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© Mikhail Valeev

China may well have become the factory of the world, but it has long – millennia, indeed – been a country where its vast population has effectively been unable to feed itself. Just 15 % of its huge land mass is arable, and some 20% of that has been badly polluted during its rapid industrialisation and modernisation programmes. Its growing middle class and surging consumer demand for meat – China now accounts for half of the world’s pork consumption – has only exacerbated these issues. As result, it has come to depend on international perishables supply chains to secure future food sources. “China cannot compete like it does in manufacturing due to the geography it was dealt. And since its industries are guided by the state, it’s practical for them to integrate other nations’ agribusinesses into their own food supply.”

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