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13/04/2012

More organics for Hong Kong needed

by Kai Kreuzer

More organics for Hong Kong needed Foto: Cristian Baitg/ istockphoto

Almost 25 years since the first organic farm took root in Hong Kong, the appeal of organic food is finally catching on.

But restaurateurs, chefs, suppliers and organic experts say scant supplies are leaving consumers hungry for more and what is available still costs too much, reports the NPR broadcasting company based in Washington DC in its online news.

To meet rising demand, local output of organic vegetables has risen by two-thirds in five years to 5 metric tons per day. Two private certification bodies and 408 organic farms have emerged. About 300 outlets carry organic food, including up-market grocers, supermarket chains, fresh-food markets and small retailers. There is even a local organic energy-bar maker called Stephen James Luxury Organics.

The existence of multiple labels confuses consumers, states a study commissioned by the government. Foreign labels like that of the U.S. Department of Agriculture sit alongside local ones, and each represents a different standard. There is currently no Hong Kong standard for organic food but the government is studying whether its production and sale should be regulated and, if so, how.

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