Earlier this year the Ministry of Commerce issued a plan for reorganizing the pork industry. Now provinces are putting it into action.
In October, Jiangsu released its plan to consolidate slaughterhouses and set up a nice orderly system of four grades of slaughter and processing enterprises during 2010-15. Slaughter enterprises will be divided into four classes:
4-star: 1000 hogs or more per day capacity
3-star: 500-1000 hogs per day
2-star: 200-500 hogs per day
1-star: 50-200 hogs per day
The government will give unspecified "policy support" to enterprises that can meet the standards for 3-star or higher and give them encouragement and guidance in developing cold-chain facilities and engage in interregional sales of pork. All new slaughter enterprises have to be at the three-star level or higher and have inspection capabilities and testing labs. Their layout, equipment and facilities must be at international standards.
There will be two flagship four-star enterprises with capacity of 1 million head per year, one in a production area and one in a consumption area. By 2015, enterprises with capacity of 500,000 head per year will account for about 40% of the market.
Meanwhile, "backward" small slaughter enterprises with capacity of 50 or fewer head per day will be eliminated. They will be tolerated in remote areas and rural places with poor transportation. There are targets to drastically reduce the number of these small slaughterhouses by 2013 and 2015. Underground slaughter points should be shut down and there should be strict audits of pork coming into Jiangsu from other regions.
There is a nice neat plan for a hierarchy of provincial-, city-, and county-level slaughter enterprises at different grades. They are encouraged to shift from fresh, generic slabs of pork to branded, chilled cuts of pork that are sold interregionally. More pork will be sold through specialized shops and chain stores, temperature controlled warehouses will be built, and distribution enterprises will be nurtured.
All pork enterprises and food service organizations in Jiangsu are to begin using receipts and certificates so a traceability system for pork can be established. The sale of sick and dead pigs will be stopped.
In Tianjin, the 26 designated slaughterhouses will all be outfitted with electronic monitoring equipment in 2011. Departments overseeing food safety will be able to monitor pork from its source to ensure its safety.
Tianjin will "...do a good job at separating grades of hog slaughterhouses and will give policy support to three-star grade dragon head enterprises." Dragon head companies that meet requirements of the plan will be helped in getting “assurance pork” into supermarkets, standardized food markets and other pilot work. Branded enterprise sales channels will be expanded so that branded meat will account for 60% or more of the market.