China’s food processing sector has arrived at a decisive stage. While primary agriculture has continued to expand at an astounding pace and final consumers have experienced an extended period of rapid income growth, progress at the intermediary stage, the agro-processing sector, has remained limited. Today, a growing need to catch up with these developments has become manifest, but a number of challenges have emerged simultaneously. They include the need to adjust to increasingly diversified consumer demands, to improve the quality and nutritional content of foods, to introduce new food products, to shift to more sophisticated processing methods, to adopt innovative packaging methods, and to comply with new labelling requirements. These developments give rise to a number of questions. What do these changes mean for China’s food processors? Is China’s agriculture adequately prepared for these changes? How can farmers take advantage of these changes? What structural adjustments are needed to meet the challenges arising from the changes in domestic and international food markets? The papers in this Proceedings document try to answer these and many other important questions revolving around changes in, and challenges for, China’s agro-processing sector.
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