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Chinese Market Eyed By US’s Impossible Foods With Its Meat Alternatives


Chinese Market Eyed By US’s Impossible Foods With Its Meat Alternatives
The Chinese market is being eyed by the United States based alternative meat producer Impossible Foods Inc. However its efforts could hit a roadblock because of regulatory hurdles.
According to Impossible Food founder and CEO Patrick Brown, the company is currently in negotiations with a number of companies for a potential partnership with a number of Chinese companies as the US company aims top exploit the largest meat consuming market of the world with its alternative meat products. The backers of the ambitious company includes names such as Bill Gates and Li Ka-shing.
“Asia in general, and China in particular, are essential markets for us,” Brown said Wednesday at the Fortune Global Sustainability Forum in Yunnan. The Chinese market is a lucrative one for the company because it accounts for 25 per cent of the total meat consumption of the world. The company is of the opinion that its success or failure in China would ultimately determine its vision of ultimately replacing animal meats with plant-based meats completely all across the world by 2035.
Brown said that in order to adequately supply its products in China, Impossible Foods plans to set up production facilities in the country and would establish its entire business chain in China as it is in the US.
Companies that seal in the development of alternative meat or meat substitutes such as Impossible Foods make use of biological or genetic technologies to do so in the wake of growing concerns about the green house impact of meat production and cattle raising and the consequent impact on the world environment.
According to reports, preliminary talks for a possible partnership with the southwest Yunnan province is being held currently by Impossible Foods and if the deal goes through, it would result in the US company opening up its first factory in China.   
However regulatory issues would could be a hurdle for Impossible Foods in its efforts to enter the Chinese market. According to Brown, one of the major hurdles would be the cautious approach of China towards genetically modified crops. This is because GMO soy is used by impossible Foods to manufacture the crucial element that helps to ultimately produce the product that tastes like meat.
GMO soybeans are not allowed inside China and exporting them there would require permits for GMO crop imports. The regulatory hurdles could be dealt with the help of Chinese partners, Brown said.
The opportunities and fortunes of Impossible Foods;’ in China are good, said Brown, because the company would be offering an alternative meat supply option to a country that has seen meat demand growing which would consequently also reduce the dependence of the country on meat exports to meet the growing demands. It would also save land and resources from the livestock industry.
The total meat consumed in China in 2018 was more than the total consumed by the United States and the European Union. According to Wu Qi, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the per capita consumption of meat in China is about 60 kilograms a year.