China's food future

January 18, 2021


China's food future

January 18, 2021

Michael Frank
Project Manager, The Economist Intelligence Unit

Michael Frank is a Senior Analyst with EIU Public Policy based in Hong Kong, working with Asia-based clients in support of their public policy-related strategic initiatives.
Michael designs and manages both internal and public research programmes for clients in need of policy advocacy, thought leadership, strategy and analysis. His recent research has focused on technology and public policy, including themes such as the economic impact of emergent technologies; international best practices and influence in technology policymaking; and the roles of infrastructure, human capital and industry connectivity in advancing digital transformation in Asia. He also monitors global and regional trends such as geopolitical conflict, trade policy, and regulatory politics.
Michael also serves as Vice Chair of the Financial Services Committee at The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. He holds a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Policy Review, and a BA in international relations and economics from Colgate University.

China's food future

This report is built on a research programme undertaken by The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) between August and October 2020, and commissioned by Metcold. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of The EIU and do not necessarily reflect the views of Metcold. The report contains key insights on food supply chain modernisation in China and presents international best practices. 

Key findings:

  • Recent disease outbreaks have exposed food safety issues caused by poor regulatory enforcement. In addition to a lack of regulatory capacity, market fragmentation represents a foundational challenge.
  • The experiences of Japan and the United States suggest that the government will have to play a leading role in driving sustainable food production while creating space for other stakeholders to build on their efforts.
  • Technology applications such as geospatial analysis, automated real-time surveillance, and digital traceability, as well as the development of a cold chain network are emerging to enhance food safety and minimise wastage.

The programme benefited from the input of industry experts in the food policy and supply chain sector. We would like to thank the following experts for their time and insights:

  • Allison Thomson, Vice President, Science & Research, Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Anke Ehlers, Managing Director, Corporate Responsibility International, ALDI SOUTH Group
  • Dr Casey Hoy, Faculty Director, InFACT, the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation, Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management, Professor of Entomology, Ohio State University
  • Craig Hanson, Vice President for Food, Forest, Water & The Ocean, World Resources Institute
  • Dan Glickman, Former US Secretary of Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture and Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture Program, Chicago Council of global affairs
  • Julie Hanson, Director, Europe, Global Cold Chain Alliance 
  • Kazunori Maruyama, President & Representative Director, DSM Japan K.K.
  • Liu Yu, Chief Operating Officer, Xinliangji Food 
  • Mella Frewen, Director General, FoodDrinkEurope
  • Mike Li, Deputy General Manager, Contract Logistics Dept, Yusen Logistics
  • Nick Halla, Senior Vice President International, Impossible Foods
  • Qin Yuming, Secretary-General of the Cold Chain Logistics Committee at the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing
  • Rod Snyder, President, Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Ryan Sirolli, Global Row Crop Sustainability Director, Cargill
  • Shinichi Hagiwara, President and CEO, Mitsui Foods (Japan)
  • Zhou Liang, Experienced professional, Retail industry, China

The EIU project team:
Alexander van Kemenade, Michael Frank, Ritu Bhandari, Aayushi Sharma, Divya Sharma Nag, Sumer Sharma, Yanning Jin, Deanna Chen and Weisi Liu.

Additional support from:
Adam Green, contributing writer.

Receive forward-looking perspectives from our editors - Subscribe now for our Weekly Digest