Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
November 1, 2007
Prairie malting barley sold to
China by the Canadian Wheat Board
(CWB) has achieved a marketing edge after being approved for use
in products carrying the prestigious Chinese Green Food label.
Green Food Development Centre has accredited 600 000 tonnes of
malting barley per year from the CWB – triple the amount from
any other exporter. The approval gives a premium seal of quality
and food safety to Chinese beer made with accredited western
Canadian barley that is exported exclusively by the CWB.
“With this accreditation, western Canadian farmers have a
stronger competitive advantage in the world’s largest and
fastest-growing beer market,” said Greg Arason, CWB President
and CEO. “Our malting barley is preferred by major malting
companies and brewers in China.”
Haiguang Shi, general manager of the CWB’s Beijing office, said
Green Food certification gives the CWB an advantage with
“The Green Food label assures consumers that a food product is
produced according to safe agricultural practices, in an
environmentally sustainable way, free from air and soil
pollutants,” Shi said. “This is very valuable to our customers.”
The accreditation process was very rigorous. Beginning more than
a year ago, the CWB submitted several hundred pages of technical
data and information on management practices, air quality and
soil analyses, Canadian food safety and quality control systems,
malting barley selection and shipment. The application and
approval process also included an inspection visit to Western
Canada by the China Green Food office.
“Not only does this certification recognize the quality of
Prairie barley, but also our system of sourcing and delivery –
from grower to customer – through the CWB,” Arason said.
China has recently surpassed the United States as the largest
beer maker in the world, producing 35 billion litres in 2006 –
up a whopping 15 per cent from the year before. The number of
Chinese beer drinkers has increased dramatically in recent years
due to economic growth and a relatively young population. Since
1991, beer production has quadrupled in China.
Controlled by western Canadian farmers, the CWB is the
largest wheat and barley marketer in the world. One of Canada's
biggest exporters, the Winnipeg-based organization sells grain
to over 70 countries and returns all sales revenue, less
marketing costs, to farmers.