IFFO China Visit - JCI and member meetings

I had the great pleasure to visit the People’s Republic of China in late September this year.  Not being a native speaker, I was very ably assisted by Maggie Xu and Daisy Shu from the Beijing office who had also provided a lot of support in developing a very complicated itinerary that permitted the inclusion of several very interesting, and potentially important meetings.  Maggie and her team already do a lot of activity in meeting and communicating with relevant contacts in-country, and this gave the opportunity for some follow-up discussions.

The trip was arranged around my participation at the 13th JCI Autumn Conference on the China Feed Raw Materials Market, held in the Grand New Century Hotel, Hangzhou.  That IFFO presentation was made during the fishmeal session on the morning of day two.  The Conference itself was well attended and it was warming to see some IFFO members faces in the audience.  There were some obvious important messages during the presentations and discussions about the continuing growth in feed production (requiring additional ingredient supply although at a lower rate of growth), as well as the top priority of food safety for the consumer.

Prior to the JCI event, I also visited the Haiwei feed plant near Zhuhai (part of the Tongwei Group, which in itself is part of a JV with Biomar), and some fish farms in the vicinity (thanks to Niels Alsted of Biomar who was instrumental in setting up the visit).  This was an excellent opportunity to see the feed and fish farming industry in China at first hand and has provided me with a deeper understanding of the businesses and the challenges that are faced by the developing sector.  Other meetings included a technical discussion with academics such as Prof Ye at Suzhou University, Dr Wenbo Zhang of Shanghai Ocean University, and Prof Xianzhong Zhao of the Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute about a broad range of issues related to the fishmeal and aquafeed industries in China, which were also notable for the sharing of information.

It was a great honour to be able to meet with some of our members in China.  I met with Andreas Thorud of Aker BioMarine with the conversation dominated by krill oil, and I was delighted to meet with the Zhonghai Ocean President Liangzhong Lu and his team at their offices, where we had a very stimulating discussion about the development of the China Fish Oil Standard, amongst other innovative technical points.

Finally, important meetings were held with both the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the China Feed Industry Association (CFIA), which included discussions about the revision of the Fishmeal Standard, the sampling and inspection programme for fishmeal, and the results of a recent scientific paper.  With both organisations there was a very impression of wishing to work collaboratively with IFFO to the benefit of fishmeal supply in China.

All in all, my visit to China was very positive with a succession of constructive meetings.  There is a great deal to follow up on, and I look forward to making progress on some of the points in the near future.