Nov. 5 and Nov. 10, 2021, Denmark will be represented by a record high number of companies on a floor area of matching size, said Soren Falck, head of delegations, exhibitions and export promotion at the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI).

The booth of Danish toy giant LEGO Group is seen at the Consumer Goods exhibition area during the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 5, 2020. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)

"Denmark's business heavyweights will all be there," Falck said. "In the Danish national pavilion in Shanghai we will focus exclusively on food products, beverages, ingredients, nutrition, agriculture and food industry equipment."

"But several other Danish companies will also be there on their own or together with their Chinese partners," Falck said.

The CIIE is the first dedicated import exhibition in the world and has seen fruitful outcomes in the past three expos.

The booth of Denmark is seen at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 6, 2018. (Xinhua/Yin Gang)

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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