Quality of China's agricultural produce improving

BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) — The quality of China’s agricultural produce including vegetables, domestic animals and aquatics was improved in 2009, the Ministry of Agriculture said Monday.

The ministry released an annual report based on monitoring results of agricultural products, saying 96.4 percent of vegetables had met safety standards in 2009, up 0.1 percentage points year on year.

The rate was 99.5 percent for domestic animals, up 0.8 percentage points, and 97.2 percent for aquatic products, up 1.5 percentage points.

The monitoring of fruits, mushrooms and tea, for the first time in 2009, found 98 percent, 95.2 percent, and 94.8 percent of products in the three categories met standards.

In 2009, the inspections became more detailed, covered more categories, and were carried out in 259 large and medium-sized cities, compared with only 36 major cities previously, the ministry said.

The ministry said it would step up the control over the use of prohibited pesticides and veterinary drugs in 2010 in order to further improve the quality and safety of agricultural produce.


China Consumes 1/4 World's Luxury Goods

"China will replace the U.S. as the world's second largest luxury goods market this year," said Robert Polet, CEO of Gucci Group. "Last year, the wealthy from Chinese mainland purchased one quarter of the world's luxury goods."

Chinese customers are young and have strong consumption potential for the world's luxury brands. According to relevant statistics, Chinese customers purchased 60 percent of their luxury goods when they traveled overseas. "Traveling abroad has become the important factor boosting luxury goods consumption."

According to Liu Jinshan, director of the Economics Department of Jinan University, three factors accounted for the upward trends in luxury goods consumption in China. Firstly, there is a group of newly affluent people who seek high-level and personalized goods. Secondly, they set an example for huge numbers of white collar workers who are acting as loyal slaves to the luxury brands. Thirdly, children of these rich families can afford the high-end products with their parents’ financial support.

As for the development trend of China's luxury goods market, insiders estimate that Chinese people will spend up to 14.6 billion U.S. dollars on luxury goods in the next five years, marking China's status as the world's largest luxury goods market.

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