Shandong Province, also known as Qilu, is renowned for its quality food production in Mainland China, as “Qilu’s Grains and Oils” is an influential grain and oil public brands in the country. As its food industry continues to develop through reform measures and technology, the province looks to further promote its nutritious products to customers around the world
Located at the intersection of the Bohai Rim Economic Zone and the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone, Shandong covers an area of 158,000 square kilometres and has among the highest percentages of arable land in the country. An abundance of sunlight, fertile soil and a warm-temperate monsoon climate bringing warmth and rain to the region adds up to favourable geographical conditions for producing top-notch grains and oils.

Flour made from wheat grown in Shandong has a high protein content. With a bright white hue, the high-quality flour retains the fragrant aroma of wheat and allows a gluten with stable quality to form during the processing stage, increasing the structural stability and chewiness of a range of staple food such as buns, noodles and dumplings. Shandong also produces quality peanuts with great flavour and colour. Compared with other edible oils, expeller-pressed peanut oil has a stronger aroma, a higher stability and is good for high-temperature applications such as frying. It contains 37 different nutrients.

In 2019, the food production in Shandong had reached 107.1 billion catties, which can provide more than 80 billion catties of commercial grain to the public. The province registered a gross industrial output value of RMB421.2bn, ranked first in the country. The annual processing capacity of wheat last year was 43.7 million tonnes, accounting for more than 22 per cent of the country’s total. The peanut oil production reached 950,000 tonnes, accounting for more than 60 per cent of the country.

Further reforms
In recent years, Shandong is dedicated to pushing ahead supply-side structural reforms and to promoting a healthy development of the food industry, successfully enhancing business efficiency and improving the income of farmers. With enterprise reform measures, industrial blueprints and structural adjustment programmes being put in place, as well as the allocation of production resources to advantageous enterprises and industries, a number of key industry players and industrial parks are in good shape to forge ahead.

There were five grain and oil enterprises in Shandong with main business incomes exceeding RMB10bn, namely Xiwang, Luhua, Xiangchi, Sanxing and Bohi Oils and Fats, while 24 enterprises recorded a main business income of over RMB3bn. The number of leading enterprises being backed by the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration and the Agricultural Development Bank of China reached 41, ranking first in the country for food-related industries. These leading enterprises form the backbone of the grain and oil industrial parks, which fuel the development of the industrial clusters. At present, there are 13 large-scale grain and oil industrial parks in Shandong, achieving an annual operating income of more than RMB100bn and accounting for more than 25 per cent of the province’s total income earned from the grain and oil processing industry.

Innovative approach
Technological innovation has become a key driving force behind the rapid development of the food industry. Currently, there are 44 grain and oil processing enterprise technology centres at or above the provincial level in Shandong, along with six state-level scientific and technological innovation platforms, with an annual R&D investment exceeding RMB2bn. Three national technological innovation centres of wheat, corn and soybean have been set up in the province with 61 patents declared. Additionally, seven industry standards are being established for grain and oil enterprises. There are more than 300 types of refined corn products and 13 types of flour produced in the province that have been named as “China’s Good Grains and Oils”, ranking among the highest in the country.

In response to the pandemic, the oil and grain enterprises in Shandong donated RMB82m worth of funds and supplies and 45 tonnes of grain and oil products to Hubei Province. With its growing popularity, reputation and influence, food industry in Shandong is building a strong presence and is thriving. The “Quality Food Project” will be an important measure for speeding up the healthy development of food-related industries, supporting the implementation of the rural revitalisation strategy and ensuring food safety with better infrastructure, more sophisticated technology and stronger promotion.

“Qilu’s Grains and Oils” gains favour
In 2018, the Shandong Provincial Food and Strategic Reserves Administration and the Shandong Provincial Department of Finance issued guidelines for promoting Shandong’s grain and oil brands, following the development model of “One public brand + N products with local characteristics + N industrial business entities”. Concerted efforts were made to build the “Qilu’s Grains and Oils” public brand, while boosting the transformation and upgrade of the grain industry, increasing the supply of quality grains and oils that adopt eco-friendly production practices and meeting the growing demand for better food choices.

In 2019, “Qilu’s Grains and Oils” was named as an influential grain and oil public brands in Mainland China. Haoliangyou, an online trading platform for Shandong’s grains and oils (https://haoliangyou.com), showcases more than 5,000 products from over 400 companies and organises live streaming sessions and carnivals to help build the brand’s image. A number of food producing areas with strong competitive advantages have successfully outperformed their grain and oil peers. Xiajin was named as “China’s Flour County”, while Laiyang and Zouping earned the titles of “China’s Peanut Oil Hometown” and “China’s Corn Oil Hometown”, respectively.

Representing a range of quality, nutritious and healthy grain and oil products from Shandong, the “Qilu’s Grains and Oils” public brand is ready to move forward to offer better products and gain further recognition and trust from the government, enterprises and the general public.