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Carrefour boosts food safety efforts in China

2014-01-23 10:06 chinadaily.com.cn Web Editor: qindexing

As it continues to open new outlets across the country, global retailer Carrefour has announced plans to further reinforce its efforts on food safety and quality control across China.

With new outlets planned in 30 new cities over the next three years, the company said tighter quality controls will be needed.

"The development plan calls for the firm support of a food safety testing system," said Dai Wei, vice-president of Carrefour China, on Tuesday.

Carrefour will add new A-grade laboratories to its national network in the next few years.

"The network of food testing laboratories will make it possible for the company to provide customers with products that are better quality and safer," Dai said.

The retailer has already set up A-grade laboratories in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Liaoning province with the latest facilities to examine food products on 65 testing parameters, such as pesticide residue, food additives, food preservatives and veterinary drugs.

It has also established 43 mini-laboratories nationwide to test food products from its 236 stores in 73 Chinese cities on 11 parameters with quick methods of testing.

"Once unqualified products are found, we withdraw them immediately, inform the suppliers and report the case to the local government departments concerned," she said.

In order to guarantee its food quality, Carrefour has also cooperated with 534 farm associations in China, from which it can purchase fruit and vegetables directly.

"It is an innovative project that improves the efficient circulation of agricultural products through modern retail," Dai said.

The practice has not only increased farmers' income, but provided consumers with food of higher quality, better safety and lower prices, she added.

At present, 30 percent of all fruits and vegetables purchased directly.

"We aim to increase the percentage to 50 by 2015," she said.

"We have benefited from the three-year cooperation period with Carrefour, with farmers' income increasing by a large margin," said Zhang Li, head of the Linong Farmers' Association in Shanshan, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

"The direct purchase system is good for the distribution of our agriculture products. Even if there is a sluggish market, Carrefour will accept our goods without 'squeezing' us as the market does," Zhang said.

Carrefour has also established a branch of its global fruit and vegetables sourcing company in China, through which Chinese fruit with high quality can be exported and sold in Carrefour's stores in Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East.

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