COFCO Joycome pig farms in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, China

Local herders protested in different waves against intensive hog production project with pollution of untreated sewage discharge to grazing land and careless disposal of dead pigs.


With vast grassland and pasture resources, and a breeding feed production area, Inner Mongolia is planned as a potential expanding area for pig breeding by the Ministry of Agriculture (as Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs since March 2018). On September 4, 2013, COFCO Meat Holdings, Ltd. and the People's Government of Ongniud Banner of Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia signed a cooperation agreement on the meat industry chain project in COFCO Plaza. [1] As China’s largest state-run food processing, manufacturing and trading company, COFCO Group launched the project for creating the “Technology Model Zone for Raising a Million Head of Pigs” on the land expropriated from local herders mainly in Ongniud Banner, soon after the agreement was signed.

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Basic Data
NameCOFCO Joycome pig farms in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, China
Province Inner Mongolia
SiteOngniud Banner (Wengniuteqi), Chifeng City
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific CommoditiesWater
Live Animals
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsOn March 7, 2014, COFCO Joycome (Chifeng) Co., Ltd. was established with a registered capital of US$71.02 million. [2]

The “One Million Head of Pigs Project in Chifeng” was planned to be completed in 2016 with 3 phases. According to COFCO Joycome, the first phase with facilities for 200,000 pigs started the construction in April and the operation in October 2014”, and the second phase with facilities for 300,000 pigs started to operate in 2015. [3]

It's reported that the smell of dead pigs could spread to a distance of 30 km. Based on the number of local populations and the extent of the surrounding area, the affected population is estimated to be 8,000 to 10,000. [3]
Project Area (in hectares)2,000
Level of Investment (in USD)71,020,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population8,000 -10,000
Start Date17/10/2016
End Date2018
Company Names or State EnterprisesCOFCO Meat Holdings Limited (COFCO Meat) from China - Owner
China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) from China - Investor and controller
COFCO Joycome (Chifeng) Co., Ltd. from China - operating company for hog production of COFCO in Chifeng
Relevant government actors-People's Government of Ongniud Banner

-Environmental Protection Bureau of Ongniud Banner
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Soil contamination, Food insecurity (crop damage), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Waste overflow
Health ImpactsPotential: Infectious diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Other socio-economic impacts, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Othermuch longer distance to access clean water
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Fines imposed on the company.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Fines were imposed on COFCO; rectifications of environmental facilities were implemented; however, there are many contradictions in different statements from the company and the official bureau of the government; moreover, the problems related the land and livelihoods of herders have not been addressed.
Sources and Materials

[5]建设项目竣工验收环境保护验收监测报告:中粮家佳康(赤峰)有限公司20万头生猪健康生态养殖项目 (accessed on 04-10-2018)
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[6]工程建设项目竣工环境保护验收报告:中粮家佳康(赤峰)有限公司100万头生猪健康生态养殖项目(二期)40万头生猪健康生态养殖 (accessed on 04-10-2018)
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[2] 2017 Annual Report: COFCO Meat Holdings Limited (accessed on 2018-10-04)
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[12]内蒙古农牧民抗议国企污染被刑拘 2人被批捕(accessed on 04-10-2018)
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[1]中粮肉食与内蒙古赤峰市翁牛特旗人民政府签署合作协议(accessed on 04-10-2018)
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[8] Mongolian herders protest pig farm construction in China (accessed on 04-10-2018)
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[3]中粮养猪场污染内蒙古牧场:污水粪便直排 恶臭难散(accessed on 2018-09-30)
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[7] Southern Mongolia: Community Herders Protest Pig Farm Project on Grazing Land
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[11]中粮”死猪抛野外污染环境 内蒙数百农牧民抗议 (accessed on 04-10-2018)
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[13]中粮回应下属企业环境污染问题:改进工作已完成 (accessed on 04-10-2018)
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[9] China: Herders in Inner Mongolia protest against COFCO Joycome pig farms that allegedly discharge untreated sewage into grazing land, two protestors arrested (accessed on 04-10-2018)
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[15]内蒙古数百农牧民堵路抗议中粮集团污染 18人被抓
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Media Links

[10]Southern Mongolia:内蒙古昭乌达盟翁牛特旗牧民发动抗议
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Other Documents

waste water [11]
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Herders protest[11]
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Herders blocked the road to the pig farms[15]
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disposed dead pigs[11]
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Dead pigs and untreated sewage discharge polluted the river[3]
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Meta Information
ContributorEnvJustice, ICTA-UAB/NWAFU interns
Last update15/10/2018