Ningxia goji berries get leg up in global market

2024-07-03 10:20:26China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Goji berry products from Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region are expected to further expand their share in the global market, thanks to the recent launch of the Hong Kong STC Ningxia Laboratory during the 7th Goji Industry Expo, industry experts said.

The Hong Kong STC Ningxia Laboratory was jointly established by the National Goji Berry Product Quality Testing Center in Ningxia and the Hong Kong Standards and Testing Centre, which have agreed to mutually recognize the results of their quality tests, said Ma Zongwei, director of the goji berry testing center.

The STC is based in Hong Kong.

Zeng Zhigang, certification and China affairs director at the Hong Kong STC — an independent, nonprofit testing, inspection and certification organization — said through this cooperation, test data from the goji berry testing center can be used to apply for the "STC Certified" mark. "The aim of this cooperation is to provide technical support for the high-quality development of Ningxia's goji berry industry and to bring internationally recognized testing services to the doorstep of goji berry companies in Ningxia," he said.

Ma said certification from the Hong Kong STC will help expand the sale of Ningxia goji berries in the international market as it is highly recognized not only by Hong Kong consumers, but also by many countries and international authoritative organizations.

Pan Jiayu, CEO of Ningxia Wolfberry Biological and Food Engineering Co, the largest exporter of deep-processed goji products in Ningxia, said she is excited about the establishment of the laboratory. She said her company exports more than 30 kinds of goji products to 27 countries and regions around the world, including North America, the European Union, Japan and Australia.

"The certification by Hong Kong STC will significantly improve the credibility of Ningxia's goji products among domestic and international consumers," she said. "It will also help Ningxia goji enterprises enhance the visibility of their products and their corporate influence."

The goji berry is a health supplement and is often used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has traditionally been grown in Ningxia and is one of the region's pillar industries.

Hao Xiangfeng, president of the Ningxia Goji Association, said the goji plantation area in the region had reached 21,700 hectares by the end of last year, with annual fresh fruit output of 320,000 metric tons.

The total output value of the goji industry hit 29 billion yuan ($4 billion) last year, Hao said. "The region's goji berry products are sold in more than 50 countries, with the main export products being dried goji berries, goji berry juice, goji berry powder and goji leaf powder," he said.

Statistics from customs officials in Yinchuan, the regional capital, show that the export value of goji berries from Ningxia saw a year-on-year increase of 16.9 percent in the first four months of this year. A total of 1,331.2 tons of goji berries were exported, with Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, Australia and Southeast Asian countries being the main export destinations.

Hao said the fresh goji berry production in Ningxia is expected to expand to 360,000 tons this year, with the plantation area increasing by about 670 hectares. The total output value of the whole industry chain is expected to reach 34 billion yuan.

The 7th Goji Industry Expo, held from June 21 to 22 in Zhongning county in Ningxia, saw a record number of investments and procurements. A total of 431 purchase and sale contracts worth 1.59 billion yuan and 33 investment and strategic cooperation agreements worth 10.2 billion yuan were signed during the expo, according to the organizers.

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