China was recently approved for a $400 million loan from the World Bank to help improve food safety management and reduce food safety risks.
In terms of human capital productivity loss, the cost of foodborne diseases in China is about $30 billion per year, about 50 percent of the total economic burden of foodborne infections in Asia, says the World Bank.
The pandemic has been more challenging for food safety in the processing, packaging, and transporting of agricultural products. Improvements in food safety standards are important to China due to their trading partners and agricultural expert competitiveness.
The China Food Safety Improvement Project, with a total cost of $735 million, will strengthen regulations, enforcement, and compliance in the food chain including for seafood, pork, fruit, and vegetables. The project will also promote scientific and evidence-based enforcement of food safety regulations, using risk-based approaches, at both the provincial and municipal levels.
The State Administration of Market Regulation and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas will be implementing the project
, at the national and provincial levels. Guangdong and Shandong provinces will be supporting food safety enforcement and supervision.
Work done will help farms and businesses improve compliance with food safety regulations and achieve certification standards, as well as access financing for food safety technologies.
Risk communication campaigns will be implemented to promote food safety and healthier lifestyles, adding to regulatory improvements and strengthened enforcement with measures to support the demand for healthy food and encouraging better compliance.
These efforts will help about 7,500 family farms, cooperatives, small/medium-sized businesses, and large enterprises in the agriculture and food sector.
The campaign's hope is that it will benefit 600,000 households in Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, and Zhaoqing municipalities in Guangdong province, and Yantai municipality in Shandong province. The food safety risk communication campaigns should reach about 3 million residents in those areas.