Under the agreement, meat from 1,001 Danish pigs will be reserved for sale on Tmall for the Chinese New Year in February 2018. The number of pigs processed for the sale is a twist on the title of a fairy tale. Danish Crown said the products sold through Tmall will be picked, processed and packed at the company’s facility in Ringsted, Denmark. In spring 2019, production will move to a new pork processing plant in Pinghu, close to Shanghai, which Danish Crown began constructing in 2016 at a cost of DKK300 million ($43.9 million).
“Partnering with Tmall has enormous potential for Danish Crown,” Danish Crown CEO Jais Valeur said in a statement. “Chinese consumers are buying much more of their food online than anywhere else in the world. By selling our products through Alibaba’s e-marketplace, we get access to a vast sales platform and ensure that Danish Crown can become a pork provider of choice for the growing Chinese middle-class.”
Danish Crown — which accounts for nearly 10 percent of Danish pork exports to China — shipped 260,000 tons of pork to China valued at €600 million ($709 million). China is the world’s largest consumer of pork, but sales of pork products are shifting online for home delivery and away from “wet markets” where pork is sold cut into large pieces consumers can see and touch.
Tmall will launch an online marketing campaign aimed at Chinese consumers starting Aug. 24. The three-day promotion will heavily promote Danish food and products, including the Danish Crown brand.
“Danish produce enjoys an excellent reputation in China and I am pleased to announce this agreement with Danish Crown today,” David Lloyd, managing director UK, Ireland and Nordics Alibaba Group, said in a statement. “Chinese consumers increasingly want reassurance that the meat they consume is of outstanding quality and reared to high-standards, and we look forward to working closely with Danish Crown to enable the 466 million annual active consumers on our e-marketplaces to buy quality Danish meat products on Tmall Fresh to enjoy at home.”