Food and agricultural cooperation signed by China’s COFCO and Denmark

Jointly witnessed by Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen and SASAC Chairman Xiao Yaqing, COFCO (China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation) Corporation President Yu Xubo and Anders Carsten Damsgaard, Danish Ambassador to China signed an MOU concerning the agricultural and food cooperation in the fully integrated farm-to-fork value chain on May 4th.

The MOU is aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation in food and agriculture, establishing a platform for the exchange of agricultural and food technologies, and further promoting and reinforcing pragmatic cooperation in planting and cultivation, food production, organic food, development of new products, and consumer-oriented food experience as well as the exchange of expertise and information between China and Denmark.

In his speech, PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen noted that as the first Northern European country that has established comprehensive strategic partnership with China, Denmark enjoys a leading position in green economy, organic agriculture, and food quality & safety, technologies and R&D in the world. In view of the enormous potential for both parties to conduct mutually beneficial cooperation in the future, he hoped that more Danish enterprises will step up exchange in agricultural sustainability, organic production, food safety, product development, and consumer product experience and enhance knowledge exchange and cooperation in the first, second and third industry chains with their Chinese counterparts through this platform, promote cooperation between two countries’ research institutes and increase bilateral business cooperation and trade contacts through various platforms.

SASAC Chairman Xiao Yaqing congratulated both parties on the newly reached deal. He reiterated what President Xi Jinping had pointed out during his meeting with Danish Prime Minister. According to President Xi Jinping, the sustained and in-depth development of Sino-Danish relations is in line with the common interests of both countries and their peoples. Efforts should be made to deepen cooperation in interconnectivity, green development, low-carbon and circular economy, and medicines and foods so as to forge more flagship cooperative projects. Xiao Yaqing reaffirmed the great importance attached by SASAC to the friendly interaction with Denmark and lent his support to centrally administered enterprises and Danish enterprises which actively conduct cooperation in various fields so as to reap a series of benefits. The R&D of dairy products jointly carried out by COFCO Corporation’s Mengniu Dairy and Denmark’s Arla Foods has been an exemplar of cooperation between Chinese and Danish enterprises. He hoped that COFCO Corporation and Danish enterprises will leverage their complementary industrial advantages, increase the scope of cooperation, and expand the path of cooperation with the signing of MOU as the new starting point so as to achieve mutual win-win.

COFCO Corporation Chairman Zhao Shuanglian attended the signing ceremony. He gave a briefing on the rich background of cooperation between COFCO Corporation and Danish enterprises. For five years, China and Denmark’s first national dairy cooperative project “China-Denmark Dairy Products Technology Cooperative Center” jointly established by COFCO Corporation’s Mengniu Dairy and Denmark’s largest dairy group Arla Foods has been committed to introducing Danish dairy industry’s supply chain expertise and practical experience concerning the whole farm-to-fork value chain to China so as to enhance its management of pastures and milk source. In recent years, both sides have stepped up the pace of cooperation and made significant progress in dairy product technology and standard, meat and imported foods. During the 13th Five-year period, COFCO Corporation, which plans to intensify its focus on the main businesses of G&O and foods, put the increase of green food supply on a prominent position, and give full play to its exemplary role in ensuring food safety by leveraging its advantages in the fully-integrated value chain, will enjoy greater cooperative benefits with Danish enterprises.

It is also worth noting that the MOU signing ceremony was held on COFCO’s Smart Farm. As an agricultural powerhouse without “farmers”, Denmark’s agro-products production, processing and food industry are highly competitive in the international market due to its popularization of agricultural mechanization and world-leading agricultural technology. COFCO’s Smart Farm is such a showcase for China’s agricultural technology. As a key project jointly forged by COFCO Corporation and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, COFCO’s Smart Farm, which embodies pioneering and exemplary, innovative and R&D, promotive and transformative, demonstrative and popularization functions, is aimed at building a modern urban agricultural demo center as well as China’s first world-class urban farm.

After the signing ceremony, Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen, SASAC Chairman Xiao Yaqing and COFCO CorporationChairman Zhao Shuanglian planted a tree symbolizing the friendship between China and Denmark, heralding that the signing of MOU will vigorously promote the formation of open, inclusive, mutually beneficial, and win-win regional economic community to better facilitate structural shift of Chinese consumer needs, boost comprehensive benefits and competitive edges of China’s agriculture, and realize agricultural sustainability.

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