Beijing pledge on cities' food supply
Beijing has assured Hong Kong and Macau of an ample food supply for the Lunar New Year peak period as goods dwindle at local markets.
The assurance was issued through the People's Daily and Xinhua, the official media of the central government.
The editorials highlighted that there was a system in place to ensure a stable supply of food and other necessities for the two cities.
The People's Daily piece said the central government was aware of a surge in demand for various mainland goods for the Lunar New Year.
However, bad weather in the south caused transport difficulties for products including vegetables, livestock, meat and grains.
'There are measures to strengthen and stabilise the export management, and to streamline the process, as well as to bring in competition,' the editorial read.
'A comprehensive mechanism between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau has been set up this year to monitor the supply of the products all the way from their sources in a way to ensure both the quality and quantity of the products before they come to Hong Kong and Macau,' it read.
Xinhua quoted a spokesman for a supplier in Guangzhou saying that 70 per cent of their vegetables were for consumers outside the mainland. Of that supply, 90 per cent of products for export were supplied to Hong Kong.
Its supply of vegetables to the two cities almost tripled from 20 tonnes a day normally to nearly 60.
To meet the sudden surge in demand, the supplier has doubled shifts for workers from eight hours a day to 15 hours.
There is also soaring demand for meat, with the supply orders of live pigs from Jiangxi nearly doubling for Lunar New Year.
The sudden surge in demand has also imposed an additional workload on the inspection and quarantine bureaus in provinces as they ensure the safety and quality of goods before they are allowed to be sent to Hong Kong and Macau.