Do not fool yourself!
by Sven-Olof Malmqvist, M4L Board of Trustees, Owner at Grytåsa
Just arrived back from China and made some reflections. The cuisine they have in Eastern China, or at least in Nanjing, the capital of the Jiangsu province, is very fresh and tasty, much better than in many other places in China. The Moutai, the distilled Chinese liquor produced from fermented sorghum, can taste very different depending on the brand.
Another note in my book is the number of people, even in a remote city, is massive. When taking the high-speed train from Shanghai to Nanjing I asked someone about the population and the reply was that it is not a big city, just seven to eight million people. In Sweden we have a total number of nine million, so you understand where I am coming from!
Walking around in these cities feels quite safe even during the evening/night but one thing you have to be observe is the silent electrical vehicles suddenly turning up behind you. I ´d really like to have a couple of those at my farm, very practical ones, worked like small trucks. Another fancy one I saw, in an office, was very tiny and could be folded and carried on the train and onto other mean of transportation.
My main reason for going to China was, of course, the VIV feed show located in Nanjing with a number of exhibitors, both domestic and international. I met a whole bunch of potential suppliers of feed material and feed additive, some with old fashioned products but also some with some new innovative inventions. I had also the opportunity to visit some plants as well further inland. The good thing with these kinds of events are that you will make new contacts when you least expect it, and your network grows, which is good for the business as such.
But if you think that China is the heaven of inexpensive labor you better think again. There are many other countries you should consider in that case, but if you are after good, intelligent, innovative, hard-working people go and invest in China. The working morale is high, and you will be surprised how far they have come already. And think about the buying power the growing middle class have, it´s heaven if you have the right product to sell.