The newly launched vocational training system seeks to provide training to unskilled workers in the vinegar industry in the province.
Industry professionals believe that the certification of production workers for vinegar will enhance the technological levels of the Shanxi vinegar industry, boosting its growth.
The initiative was hailed as a “milestone in the Shanxi vinegar industry”, by Mr Jinquan Chang, Director, Promotion of Shanxi Vinegar Industry Bureau, Finance and Economic Development for Shanxi Province.
Shanxi vinegar is now being sold in 77 stores in 29 provinces nationwide. The Shanxi vinegar industry is looking to increase the number of stores to 100 in the near future.
Despite being a pioneer among China’s top four vinegar brands, Shanxi Vinegar has reportedly suffered tremendously in weak sales and poor reputation in recent years.
Mr Dong Guo, Assistant Director, Shanxi Food Industry Bureau, stated that the province has 77 vinegar processing enterprises with Quality Service (QS) certification hiring over 7,500 employees. Of these, 52% only have primary education, 11% have junior high school level and only 6% has higher education.
To raise the skill set of workers in the province, the Shanxi vinegar production industry has come together and set up a vocational training programme to upgrade the skills of its workers.
The certification will qualify participants from basic skills needed from the beginning of vinegar production, as well as to provide them with basic product knowledge. The levels will then intensify into intermediate vinegar production knowledge and technical skills.
“This training will pave the way for the Shanxi vinegar to prosper,” said Mr Junlu Guo, Chairman of Shanxi Mature Vinegar Group.
“We will be able to promote the development of vinegar and at the same time address food safety issues which are now a major concern in the country.”
Shanxi vinegar only make up10% of local market share due to its low-level and primitive production methods. Chang hopes that the training scheme will improve production techniques in vinegar making and ultimately raise the production levels. He also hoped that the training scheme would help them to curb price wars and competition in the other provinces.
The Shanxi Vinegar Industry is also working together to fund advertising and marketing campaigns to promote Shanxi Vinegar across the country.