On March 26-28, COFCO president Yu Xubo attended the “Boao Asia Forum Annual Conference 2015” and delivered a speech at the sub-forum themed on “food safety, international co-governance”.
At “food safety, international co-governance” sub-forum held on March 27, Mr. Yu Xubo pointed out that COFCO, which took a whole chain approach to build the food safety system in 2009, is shouldered with the responsibility of ensuring food safety in its business involving rice, wheat flour, oil, sugar, meat, dairy product, tea and wine, etc. COFCO, which emulates foreign advanced enterprise regarding food safety, has been making benchmark comparison with foreign enterprises on a continuous basis.
According to Mr. Yu Xubo, food safety can’t be achieved by one single enterprise. Instead, it should hinge on every affiliated party of the whole industrial chain. In the past, the food production in China used to focus more on the downstream links such as selling products and placing advertisements. Nowadays, more efforts should be made to establish its own product chain system. Only when the links covering the base, supplier, and the purchase of food additives are under control can the safety of food production be guaranteed, the food traceability system be built, the food inspection be carried out, and the food safety system be made use of.
As to the cost paid by the enterprise to ensure food safety, Mr. Yu Xubo noted that the cost of building food safety system is the largest investment for an enterprise. Take COFCO for an example. In the past five years, COFCO invested at least RMB 500 million to 1 billion, which can be considered a huge investment for an agricultural food enterprise. However, any food safety incident can destroy the reputation of an enterprise overnight. Therefore, this kind of investment is worthy for COFCO, which has to utilize finite investment to avoid being exposed to infinite risk.
Zhi Shuping, director-general of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Paul Conway, vice-chairman of Cargill, Victoria B. Mars, Chairman of the Board Mars, Mike McMullen, Agilent CEO, Awilo Ochieng Pernet, chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), and Franck Riboud, chairman of Danone SA attended the sub-forum.