(Recasts, adds comments on European imports and background)
BEIJING May 4 China's state-owned Cofco Corp
will import more dairy and pork products from Europe to meet the
growing demand for high-end food products, the conglomerate's
Chairman said on Thursday.
The higher imports, along with an expansion of its domestic
production, comes as China works to reform its sprawling
agriculture sector, to optimise the supply structure, and keep
up with changing consumer demand.
"Cofco's purchase capacity in Europe will be further boosted
as the Chinese economy develops and the Chinese people's diet
structure improves, especially as organic foods gain popularity
among the pubic," Cofco's Chairman Zhao Shuanglian said at the
signing ceremony for an agricultural food cooperation agreement
between Cofco and the Danish Embassy.
On the sidelines of the same ceremony, Cofco Vice President
and Chairman of its meat division Ma Jianping said the company
plans to increase its pig farm capacity by two-thirds to 5
million hogs per year by 2020, to meet demand in the world's
biggest pork market, said on Thursday.
Cofco's current capacity is 3 million tonnes.
In a rural policy document published earlier this year,
known as the No. 1 document, China embarked on a major shift in
its agricultural policy, abandoning a long-held focus on
self-sufficiency in favour of better meeting consumer demand.
Beijing is trying to rebalance output away from basic grains
towards foods such as meat, dairy and other higher-value
products increasingly in demand from its urbanising
(Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason; Editing by