[7 May/NZ Farmer]

More New Zealand chilled beef and sheepmeat will be sent to China as initial trials appeared to have met Chinese approval. Deputy Secretary-General of the China Meat Association, Gao Guan, said the trials were promising and that China had a shortfall of beef and sheepmeat. The first shipments were headed by Alliance Group and Greenlea Premier, and were followed by Silver Fern Farms. Alliance Group worked with Harbin-based company, Grand Farm, who import and distribute chilled and frozen meat. Grand Farm Managing Director, Wang Zhilei, added it was too early to say how well the chilled meat trade was proceeding and that there was a lot of potential but also a lot of challenges. Alliance and other companies aimed to focus on the grass-fed high animal welfare and food safety theme. Alliance General Manager of Sales, Murray Brown, said chilled meat was relatively new in China.