By Rui Hu, EDITOR
The Third World Chili Alliance Symposium took place in Chongqing on August 19. It’s modest goals included making chili a luxury in the world, making chili an authentic national product and boosting the chili industry along the Belt and Road routes. Hosted by the World Chilli Alliance (WCA) and organized by Morals Village (Dezhuang Group), it has attracted chili experts from all over the world to contribute ideas and exert efforts to develop the chili industry.
Li Dejian, Executive Chairman of WCA, President of the Asia-Pacific region of WCA, and Chairman of Dezhuang Group, explained chili’s thousand years history, and China is now the world’s largest producer, consumer, and exporter of chili.
“Chilli that enjoys great popularity among 3.7 billion people is not only a condiment but also a cultural consumer product. Chilli products boast a broad market and are distributed in all links of the value chain,” said Gerald Zhang-Schmidt, a scientific researcher and representative of the European President of WCA. “Europeans have heard of Sichuan cuisine, but they do not agree that China makes a feature of chili. In response to that, China should step its efforts on the cultivation of organic chili, the diversification of chili varieties, and the unique characteristics of chili products.” Gerald Zhang-Schmidt believes that a growing number of people take an interest in chili and other authentic national products. The future chili products should be of higher quality, and Chinese chili can be transformed into premium luxuries.
Giuseppe Palatino, Professor of Food and Cooking at the University of Parma, Italy, said that chili has a thousand-year connection with the cuisine. As chili processing industry progresses, new chili products are brought forth through technological innovation, which has enriched cooking skills.
Qin Dachun, Deputy Director of Chongqing Municipal Agricultural and Rural Committee, said that chili is a superior and distinctive agricultural product in Southwest China. He suggested that Chongqing should build chili cultivation bases, carry out market segmentation, and create a whole chili industry chain, hammering at breeding superior chili products and enhancing the global visibility of its chili industry.