Irish beef exports must be cut above to break China
IRISH beef will have to stand out in order to break the growing Chinese ecommerce retail store market, according to Bord Bia.
In April, Ireland became the first European beef exporter in 18 years to secure access to China's fast-growing consumer market.
Yesterday, delegates on an Irish trade mission to China visited JD.com in Beijing, which is China's second largest ecommerce retailer in both transaction volume and revenue terms, and is growing fast. In 2017, its net revenues were €48bn - up 33pc on the previous year.
A spokesperson for JD.com said that at present it can deliver 99pc of its products to a customer's door within 24 hours of ordering, and 57pc of orders can be filled in six hours or less.
Those products include fresh, frozen and chilled groceries, including meat.
Bord Bia's Trade Marketing Manager based in Shanghai, Conor O'Sullivan, told the Irish Independent that for Irish beef to enter these dynamic new retail networks it will have to have offer "cuts that stand out".
"Companies like JD are most interested in products that help them stand out. There are lots of competing platforms and there's still a concern with poor quality or fakes so they're interested in bigging up the legitimacy of the product," he said.
"They're most interested in beef, they sell more beef than pork online. Around 77pc of meat sold online is beef. It's growing, and the bestselling cuts are steak cuts and brisket."