FEED Business Worldwide - August, 2011
9th World Dairy Expo 2011: Great potential, great challenges
The 9th World Dairy Expo & the 2nd China Dairy Congress, hosted by the Dairy Association of China, were held concurrently from June 11 to 13 in Hefei, China. With an indoor exhibition area of 20,000 square metres, it featured 230 exhibitors and attracted more than 1,000 international and domestic dairy enterprises, equipment makers, purchasers, government officials and industry experts, from nearly 20 countries.
Centred on the theme of "Industry Reform Towards Better Dairy Quality and Safety", a host of China's dairy industry elites, relevant government decision-making agencies and industry association leaders gathered in the 2nd China Dairy Congress to have in-depth discussion and extensive exchanges on major issues relating to the current dairy industry, as well as to make suggestions for healthy development of the sector.
Gao Hongbin, the deputy minister of agriculture and chairman of China Dairy Association, made a keynote speech. He pointed out that China's dairy sector made remarkable progress over the last 30 years and is on track for an output target of 40 million tonnes. However, the 2008 infant formula milk scandal dealt a huge blow to the dairy industry and has left it battling for market share against imports.
He concluded his speech by proposing several measures to address issues, including accelerating integration and consolidation of the industry, improving cattle breed to increase milk productivity level, developing quality pasture for optimal cattle feed structure. In wake of recurring of milk contamination incidents, his most important point was the taking of steps to strengthen control of raw milk production so as to ensure its quality and safety.
Apart from the congress, the exhibition was also accompanied by a series of thematic seminars. These included a GEA farm technologies international forum, international symposium on dairy cattle nutrition and milk quality, a second consecutive symposium on dairy technology and a China-US dairy security forum, among others.
As part of the efforts to restore consumer confidence in China's dairy sector and to promote milk drinking habits among the public, China Dairy Association, together with established Chinese dairy enterprises such as Mengniu, Yili Group, Bright Dairy, Sanyuan, New Hope Group and Modern Farming Group, had jointly launched various dairy marketing activities through sales exhibition of high-quality dairy products, free tasting and expert talks on milk drinking and on-site Q&A sessions. These were all efforts to combat the public image problems create by the food safety incidents of recent years.
Touted as the largest and most influential trade platform in China's dairy industry, this protein sector has huge potential and huge challenges in equal measure. It has no choice but to transform itself rapidly. Hence, we expect to see many new changes in the show's next edition.
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