Foreign-funded food enterprises in China to see more oversight

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China’s foreign-funded food enterprises and branch offices – 25,570 according to the latest government figures – can expect increased oversight as Beijing moves to clean up its food safety record.

China’s food safety has been the focus of intense international media attention following several cases of tainted exports earlier this year including toothpaste, dog food and candy. In an effort to combat this, China has established more standards and testing organizations to enhance supervision over the quality of agricultural products.

Foreign-funded food enterprises can expect increased attention being paid to their operations. And while the government has moved to better regulate food safety – issuing a white paper detailing the current food safety situation in China and launching what it terms a “special rectification program” on product quality and food safety – State Administration for Industry and Commerce officials have also said they see tightening supervision on foreign-invested food enterprises as one of the key ways to eliminate potential food problems.

According to SAIC figures, almost half of foreign-funded companies are food producers (45.5 percent), with companies engaged in distribution and catering services accounting for the other half. One fifth of all foreign food enterprises are located in Shanghai.