Following environmental roundtable discussions during several G7 summits, the participating countries have agreed to minimize greenhouse gas emission by all costs, and encourage technological innovation through performance-based incentives.
China, while not a G7 member, also has an obligation to invest in low carbon economic growth, including partnerships and collaborations with G7 nations on environmental projects.
How did the Chinese government decide to tackle the issue besides more regulations on factories?
According to the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations, the cattle industry alone generates 10% of the entire proportion in the global greenhouse gas emissions, while the total livestock industry is responsible for 5.0 gigatonnes CO2, which represents 14% of global emissions.
Therefore, the Chinese government has declared on 2016 that it plans to cut meat consumption by 50% until 2030. China’s population of 1.4 billion is ranked first globally, and it consumes 28% of global meat consumption.
The Chinese government has outlined an ambitious plan to reduce its citizens’ meat consumption by 50%, in a move that climate campaigners hope will provide major aid in the effort to avoid runaway global warming. Dietary guidelines drawn up by China’s health ministry recommend that the nation’s 1.4 billion population should consume between 40g to 75g of meat per person each day. The measures, released once every 10 years, are designed to improve public health, but could also provide a significant cut to greenhouse gas emissions.
Xinergy’s local analysts are reporting a gradual increase in interest of the Chinese populace in plant-based meat, “In China, for its rapid economic growth in the recent decades, when eating meat is not a luxury anymore – it is very difficult to make Chinese change their eating habits. However, in recent months a reduction of meat consumption is visible, with a healthier way of living. It is also considered to be a rising trend, mostly influenced by the growth of brands such as Beyond Meat and other popular meat substitutes that can be found in popular brands in China such as KFC, Starbucks, and Pizzahut. One key milestone is the TacoBell release of the OmniPork (Plant-Based meat, made by Hong Kong meatless meat firm Green Common).
After the Covid-19 outbreak in China and fear of pandemic related issues, multinational food chain stores have begun using plant-based meat substitutes. Our experts suggest that 2020 is marked with a gradual growth of the Chinese consumer interest, which is visible on the Baidu search engine. For example, the keyword 植物肉 (plant based meat) has over 40 Million search results. Our analysis shows that the trend is rising, with a huge leap forward in May 2020.
While China consumes 28% of global meat consumption and 50% of global pork consumption, China still lags in per capita meat consumption. The average American or Australian consumes twice as much meat per capita as the average Chinese.
“China’s move to cut meat consumption in half would not only have a huge impact on public health, but it is also a massive leadership step towards drastically reducing carbon emissions and reaching the goals set out in the Paris Agreement”, said James Cameron in his interview to the Telegraph.
As recently reported, Beyond Meat is building two production facilities in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang to manufacture its plant-based meat products, including vegan beef, pork, and chicken, intended for the Chinese market. Beyond Meat is the first multinational plant-based meat brand to bring its own major production facility to the country, and it is expected to be one of the company’s biggest markets for both production and R&D in the near future. Trial production is scheduled to commence within months, with full-scale production to start in early 2021.
“China is one of the world’s largest markets for animal-based meat products, and potentially for plant-based meat,” Ethan Brown, CEO and founder of Beyond Meat, said, “We are delighted and confident that after several months of productive and collaborative discussions, we will partner with the JXEDZ (Jiaxing Economic and Technological Development Zone) to develop two production facilities, including one of the world’s largest and technologically advanced plant-based meat factories.”
Earlier this year, Beyond Meat entered the Chinese foodservice market through 4,200 Starbucks locations, which now offer menu items made with Beyond Beef, followed by selected locations of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC, which added the Beyond Burger to their menus in China for a limited time.
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