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2017 Global Food Safety Index Report

- Jan 25, 2018 -

Recently, the British Economic Thinker released the latest Global Food Safety Index 2017 report. The report shows that out of 113 countries assessed, Ireland beat the United States with a total score of 85.6 points (84.6 points), becoming the world's highest food safety index countries. What is the ranking of countries? How does China rank?


The Global Food Safety Index Report, released once a year, was commissioned by DuPont to write and publish a British think-tank for the Economist, in order to identify the regions most in need of reforms. Based on official data from WHO, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank and other authorities, the report provides a comprehensive assessment of the state of food safety through a dynamic benchmarking model and gives an overall rank and classification ranking.

In previous years, the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) has calculated an integrated food security index through three indicators: Affordability, Availability, and Quality in each country. Unlike in previous years, the GFSI 2017 introduces a fourth indicator, Natural resources & Resilience, taking into account the effects of climate change and the depletion of natural resources. In addition, the sea level rise caused by climate change, soil degradation, grain yield reduction, droughts and floods have a direct impact on agricultural output. Therefore, the 2017 index also includes countries' responses to climate change and adjusts their rankings.

In simple terms, a country's food safety index rankings are not necessarily the best in the world. High food production, may not be able to afford, or wasted. Land is not vast, but the policy is good and the stable varieties of imports are nutritionally balanced. Instead, they rank higher in the report.

First, let's briefly review the 2016 Global Food Safety Index Report. The report, released in June 2016, also measured and ranked food safety in 113 countries around the world. The results show that the United States, Ireland, Singapore and other countries are the most safe places to eat food. Six European countries are among the top 10 and China is 42nd. The top 10 food safety rankings in 2016 are: USA, Ireland, Singapore, Australia, Netherlands, France, Germany, Canada, UK, Sweden. This is due to ample supply, high national income, lower food costs relative to other overheads and strong R & D in food production. Among them, there are 6 European countries in the top 10. The countries with the lowest food safety levels are Haiti, Mozambique and the Niger (central and western African countries).

2017 Global Food Safety Index Report Live

The top 15 countries with the highest food safety index are Ireland, Austria, France, the United States, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Finland, Australia and Norway. The 15 countries with the lowest food safety index are: Guyana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola, Syria, Malawi, Niger, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Chad, Yemen, Madagascar, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to the report, Ireland's total score dropped 0.2 points from 2016, but the overall ranking has risen by more than one place beyond the United States. China's ranking dropped from 42nd in the previous two years to 45th and still ranked middle and upper reaches with an overall rating of 63.7, down 1.2 points from the previous year. Among Asian countries, Singapore ranks the highest, ranking 4th; Japan ranks 18th globally, South Korea and Chile rank 24th, and Malaysia is 41th.

Overall Ranking of 2017 Global Food Safety Index Report

In terms of natural resources and resilience, Ireland scored 73.4 points, ranking 16th. The first Denmark scored 82.1 points. China scored 60.1 points, ranked 66th.

In terms of food affordability, the first Qatar scored 93.3 points and China ranked 47th, scoring 63.6 points.

In terms of food availability, the first UK scored 87.2 points and China ranked 48th with a score of 61.2 points.

In terms of food quality and safety, the first Portugal scored 89.7 points and China ranked 38th with a score of 70.7 points.

So overall, what is the performance of China in this report?

In 2017, the China Composite Index scored 63.7 points, a decrease of 1.2 over 2016. Compared with the three old sub-indicators for 2016, food affordability in China increased by 0.9 in 2017, availability decreased by 3.6 and quality and safety remained unchanged. Although there is some fluctuation in these three indicators, China's performance is still possible in terms of the global average. China ranks 66th in terms of its natural resources and resilience, which is clearly below the rank of its composite index and at a moderate level.

What challenges are global food safety still facing and what is China's role in it?

Economic recovery in both low- and middle-income countries and double-digit growth in personal income are boosting consumer purchasing power, but there is still a pressing need for more efficient innovative food production and sustainable supply chains to support the shift in food preferences and demand growth. Since China's first GDP growth of 54% in 2012, the economies in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia have also grown rapidly. It is estimated that a 50% increase in agricultural production will be required by 2050 to meet the needs of the world's 10 billion people. In addition, increased demand for fruits, vegetables and meat will require a shift in the output of agricultural products, Utilization has also become extremely tense.

Food safety is a major national defense issue for any country. In particular, food safety is even more of a challenge to China, which has the largest population in the world. According to the report, the rapid growth of China's purchasing power has been greatly enhanced. However, at the same time, a large number of people have poured into the cities and left the countryside, putting pressure on food production and supply. Changes in spending habits have also changed the structure of food production and supply . In the meantime, the phenomenon of food waste in China is extremely serious. The United Nations announced in 2016 that the world had 38 million newly-added people, with a total population of 815 million. And China consumes 17 million to 18 million tons of food each year, which is equivalent to 30 million to 50 million people a year rations.

China, India, Canada and Ukraine are the world's top four food producing countries. In 2016, the four countries produced 270 million tons of wheat and Canada and Ukraine alone accounted for 20% of global wheat production. And these countries are also the most vulnerable to flooding, once their food production fluctuations, will have a tremendous impact on the status of global food security.

At the same time, China and India are also countries that are extremely unsustainable in the use of freshwater. Freshwater resource risk rankings in 113 countries are 99 and 108, respectively. Scientists estimate that China currently has a population of 680 million, or half of all Chinese, living in extremely stressed water resources. In India, its population will approach 1.7 billion by 2050 and water will change its tension. India, which makes up a quarter of the world's undernourished population, surpasses any other country and is at the heart of the global food security challenge. After 2030, China's population may start to contract, and experts predict that global food security will not be highly affected by climate change, although there is still considerable uncertainty about the ability of parts of China to adapt to water shortages and potential agricultural problems.

In addition, China's demand for marine products and services is rapidly increasing. About 60% of the fishing grounds in the world are located in China's waters. Chemical agro-production patterns, industrialization and urbanization that abuse pesticides and fertilizers have led to extremely serious eutrophication and hypoxia in offshore areas of China. For decades, economic development has all along called for the development of environment-friendly development. Recent policies and plans have also shown evolution. Asia is at the center of production and consumption of marine products, with more than half of the world's fishing grounds and 90% of aquaculture, but the three most populous countries in Asia (China, India and Indonesia) are in the second half of the target rankings. In the consumption of marine resources, especially in China and India, consumption patterns will have a long-term impact on the healthy development of the oceans.

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