Nation develops growing appetite for food imports

By LI YINGXUE | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-07 07:35
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A visitor to the sixth China International Import Expo in Shanghai samples ham from Spain. JIN HAOYUAN/XINHUA

Demand rises for wide range of produce and products from overseas

A new fresh milk product was unveiled by New Zealand dairy brand Theland during the sixth China International Import Expo in Shanghai last month.

Transitioning from being a mere exhibit to a tangible product in just 72 hours, the new arrival was delivered to consumers' doorsteps through Tmall, Alibaba's business-to-customer e-commerce platform.

On a Monday, the milk was taken from cows on a New Zealand dairy farm, processed in the company's factory and loaded onto an airplane that evening. The following day, it reached Shanghai Customs, ready to be distributed, before finally reaching consumers on a Wednesday.

Imported food has increasingly become a feature on Chinese dining tables, and in addition to milk from New Zealand, coconuts from Thailand, cherries from Chile, red wine from France and pine nuts from Afghanistan are in demand.

As the sources and varieties continue to diversify, imports have emerged as a vital addition to China's wide range of food supplies.

At the same time, domestic enterprises are shifting from a global purchasing strategy to strategically establishing a worldwide supply chain with an emphasis on global manufacturing.

At the Shanghai expo, the food and agricultural produce exhibition area stood out with the highest number and widest range of participating enterprises. The expo was attended by more than 1,000 companies from over 100 countries and regions, showcasing the widespread appeal of the Chinese imported food market.

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