SÃO PAULO, Brazil – As part of a joint venture with Dah Chong Hong (DCH) Limited, Brasil Foods S.A. announced it would send the first-ever shipment of pork to China on March 1. The shipment of frozen, boneless pork shoulder processed at Brasil Foods’ plant in Rio Verde, represents a milestone for the company and for Brazil, according to a press release.

The country is the largest producer of pork in the world, but domestic supplies there are unable to meet demand. Only three Brazilian plants are currently authorized to export products to China. Brasil Foods, which is now permitted to only export boneless pork to China due to foot-and-mouth disease restrictions, is seeking authorization to license plants to ship bone-in pork as well, thanks to its FMD-free status. As part of the arrangement, DCH will facilitate distribution of the product to local outlets in China. During the first year of the agreement, sales of exports to China are expected to top $450 million.