New Zealand’s two largest meat companies signed new agreements overnight on Wednesday to increase their retail presence in China.
Alliance Group and Silver Fern Farms are part of this week’s business delegation to China, led by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins. He attended the ceremonial signing of memorandum of understanding agreements between the NZ exporters and Chinese partners in Beijing.
Silver Fern Farms (SFF) is working with Chinese partner Paradise Garden to achieve $18 million in additional annual sales by accessing new retailers such as Olé Supermarket, Walmart, Ding Dong Maicai and Sam’s Club to sell chilled and frozen meat.
“I’ve been back in China a number of times since covid restrictions have lifted, however there’s something different about being part of a large contingent of New Zealand businesses and government here,” SFF chief executive Simon Limmer said.
“While the itinerary for the delegation has been quite hectic, there’s no doubt that it gives us a platform to generate plenty of positive coverage about New Zealand Inc.
“Clearly the recovery in China hasn’t been as quick as we would have liked this year, and this is contributing to our outlook for pricing in the coming season. However, this just underscores the importance of getting face-to-face in the market with our customers, and understanding their challenges and the opportunities we have.
“China is going to continue to be a really important market for us, and our growth here is going to be underpinned by developing deeper partnerships in market and getting closer to the end consumer.”
Alliance Group and its longtime Chinese partner Grand Farm have committed to a significant push of the co-operative’s grass-fed lamb, mutton, beef and venison into new parts of China.
AGL and Grand Farm have been partners for almost 25 years and the agreement will see Alliance lamb, mutton, beef and venison, including its premium branded products, marketed in southern China and cities such as Shanghai.
Shane Kingston, AGL sales manager, who is part of the NZ business delegation, said the agreement marks a new phase in the longstanding partnership.
“Grand Farm holds a very prominent position in the beef and sheep industry in China, encompassing production, processing and sales channels.”
The agreement will enable Alliance to promote its Pure South, Silere, Lumina and Handpicked product ranges to a broader base of Chinese consumers across multiple channels.
Grand Farm owns and operates 105 specialty retail butcheries and supplies products to more than 2000 meat counters in selected supermarkets, minimarts and hypermarkets and a wholesale distribution network extending beyond 2400 outlets supplying retail in China.