China continues to operate on its own standards when it comes to the meat trade, U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Philip Seng says, fresh off a trip to the World Meat Congress in Beijing.
The World Meat Congress is hosted every two years by the International Meat Secretariat, and offers both government and industry representatives from meat-producing countries an opportunity to discuss issues of common focus and concern.
While the World Meat Congress was not specifically focused on trade issues involving the host country, Seng says it that meat-exporting countries' efforts to maintain science-based trade with China is an area of growing concern.
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"When you are in China and you see the enormity of the Chinese market … you want to be part of that China business – it's the fastest-growing beef area in the world, half the world's pork is consumed in China," Seng says.
But regardless of what international standard bodies might be saying, China has been setting its own standards, challenging science-based trade standards, Seng says.
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The conference allowed additional discussion on this issue and others in effort to bring meat industry stakeholders together on a closer level.
"A lot of times it seems our trade officials only meet government officials from other countries when there are arduous issues to deal with," Seng said, "but it's a chance to sit down and I think people find out that a lot of the problems [a country has] are not unique to them alone."