ABP signs first Irish deal to sell beef in China
Larry Goodman's ABP has secured the first contract to supply Irish beef to China, ahead of the widely-anticipated opening up of the huge Asian market.
The ABP Food Group has signed a €50m deal to supply Chinese restaurant chain Wowprime in what is a significant first for the sector here.
ABP has been assessing opportunities in the Asian markets over the past seven years, and has now confirmed it has struck a three-year agreement with Wowprime Corporation to supply beef to its restaurants, even before Irish exporters get the green light for access to the Chinese market.
The food group said the contract - estimated at €50m - would also extend to its joint venture partners Slaney Foods, but it remains dependent on Irish beef gaining access to the Chinese market.
China is already the world's second-biggest beef importer and access for Irish beef would be a major win for the industry here. Irish officials travelled to China recently in a bid to progress the long-running bid for access for beef.
It follows the Department of Agriculture reviewing and responding to draft inspection documents following a visit by Chinese officials from their certifying body to Irish factories last year.
Mark Goodman, managing director of ABP's international division, said it had struck the exclusive agreement to supply Wowprime, which has over 400 restaurants in China and Taiwan. It offers a mix of Asian and Western cuisine with 18 brands.
"It is a tangible endorsement of the quality beef that Ireland and ABP has to offer, and it is another significant step in developing new market opportunities for our products against the uncertain backdrop of Brexit," said Mr Goodman.