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California’s clean reputation credited for rising China exports

By Richard Whitehead+ , 21-Aug-2014

Californian food producers are a major beneficiary of Chinese consumer concerns in the wake of a spate of domestic food scandals. 

According to the US Department of Commerce, the state’s food companies are on target to export more than US$4bn worth of fresh produce, health foods and wines to Hong Kong and China this year. 

Last year, consumers in Greater China ate and drank their way through almost US$3.9bn worth of Californian food products, a 19.5 percent increase on 2012. 

The overall rise in consumption spending and demand for higher quality food products should lead to a similar double-digit increase by the end of 2014, according to California State Trade and Export Promotion (Step).

The growing number of food and wine products imported to Hong Kong and China is a tremendous achievement of California's produce gaining acceptance, at an ever increasing rate, with the discerning palates of consumers in Hong Kong and China,” said Jeff Williamson, Step’s director.

He explained that this is because shoppers are increasingly considering their food purchases by seeking out more information on nutrition, sustainability and safety, which is driving demand for higher quality products. 

Quality tends to be associated with ‘country of origin’, something that consumers respond to when making purchasing decisions. California and US food products are positioned as high quality, which helps to explain the growth of US food exports across greater China.”