Japan opens up to WA sausages

27 Nov, 2000 03:01 PM
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GOURMET Chevups will be sizzling their way to the plates of the Japanese in two weeks. The WA-owned and manufactured skinless sausages have been exported to Japan in a landmark deal between Gourmet Chevups and Kakuchi Co Ltd, after three years of establishing relationships and taste trials. The shipment left on November 18 and will arrive in Japan on December 6. The deal is good news for WA beef and pork producers with the skinless sausages containing 100 per cent WA beef and almost 100pc WA pork. The deal also represents value-adding of WA's primary products, a move the agricultural industry has been striving towards for a long time. The first export is an expansive move for the WA company, which has built itself up to be the biggest skinless sausage producer in Australia. It now sells its 92pc fat free beef, chilli, pork, pork chilli and chicken skinless sausages to supermarkets throughout Australia, after small beginnings in now managing director Dion Marinovich's family butcher shop. Other shareholders of the company include Kojonup farmers and Breakaway Charolais stud principals Ross and Jo Goodall, Les Strahan and Eddie Nagasawa, who also acts as the export adviser. The deal involves almost a container load, 4000kg, of sausages to be exported to Japan for the food service sector. While this load is going to the food service market, Gourmet Chevups is aiming for the bigger supermarket sector with inquiries already coming in from Sopporo Co-op, a large Japanese supermarket chain with more than 6000 stores country wide. The success of this first shipment will give the WA company a good indication of what the demand by the supermarket division will be like. With 125 million people in Japan, the market is a huge one, even if Gourmet Chevups are able to capture a small part of it. "They are getting real value for money with our product compared to what they pay for meat over there," Dion said. The company is looking at exporting two container loads per month and envisaging one container load every six weeks as a bare minimum. The skinless sausages use the brisket of a carcase with EG Green, Harvey Meat Export and Perth Meat Exports sourcing the 200-250kg slaughtered weight yearlings and lean steers. By using the brisket, Gourmet Chevups is helping to add value to a carcase by buying the trims which are often hard to sell and therefore using 100pc of a carcase. Gourmet Chevups is Ausmeat and export accredited and must fulfill requirements stipulated by Japanese Customs and the Health Ministry, in conjunction with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Services. To get the trial underway, Gourmet Chevups has worked for three years to tailor its skinless sausage to the Japanese tastes. This involved 15 different varieties of the sausage being knocked back before one was accepted. Dion said the company also ran into problems with the Japanese tariff where, if the sausage contained 100pc beef, they would be slugged with a 50pc tariff. To get around this, the company went for a beef/pork mix, which means the tariff is now 10pc plus 5pc value added tax. Gourmet Chevups are not limiting themselves to the Japanese market with a South African company in the eastern states already making inquires to export to the South African market. Dion said he saw the company's future as a rosy one, with the potential to make an impact on the agricultural industry and help, in a small way, to add value in Australian exporting. "If we can get the support of government and farmers groups, we can move this project faster and further and we more than welcome any support or advice from those in the industry," he said.

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