China receives WB loan for food safety project
The World Bank just approved a loan of $400 million to improve food safety management and reduce food safety risks in China. The country has an estimated loss, in terms of human capital productivity, of more than $30 billion per year, which stands for 50% of the total economic burden of foodborne infections in Asia, according to the financial institution.
The China Food Safety Improvement Project will strengthen regulations, enforcement, and compliance along value chains including seafood, pork, fruit and vegetables consistent with global practices. The total cost is $735 million. The project will be implemented by the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas (MARA) at the national and provincial levels. Food safety enforcement and supervision will be supported in Guangdong and Shandong provinces.
"By taking an integrated and risk-based approach, consistent with global good practices, this project can help China mitigate the public health risks and reduce the economic and environmental costs associated with unsafe food production, processing and trading practices. Because China is a major food exporter and a hotspot for the emergence of foodborne diseases, the project carries important global benefits," said Martin Raiser, World Bank country director for China, quoted by Food Safety News.
Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food safety challenges in processing, packaging, and transporting agricultural products. Improvements in food safety standards are important for China’s trading partners and agricultural export competitiveness.