Chinese visit to Dawn Meats a sign of export opportunity

Wei Chen, secretary general, China Meat Association; Niall Browne, chief executive, Dawn Meats; Chen Xibin, president, Heilongjiang Grand Farm Group; Richard Clinton, commercial director, Dawn Meats

Ireland to target rapidly growing Chinese beef market

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24 March 2015 | 0

A delegation of 14 leaders from the Chinese meat industry visited Dawn Meats’ Carroll’s Cross plant in Co. Waterford this week to tour the facility and learn more about the Irish beef industry. The visit comes following the announcement last month that China’s ban on Irish beef imports is to be lifted.

The Chinese delegation are amongst 400 food and drink buyers from over 30 countries to take part in Bord Bia’s Marketplace 2015, a week-long business development event introducing them to 185 Irish food and drink companies.

Dawn Meats was amongst the companies who joined the Minister of Agriculture’s trade mission to China in November 2014 which paved the way for the opening of the market. The volume of beef imported by China quadrupled to 280,000 tonnes in 2013, and is forecast to reach 1.7m tonnes in 2018.

Commenting on the visit, Niall Browne, chief executive of Dawn Meats said: “The expected level of Chinese beef imports in 2018 is over three times total Irish production. In a country where pork and poultry have in the past dominated meat consumption, the recent dramatic increase in demand for beef is a sign of the opportunity for Ireland. Minister Coveney is to be congratulated on the work the government has done to open up this market, but there still remain considerable practicalities to be resolved before actual shipments can start.”

Wei Chen, executive vice president and secretary general, China Meat Association said he was looking forward to sharing information about the quality of the Irish beef industry with colleagues and partners back home. “I am optimistic that the trade relationships between our two countries will develop positively in the months ahead,” he said.

The visiting delegation toured Dawn Meats’ Carroll’s Cross production facility at which the company was originally founded in 1980 and greatly expanded with a €14.5m investment in 2012. The 40,000 square foot facility contains the longest freezer line of its kind in Europe, and features the latest energy efficiency technology, including wind and solar power.

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