WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – Meat & Wool New Zealand is joining forces with three meat exporters -- Alliance Group Ltd., ANZCO Foods Ltd. and Silver Fern Farms Ltd. -- to identify opportunities for New Zealand red meat in China’s premium food sector. China has been a significant market, particularly for lower-value sheep-meat items for some time now, said Scott Champion, Meat & Wool New Zealand’s chief executive.

"However, there has not been a collective approach as to how the high-value Asian market could be developed, so the initiation of this project is a very significant step for the wider industry as it seeks to build new market opportunities for the future," he added.

This project follows market research done last year by Meat & Wool New Zealand and the meat exporters involved in this most-recent initiative. The initial priority was to identify what opportunities existed for lamb in the emerging markets of Russia, India, China and Eastern Europe. Of these markets, the market research suggested that China holds the most immediate opportunity.

"While the analysis may have identified China as the most attractive potential market for high-value, New Zealand red-meat products, there are many steps between matching the market potential and the longer-term diversification objectives of the New Zealand red meat industry," Mr. Champion said. "This project intends to address a number of those objectives."

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