China Redefines Green


We all know organic foods have an uphill battle against the cheap industrially produced goods so readily available in the global economy, but here is a new twist on the struggle. The Worldwatch Institute reports that China's State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) is promoting the development of the organic sector in China. With over 4,000 hectares of land producing goods certified by 30 different agencies, a growing sector which was originally focused on export is now leading to organic grocery stores for the local market. But locally, the organic certified food is facing a unique problem...

SEPA, through the Organic Food Development Center (OFDC), is promoting organic certifications which largely serve the export market and meet the international expectations for "organic" products However, the Ministry of Agriculture has had a "Green Food" labelling movement since 1990 to promote improved quality for foods destined to the local market. The Green Food standard defines foods grown with limited applications of pesticides and fertilizers as eligible for the well-known green label. Worldwatch Institute reports that in Chinese, the word for "green" food sounds better than the word for "organic" food, limiting the success of SEPA's organic concept with the Chinese consumers.

::Worldwatch Institute
photo: ::Organic Food Development Center