Year of the Pig promises sustainable improvements for livestock in China

31 January 2019

As 2019 marks the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the livestock industry is planning for the future and making sustainability a priority.

On 14 January, Solidaridad met with several stakeholders from the animal husbandry sector in China, including pig farm representatives, the provincial animal husbandry bureau, Cargill and Alibaba Cloud (Aliyun), to discuss plans and solutions for implementing sustainability measures in the livestock sector. These leaders in the industry have made it a priority to seek out professional technical expertise and innovation technology to help increase production efficiency and better comply with environmental regulations.

The organizations also reinforced their commitment to jointly finding solutions for implementing sustainability across the whole supply chain from feed to final product.

China-South America sustainability exchange

Part of our success as a multi-national company includes our sound sustainability and CSR policies. –Tiger Quan, Director of Cargill Animal Nutrition China Aiden Business

Recognizing the varying challenges and needs of the industry, Solidaridad seeks to enable cross-sector knowledge sharing and awareness building to encourage positive sector development. With funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), Solidaridad has been leading the development of China’s market demand for sustainable agri-commodities in the soy and livestock sectors.

Shanxi Group

China Roundtable for Sustainable Livestock

Last year was an unusually turbulent period for the agriculture and livestock industry in China. The country was faced with major upheavals such as the African Swine Flu wiping out nearly 25% of China’s pig farms and halting the sales of pork meat across the country, to the Sino-U.S. Trade War that increased feed prices and led the feed sector to reconsider the policies on the use of soybean meal for pig feed. These factors have pushed the industry to consider how to reduce the risk and ensure long-term sustainability.

In this dynamic context, Solidaridad along with the China Animal Agriculture Association co-launched the China Roundtable for Sustainable Livestock (CRSL) in 2018 in order to engage Chinese actors involved in the feed and livestock sectors to come together to discuss the needs and challenges on sustainability. Industry players are prioritizing sustainability as a key solution for developing resilience for an uncertain future.

Changrong Farm

As the largest pork market accounting for half of global demand, China’s pig farming sector first took off over a decade ago reaching a production volume of 63.5 million metric tons in 2017 alone (Ministry of Agriculture). However, with no shortage of a growing meat-hungry population, the real challenges come from China’s depleting land and water resources, and the rising public concerns on pollution and food safety.

As a result, the Chinese government issued a system-wide law in 2015 to control environmental pollution in pig farming. The industry leaders are now prioritizing the need for professionalization, standardization and sustainability in the sector.

As a company, we see the obvious need to implement sustainability and set an example, but we also need the support from different actors. We need a platform like the China Roundtable for Sustainable Livestock that brings together the industry, government and civil society. Without these cross sector engagements, sustainability will be very difficult to implement. - Jun Yao, Chairman of Shanxi Changrong Agriculture Technology Company

Through the China Roundtable for Sustainable Livestock, Solidaridad provides opportunities in knowledge and learning exchange for Chinese enterprises to increase production efficiency, consider sustainability and stable supply of raw feed materials, as well as introducing models and tools for setting sustainability goals. Through multiple cross-regional exchanges between Chinese industry players and experts in Europe and South America, slow but incremental progress has been made

Learn more about sustainability in China.

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