Jilin City [Jilin Province] in northeast China is looking to incorporate Singapore’s food handling safety standards to improve its food manufacturing and quality certification process. They are expected to be implemented in a specialized food zone, jointly developed by the two countries.
A US$95 million (598 million yuan) one-stop logistics center is now being built in northeast China’s, Jilin City. It will be the sole manager and provider of facilities for the inspection, cold storage, and distribution of food and agricultural products in the Sino-Singapore Food Zone.
Singapore’s Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation, which will build and manage the project, said that with growing demand from China’s burgeoning middle class for more stringent food safety standards, the center’s main selling point will be Singapore’s well-known expertise in food handling and processing.
Pang Hee Hon, chief executive of Keppel T&T, said: “We’re also working with certain certification bodies, Singaporean certification bodies to see how we can apply those kinds of standards to China and to modify them if necessary. Ultimately, at the end of the day, you have to have people who must comply with the system.”
To help ensure that compliance can be met, Keppel T&T said it will hire Singaporeans for the center’s key management positions.
With China eager to improve its reputation in food safety standards both at home and overseas and Singapore always on the lookout to diversify its food sources, the overall project is expected to manifest mutual benefits in those areas for both countries.
Chen Weigen, Vice Governor of Jilin Province, said: “Singapore is renowned globally for its high food safety standards. Through working with Singapore, we hope to bring in Singapore’s concepts and methods in food safety into our food zone, raise the food safety standards in China’s Jilin province and improve our food quality inspection systems.
“We produce meat and agricultural food items, as well as health products outside the food zone, but within the province. We want to strengthen food safety certification in all areas.”
Phase 1 of the logistics center is expected to be ready by the end of 2014.
Source: Channel News Asia Oct 2012