Beijing Looks for Australian Wagyu08 July 2013
AUSTRALIA - The Beijing district in China, home for over 20 million people, produces just five per cent of its beef consumption. A delegation from the Beijing Bureau of Agriculture visited Victoria recently to investigate how Australian Wagyu beef and Wagyu genetics could fill the void in the upper level market segment.
The delegation of eight, led by the bureau’s Deputy Director General Mr Rongcai Ma, were special guests at the VFF/RASV Taste of Victoria dinner at the Royal Melbourne showgrounds where they sampled the very best Victorian produce.
The delegation’s only farm visit in Victoria was to Blackmore Wagyu at Alexandra where the team’s animal husbandry and nutrition experts questioned David Blackmore on the genetics, meat quality and marbling ability of Australian Wagyu and observed Blackmore’s unique on-farm feeding process that has resulted in a 20% increase in growth rates over traditional feedlotting methods.
Mr Ma said that as the standard of living in China continues to rise, demand for high quality protein such as Wagyu beef was increasing and despite many of Beijing’s 200,000 beef and dairy cattle originating from Canada, Australia was seen as a reliable source of quality beef and genetics.
“We need to increase our beef production to become more self sufficient and Australian Wagyu may be the answer,” said Mr Ma.
At present the Beijing province produces 90% of its pork and 60% of its milk requirements so the 5% of its beef requirements is far too low according to Mr Ma.
David Blackmore, who exports Wagyu beef to Beijing’s five star hotel industry, told the group Australia was home of a broad range of Wagyu genetics for the Chinese market. But he said the import protocol required by the Chinese authorities for Australia was very strict and if Beijing wanted to import semen and embryos the quarantine time for the donor animals was far greater than for any other country.
TheCattleSite News Desk