On June 21st, 2016, Professor Tarun Khanna and his team from Harvard University visited OABC farm in Shunyi district and OABC organic restaurant, and communicated with OABC team members, with OABC chairman Mr. Xiangdong Zhang, Vice President Mr. Jianwei Zhang and Mr. Youting Zhang.
In Beijing OABC farm meeting room, Professor Tarun Khanna listened to the presentation from Mr. Youting Zhang, about organic industry and marketing in China and in the world, the formation and development of the OABC business model, OABC organic farming technique and Chinese organic certification.
Professor Tarun Khanna is honored as Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School and lifetime professor at Harvard University. He dedicates himself to research on motivations of entrepreneurship in emerging markets as a means of economic and social development. Research result can be found in the book Winning in Emerging Markets, which was published in 2010.
Professor Tarun Khanna was interested in the influence of OABC on Chinese organic industry development, so he asked and listened to the OABC developing story carefully. OABC is committed to promote the development of Chinese organic industry using its own business behavior. And OABC has translated “The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics & Emerging Trends” for five consecutive years, and commutated the organic farming development status with domestic organic industry personnel using this handbook. Meanwhile, the company participated in writing “Chinese organic agricultural industry development report”, and translated into English, and made its effort on pushing Chinese organic agricultural industry communications in an international level.
When talking about Chinese organic certification and OABC global organic products, OABC chairman Mr. Xiangdong Zhang discussed with Prof.Tarun Khanna that China and the EU organic certification standard is not recognized mutually. OABC Swiss Cavell chocolate, Dannish Ouroland milk and Greek Mosour olive oil are high quality imported foods and certified by EU certification bodies. However, because they do not obtain Chinese organic certification, they cannot sell as organic food in Chinese market. Vice president Mr. Youting Zhang also introduced the latest data, which showed that until 2014, there were only 66 foreign companies have obtained Chinese organic certification with a total of 121 certificates. Chinese market consumed 4.5 billion dollars of organic products, of which the total value was 15 billion dollars. In other words, some products were not sold as organic products.
Accompanied by OABC chairman Mr. Xiangdong Zhang, Vice President Mr. Jianwei Zhang and Mr. Youting Zhang, Professor Tarun Khanna visited organic vegetable and fruit greenhouse where organic watermelon and fruity organic tomato were harvested. Mr. Jianwei Zhang explained to Professor Tarun Khanna some organic farming techniques, film weeding, using yellow plate killing pest and using organic fertilization improving soil. Chairman Mr. Xiangdong Zhang said，“organic vegetables can be cultivated in Beijing”, “organic doesn’t mean no pollution and food additives, it is sustainable production through organic techniques and is designed to improve our food, soil, water quality and environment”.
Organic agriculture means more input of material resources and labor, but it also means the protection of ecological environment, the improvement of soil and water quality. OABC farm uses diverse cultivation trying to plant without the use of synthetic chemicals and keep moderate pest presence toleration in agricultural production.
In the evening, the delegation led by Professor Tarun Khanna had dinner at OABC organic restaurant. As the first “golden medal”organic restaurant, at least 90% of ingredients and food materials served have to be organic certified. The organic food materials from OABC standard farm can be cooked by steaming, boiling, dressed with sauce, and other methods, which will retain the best flavor and nutrients of the materials. During the dinner, Professor Tarun Khanna talked about his experience of being the director of Harvard South Asian Research Center, and be in charge of the project of supplying inclusive financial services to the poor. This project was organizedby a non-profit organization located in India. Professor Tarun Khanna mentioned that the goal of the project had the similarity with the sustainable development idea in organic agricultural practice of OABC, and with the idea of fair trade, paying attention and helping farmers’ development.
OABC gave the “2015 The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics & Emerging Trends”, translated by OABC organic agricultural technology center, and organic vegetables and fruits from the OABC Shunyi farm to Professor Tarun Khanna as gifts. Professor Tarun Khanna was positive about the idea of organic agricultural sharing, organic technological practices, and knowledge spreading and other aspects from the OABC’s efforts. Chairman Mr. Xiangdong Zhang showed his appreciation to professor Tarun Khanna’s visit and hoped he could come to the farm again in the future.