Chinese meat consumption has increased by over 400% since the ’70s
The increase in meat consumption has added to the average total daily calorie intake, China’s population now eats 3, 074 calories per day compared to 1, 863 in 1971.
Agricultural advisor to PwC, Richard Ferguson, says the increasing food consumption presents opportunity for both Chinese and international food companies despite the country’s current economic problems.
“China’s changing diet is already exerting a powerful influence on domestic and international agriculture,” Ferguson said. “Amid volatility in commodities markets, China’s continuing shift towards consumerism, means the outlook for soft food stuffs is relativity bright.”
PwC says that China’s agricultural market is shifting towards meat production to help cater for demand, but unlike in the past the country is no-longer self-sufficient when it comes to food supply. According to PwC China is particularly more dependent on feedstock imports of soya bean and corn.
“Self-sufficiency is no longer a practical policy goal for China,” said Ferguson. “The government appears to recognise this with its priorities shifting towards high-value crops, such as fruits and vegetables, and a focus on quality and food safety.”
“Simultaneously, China is venturing overseas to bolster its food security through investments in foreign farmland and the acquisition of companies across the broader food value chain,” Ferguson continued. “This is where the global impact of China’s increasing food needs will be felt most acutely. These acquisition trends, driven by domestic policy imperatives, are likely to continue.”
PwC also stated that there is an opportunity within China for companies which specialise in digital mapping, traceability, soil, analysis, precision farming and waste management.