Chinese international food safety certifications increased to over 5,500 in 2010 - more than doubling the 2,233 recorded in 2009.
According to a report by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), 5,575 ISO 22000:2005 food safety management systems standard certifications were awarded to food sector businesses in China in 2010 – accounting for almost a third of the 18,630 awarded during the year.
The ISO 22000:2005 standard sets requirements for food safety management systems needed to demonstrate an ability to control food hazards, such as contaminations.
The 18,630 certificates were issued in 138 countries and economies in 2010, representing a total increase of 4,749 (34%) on 2009.
In 2009 13,881 were awarded in 129 countries and economies.
Far East growth
Japanese certification reported the second highest growth for the year of 265 – measuring barely a tenth of what was experienced by its Chinese counterparts.
Greece and Egypt followed closely with growth of 210 and 209 respectively for the year.
The Far East region represented the majority of certifications for the year with 8,263, with China accounting for 5,575.
This figure is compared with nearest rival Europe - with 7,083 awarded in 2010.
Despite Chinese food safety growth dominance, overall growth in the Far East region has slowed significantly since 2009.
Certification growth has reduced from 240% recorded in 2009 to 58% for 2010.
This trend is mirrored across all regions, with the exception of the Central and South American market which has experienced a growth boost from 4% in 2009 to 61% in 2010.
Elsewhere in the report, Eastern European countries such as Poland, Romania and Serbia showed significant food safety efforts.
Poland featured in the top 10 for number of certificates with 629 for the year – an increase of 80, placing it 10th globally for growth.
Romania was ranked 6th in certification rankings with 641 awarded during the year, and Serbia entered into the top 10 for growth with an increase of 90 on last year.
According to the ISO website, ISO 22000:2005 certification requires “a food management system where an organisation in the food chain needs to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe at the time of human consumption.”
The certification, which is applicable to all organisations involved in any aspect of the food chain, requires a company to plan, implement, maintain and update a food safety system aimed at providing products that are safe for the customer.