BEIJING – Danish Crown, the largest pork processor in Europe, opened its first factory in China on Sept. 11 in Pinghu, just outside of Shanghai.

In Nov. 2016, the company announced plans the processing plant.

The plant will import frozen Danish pork that will be packaged into various products including bacon and sausages. Danish Crown will sell the products through the Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platforms and their retail Hema stores for the first five years of the facility.

Danish Crown started selling imported pork with Alibaba back in Aug. 2017.

“There is a huge task in positioning Danish Crown as a premium brand in China,” said Jais Valuer, CEO of Danish Crown. “However, it is crucial to succeed, because with the cost level we have in Denmark, we must understand that selling our products at a better price than our European competitors, otherwise we will not be able to deliver a competitive settlement to our owners in the long term.”

The plant will be 17,000 sq. m. (183,000 sq. ft.) and is built to produce 14,000 tons of product per year. Danish Crown plans to build similar factories at other Chinese metropolitan cities with a few years.

Currently, China is having difficulties with pork production due to the ongoing outbreak of African Swine Fever. A report by Rabobank said China is increasing imports of pork, beef and poultry. Beef exports to China have jumped by more than 50 percent in the first half of 2019.