Dan Walter, general manager for the GE subsidiary, told FoodNavigator-Asia that the food and beverage market in China is ready for environmental solutions.
“I believe they are recognising the need to make improvements and currently they are doing a good job of doing so. They are realising that air and water quality is important,” he said.
According to GE “the ‘green feature’ has been playing a bigger part in consumer branding in China and has been affecting purchasing behaviours. Suffering from the price rise in original materials and labour cost, the food and beverage industry has been looking for additional revenue generation and cost reduction methods. Those are all where GE green technologies can come in.”
Walter said that in China, his team is focused on water and energy efficiency and CO2 emissions.
“These are the drivers at the moment. Manufacturers are trying to achieve these as long term objectives,” he explained.
Penetrating the market
Last month the company formed an alliance with global brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) to jointly develop innovative manufacturing solutions across the brewing company’s China-based facilities.
GE said it has plans to develop further initiatives with companies in China.
“We are partnering with leading companies in industry, to better learn their needs and make tailor-made solutions,” it added.
In November last year, Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE announced a $500m investment into building customer innovation centres across China to underpin GE’s work in the country with research resources.
The centres will identify the needs of the country and the challenges of working towards sustainable practices, the company said.
Walter said that GE Food and Beverage Solutions’ tactic in China will be to work broadly at first.
“We’re working with internationals at the moment because we need to build up our presence in China… our ultimate goal is to pin-point local and regional companies and that starts by building up a local team which we have already started with the broader GE China teams,” he explained.
He said: “We are looking to become the energy and water sustainability leaders.”