BUNBURY, Western Australia – V&V Walsh, a processor of lamb and beef products, struck a A$1 billion ($932.7 billion) deal with Grand Farm, China's largest red-meat importer, and the government of Inner Mongolia to export boxed sheep meat and beef, according to news reports.

The agreement includes investments from the private sector in Western Australia and China over a five-year period. The investments will support increased production capacity of beef and lamb in Western Australia. Additionally, the agreement will enable development of new processing facilities, feedlot systems and R&D to support the meat and livestock industry in Inner Mongolia.

V&V Walsh will require an additional 500,000 lambs and 30,000 cattle per year during the first stage of the program. Grand Farm, China's largest red-meat importer, seeks to expand its share of the Chinese red meat market. China is Western Australia's most valuable export market for agriculture products with a value of $1.027 billion.

Western Australia Agriculture Minister Ken Baston said the cooperation agreement markets a significant advance in establishing a long-term supply chain for sheep meat and beef into China from Western Australia.

“This joint venture is an exciting development, which now presents an opportunity for the significant transformation of both the WA and Inner Mongolian cattle and sheep meat industries,” Baston said. “The state government, through the Department of Agriculture and Food, is well placed to support development of the project and to supply technical expertise at both ends of the supply chain.”

V&V Walsh, a family owned operation located in Bunbury, Western Australia, can process 3,500 head of sheep per day and 400 cattle per day. Peter and Greg Walsh oversee the daily operations at the company, which employs 1,000 workers.