CHANGGE, CHINA — Initial pork production at Zhongpin Inc.’s new chilled and frozen pork plant in Tianjin, China will begin on Jan. 20, 2010. When all construction phases are completed later that year, the plant will have an annual capacity of 100,000 metric tons for chilled and frozen pork.

"We are very pleased our new pork plant in Tianjin will begin producing ahead of schedule, which will help satisfy the nation's surging demand for chilled and frozen pork during the peak season of the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival," said Xianfu Zhu, chairman and chief executive officer. "We are confident that our high product quality, good retail locations and dependable pork supply will please our customers in Tianjin, Beijing and the other markets in northern China, who will be served by the new Tianjin plant. Our new plant will guarantee better service and broader market coverage."

The Tianjin Binhai New Area is becoming the country's third growth-and-development region for the next two decades, just as the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta regions grew in the past two decades. The Chinese government's support, incentives and direct investment in infrastructure in the Tianjin Binhai New Area will create new growth for both China's northern region and its national economy.

Tianjin also serves as the land logistics center and ocean shipping port for much of northern China, so both Tianjin and Zhongpin will benefit directly from the growth in the region, the company relays.

In 2010, China expects its national economy to grow approximately 9%. This higher growth should enable higher pork consumption and give Zhongpin additional support for its market expansions, the company added.

"The Tianjin plant is our model for the future and is an important strategic step forward for Zhongpin," Mr. Zhu said. "We expect to duplicate the construction, systems designs and details from the Tianjin plant and network as we extend our high-volume success from our home region in central China into the northern and other regional markets of China."

Zhongpin Inc. specializes in pork and pork products, vegetables and fruits in China. Its distribution network covers 20 provinces in China plus Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing and includes more than 3,000 retail outlets. Its export markets include the European Union and Southeast Asia.