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    The People's Republic of China, claims an area of 9,596,960 km2.  The mainland's 5,774 km coastline, extending from the mouth of the Yalu River in the northeast to the Gulf of Tonkin in the south. China is bordered on the North by Mongolia; and Russia; on the North East by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; on the East by the Yellow and the East China seas; along the southern border are Hong Kong, Macau, the South China Sea, the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam, and Laos; on the South West by Myanmar, India, Bhutan, and Nepal; on the West by India, Jammu and Kashmir (disputed areas), Pakistan (west of the Karakoram Pass), and Afghanistan; and on the North West by Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. The climate in China varies greatly with topography. The Minimum winter temperatures ranges from -27°C in the northern region to 16°C in the southern region.


    Agricultural Sector
    Although agriculture accounts for only 12.5% of the GDP, the sector employs 49% of the population. China's cereal production (mainly rice) is the largest in the world. China is also the world's largest producer of garlic, ginger, wheat and potatoes. Its main export crops include tea, rice, carrots, soybeans, cotton, sesame seeds, cinnamon, citrus fruits, maize, apples and pears. It also exports pork and fish (FAOSTAT, 2005-06). The majority of agricultural production is sold domestically. A greater portion of China's soil is acidic red clay, but irrigation and heavy fertilizer use - both organic, and chemical - have provided Chinese farmers with high yields. The land use is divided as follows: permanent pastures 43%, forests and woodlands 14%, arable land 10%, permanent crops 0%, other 33%. (CIA, 2007).

    Brief overview of organic farming
    The organic sector in China has rapidly expanded  in the last decade. China is the first country in Asia and the second in the world for total hectares of land under organic cultivation. With 3,466,570 hectares, accounting for 0.60% of the total agricultural area, approximately 1,560 Chinese farmers use organic production methods (IFOAM & FiBL, 2006). This growth in organic production has been driven not only by the increasing international demand, but also by an expanding domestic market in urbanised areas, which showed market growth up to 30% (IFOAM & FiBL, 2006). The increasing international demand and the expansion of the internal market for organic products indicates that the sector has potential to develop further in the future.

    Brief overview of key organic products
    Certified organic produce from China includes tea, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, soy products, various mushroom, medicinal plants, and kidney and black beans. Most of these products are sold in semi-processed or raw forms (IFOAM & FiBL, 2006). Most existing organic fruit farms presently produce for domestic market, but aim at international market in the longer run (FAO, 2003). Chinese organic products are exported mostly to Europe, U.S and Japan.  China's organic food exports totalled 142 million US$ in 2003 and 200 million US$ in 2004.

    The network
    Organic production has attracted over the past years an increasing political recognition by the Chinese government for its role in protecting the environment. The China Greenfood Development Centre (CGFDC) was established in 1992 under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture. Its major activities include inspection, certification, teaching, and training. The CGFDC's aims are the protection of the agro-ecological environment and the extension of sustainable food production methods. CGFDC formulates programme, policies and plans for developing Green Food; it also administers the use of the Green Food label and organizes the formulation of the various standards for Green Food.

    The Organic Food Development Centre of China (OFDC) is another governmental organization directly under the jurisdiction of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA). OFDC has been involved in organic inspection and certification since 1994. The main tasks of OFDC are to control agro-environmental pollution caused by pesticides and fertilizers, to promote the development of organic agriculture, and to provide certified quality organic food for consumers. It also administers the use of the OFDC organic logo, which is approved by SEPA.

    Established in 1998 with the aim of increasing the productivity and sustainability of agricultural production systems in China, the Intercontinental Center for Agroecological Industry Research & Development (ICAIRD) promotes the development of agroecological industry and organic agriculture.

    The Jiangsu Ruikang Organic Food Trade (JROFT) was established in 1995 with the aim of stimulating organic farming in China. Over the last years, JROFT has cultivated organic tea, organic liquorice and organic star anise.

    Notably, in 2006 BioFach China took place for the first time in Shanghai. BioFach is a public-private partnership between Nürnberg Global Fair and the German Development and Investment Society. The BioFach China was organised together with CGFDC and SEPA.

    China Green Food Development Centre
    Mr. Shi Shongkai
    Room 205 Chongquing Hotel
    15 Guangximen Beili, Xibahe
    Chaoyang District,Beijing 100028
    Tel.: +86-10-64228888 ext.7205
    Fax: +86-10-64221175
    E-mail: CGFDC(at)agri.gov.cn

    Organic Food Development Center of China
    Xingji Xiao
    P.O.Box 4024
    8, Jiangwangmiao Street
    Nanjing 210042
    Tel.: +86-25-5425370
    Fax: +86-25-5420606
    E-mail: ofdc(at)pub.nj.jsinfo.net

    Intercontinental Center for Agroecological Industry Res
    Li Zhengfang, or Ding Wie
    103 Goulu Post Office
    17-206 Xijiadatong, Gulou
    Nanjing 210008
    Tel: +86-25-3602748
    Fax: +86-25-3602748
    E-mail: icaird(at)jlonline.com

    Jiangsu Ruikang Organic Food Trade
    Lengjie Cheng
    66-1 Chengxian Street
    210018 Nanjing
    Tel.: +86-25-7712445
    Fax: +86-25-3356700
    E-mail: ruikang(at)public1.ptt.js.cn


    - CIA FactBook, 31.05.07

    - FAO, 24.10.2006: Key Statistics of Food and Agriculture External Trade. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Statistics Division.  http://www.fao.org/es/ess/toptrade/trade.asp?dir=exp&country=3&ryear=2004  and http://www.fao.org/es/ess/top/country.html?lang=en 

    - FAO, IFOAM, and Earth Net Foundation (2003): Proceedings of the Seminar on the Production and Export of Organic Fruit And Vegetables in Asia.

    - FAO Statistical Year Book, (2005-06)

    - IFOAM & FiBL (2006): The World of Organic Agriculture. Statistics and Emerging Trends 2006. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn & Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FIBL, Frick, pp. 108-117.

    - Lu Zhenhui, Production and market of organic foods in China, 1st Gangjin International Symposium on Organic Agriculture, 2002 (November 15), Gangjin, Korea.


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