Challenges and transformation in China's food chain

December 2018

China has successfully become one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of food and agricultural products. But the increasing complexity of supply chains has created food safety and quality challenges; and with over 200 million farms, supervision and modernisation of the agricultural sector is difficult. 

Things are changing fast, however, as corporations and investors build some of the world’s largest livestock operations and reforms of rural land rights enable the consolidation of farmland. 

With millions of independent restaurants and shops, supervision of the retail end of the supply chain is also difficult. At the same time, China’s online food ordering and delivery platforms now use the most advanced technology in the world to sell and deliver meals to hundreds of millions of customers, while providing new tools for food safety enforcement and traceability. 

China’s food supply chain encompasses enormous contrasts between the traditional and the modern, and the continuing speed and scale of change is truly historic. The current transformation of China’s food and agriculture sectors involves modernisation, industrialisation, standardisation, consolidation, vertical integration and information technology.

This report provides an in-depth look at the China food sector’s major challenges and ongoing transformation at every stage of the supply chain, as well as some keys to success for companies looking to enter or grow in China’s food industry.

Contact us

Amy Cai

Priority Services Leader, PwC China

Tel: +[86] (21) 2323 3698

Samie Wan

China and Hong Kong Food Supply and Integrity Services Leader, PwC China

Tel: +[852] 2289 2019

Wenjing Cao

Partner, Food Supply and Integrity Services, PwC China

Tel: +[86] (10) 6533 7026

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