Produce reaches new heights in quality

Songjiang's safe and high-quality agricultural product certification rate reached 89.7 percent last year, according to the district's Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

Songjiang’s safe and high-quality agricultural product certification rate reached 89.7 percent last year, with 132 companies winning certificates and the total weight of certified agricultural products amounting to 202,200 tons, according to the district’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

Safe and high-quality agricultural products include harmless agricultural products, green food, organic agricultural products and agricultural products with geographical indication.

Yonghe Farm of Songjiang District spent three years making its land organic and won an organic agricultural product certificate for all of its products in 2010. Benefiting from its organic brand, the farm is favored by a number of high-end supermarkets.

“In August last year, Hema Fresh (an online-to-offline e-commerce fresh food startup backed by Alibaba) sought cooperation with us. They signed an agreement with us soon after a field study. We started supplying goods to Hema Fresh since December,” said Wang Runsu, chief of Yonghe Farm.

“We don’t use pesticides or chemical fertilizers. We use organic biological agents and hand weeding instead, so that customers can feel assured by our products,” said Wang. “We spent a large amount of money on manual weeding yearly, but the cost is worth it, since the safety of our products is assured and the soil is protected.”

Wang Longqin, chairman of the Shanghai Songlin Food Group, is another manager who spares no expense to assure food safety. The company’s pork products were granted a harmless agricultural product certificate in 2005. This year, the company is seeking green food certificate approval for its pork products.

Cangqiao crystal pears produced by Cangqiao Crystal Pear Development Co in Yongfeng Community were granted a green food certificate in 2003. In 2015 the pears were certified as products with national indication certificate.

“The brand effect is remarkable,” said Jin Fenglei, deputy general manager of the company.

“During the Spring Festival this year, customers from Chongqing City and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region came to buy our pears. They had the pears delivered to their family members back in their hometown, telling them those were Songjiang specialties.”

Sales volume of the company reached over 2 million yuan (US$296,732) in 2018 and the company is in stable development, Jin said.

By the end of 2020, the green food certification rate of the district is expected to reach 20 percent, according to the committee.

The special fund used to support green food development in the district now totals around 10 million yuan annually.

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