Helen Cao, chief scientist with the NewHope LuiHe Group, said over 50% of the meat supplied in China is from smaller farms, and around 30% of it is processed by non-mechanised, traditional butchers.
Animal health was an issue which needed tackling within the country, she told delegates to the Congress. Around 20% of all Chinese meat output is lost, due to animal health issues. "People still need to be educated about animal health. It is needed to be sure we’re on the same page in the front line of farming."
She said there was a lot of inaccurate information surrounding the issue, and highlighted the claim that the recent H7N9 outbreak had cost the Chinese sector RMB100bn. She said it was a figure that grabbed headlines, but was hard to accurately quantify.
She said monitoring within the sector was weak, with government lacking information, NGOs having a limited presence within the country, and self-interest discouraging accurate reporting of situations, although she added her company was working to address those weaknesses.