China Wants Standardized Food Safety, So Tech Companies Are Stepping Up to the Plate

Tech companies are taking an increasingly active role in China's agriculture production.

Photo: Agraz

Photo: Agraz

In an effort to gain health-conscious viewership and encourage contamination-free food in China, China’s LeTV announced the launch of a massive agriculture project that would enable consumers to watch as their food grows. The plans include “organic grapes, vegetables, flowers, and seedlings on 200 hectares of farmland, complete with an ‘ecological manor,’” according to Fast Co.Exist

wp5 500x332 China Wants Standardized Food Safety, So Tech Companies Are Stepping Up to the Plate

The fall harvest at TooToo Organic Farm in Pinggu county. Photo: The Hutong

“The situation now is that everyone—rich or poor—has no idea whether cooking oil or flour or other foodstuffs are safe,” Li Rui, CEO of Beijing Wangjiu Electronic Commerce, the LeTV subsidiary in charge of the project, told the Post. “Safe, better-quality food is what all Chinese hope for.”

Co.Exist reports that LeTV isn’t the only company to venture into agricultural territory. Personal computer manufacturer Lenovo sells the largest amount of blueberries in China through its subsidiary, Joyvio.

Although it may seem like tech companies should stick to what they know best, their agricultural endeavors come from a deep-rooted desire for standardized food safety—the kind that can’t be guaranteed by Chinese government monitors.

Jennifer Turner, director of the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Peace Scholars, told Co.Exist:

“The government is investing in modern agriculture, professionalizing it, and even in food production—the Chinese pig farmer with half a dozen pigs is becoming less common. Factory farms are becoming more common. The food safety supervision in China is really prone to corruption, so projects with these types of [tech] companies is really appealing.”

Many companies have yet to see a profit from agriculture TV viewership, but that may change with LeTV’s latest endeavor, which is more expansive than those of the past.

Co.Exist predicts that these farms mark the beginning of a new generation of socially-involved tech companies.

wp3 500x332 China Wants Standardized Food Safety, So Tech Companies Are Stepping Up to the Plate

Goats at TooToo Organic Farm in Pinggu county. Photo: The Hutong

[via Fast Co.Exist]

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