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Developments in the Organic Sector in China in 2021

Time:2022-4-14 Hits:597

Policies on ecological civilisation and rural revitalisation have been the keywords in the development of organic agriculture in China in recent years. Local governments formulated development plans and introduced incentive policies to promote agriculture transformation to ecological or organic agriculture. In 2020, nearly 100 various local policies were formulated to encourage and support the development of the organic industry at all levels.

From 2018, the Certification Supervision Department under the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China (CNCA) has been responsible for managing, coordinating, and supervising organic product certification. The National Standards for “Organic Products” (GB/T19630) and the “Implementation Rules for Organic Product Certification” were revised in 2019 and implemented from 2020 onwards. The Decree of “Administrative Measures on Organic Product Certification” is being revised since 2019 and will be issued in 2022. In December 2020, the guidelines on product sampling and testing for five categories (vegetables, fruits, tea, livestock and poultry, dairy products) of organic products were issued to harmonise the certification requirements of product testing in the regulations.


The pandemic has largely impacted organic agriculture development in China from 2020. In order to deal with the impact of COVID-19, SAMR issued related notices to guide organic certification bodies to carry out online inspections and postpone the validity of certificates under the pandemic. Organic certifiers tried to organise the online and offline training based on the latest version of the organic rules and received positive responses from organic enterprises.

Due to the strict government restrictions, the 14th Biofach China was postponed from May to July 2020 when it was finally held in Shanghai with 146 companies from six countries and regions worldwide. The following year in 2021, Biofach China was also held in-person and saw a 45 percent increase in the number of exhibitors. Another organic exhibition, the China International Organic Food Exhibition, was held inperson in Xiamen, Fujian, in November 2020, with a total of 393 companies.The pandemic also had some impact on the buying behaviour of most people. Of the 623 surveyed consumers, 85.9 percent increased the consumption ratio of organic products according to the survey in 2020 supported by CNCA. Some organic operators commented that the sales of organic products increased 30 to 50 percent during the government restrictions imposed due to the pandemic, mainly due to online buying.

However, there was no noticeable increase in sales when the physical stores started to reopen.
The pandemic also affected the supply chain of the organic market to some extent. 56.6 percent of 122 surveyed consumers reflected that the imports of organic products were affected. The export of organic products became more complex in 2021 than in the previous year because overseas containers were hard to book, and their prices rose sharply. Of the surveyed operators, 64.2 percent mentioned that they tried hard to maintain the current status of their organic undertakings instead of seeking expansion.

In general, many small enterprises are negatively affected, but the revenue of processed products and more established supply chain enterprises increased, so in fact, the organic industrial structure is being optimised.

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