Three food firms win China's first green biz competition

SHANGHAI, China, October 28, 2003 (ENS): The first Chinese producer of organic honey, a manufacturer of testing kits to detect genetically modified organisms, and an organic food company have won the first green business competition in China. The contest is sponsored by New Ventures, a project of the World Resources Institute's Sustainable Enterprise Program.

One of the winning companies is Beijing Organic Foods Co., Ltd., a pioneer enterprise in China's organic foods market which currently has sales of $2.3 million. The company sells products in 60 supermarkets throughout 12 cities in China.

Also a winner is ChongQing Jinbiao Biotechnology Company, Ltd, a company that manufactures and markets testing kits that can detect genetically modified organisms in one minute and cost one-fourth less than the industry average.

The third winning firm is Nanjing Ruikang Agriculture Co., Ltd., a company that produces and exports organic honey to the United States, Japan and Europe and holds 66 percentage of the global market for organic royal jelly.

The winners, chosen from among 10 finalists, were announced at the end of the first annual New Ventures Investor Forum in China, held October 21-22, in Shanghai. It is a marketplace for investors in sustainable enterprises. The forum is sponsored by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Citigroup.

The winning companies, whose business plans call for investments ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million, now will have the opportunity to negotiate for venture capital with these investors.

"Although three companies were selected for special mention, I believe that all the 10 finalists are winners. The experience they gained through the New Ventures program will bring them to the next level of sophistication to meet requirements in future business planning and expansion," said Richard Stanley, Citigroup country officer for China.

Since September 2000, New Ventures has hosted three investor forums in Latin America that have facilitated investments of $6.4 million to several sustainable businesses. Last year, WRI and Citigroup expanded the New Ventures program to China.

"The businesses represented at the forum demonstrate that there are profitable opportunities in China's fast growing environmental sectors," said Luiz Ros, director of WRI's New Ventures program.

At the forum, the International Finance Corporation signed an agreement to bring the New Ventures program to Indonesia.