WA sheep producers and industry representatives will travel to China on a sheepmeat insights tour next month.
The delegation tour, organised through the Department of Agriculture and Food's Sheep Industry Business Innovation project, and supported by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and WA processor V&V Walsh, will visit some of China's lotfeeding and processing facilities, as well as retail and food service channels.
The initial findings from the tour will be delivered at the WA Regional Sheep Updates, in Moora, Merredin, Katanning and Ravensthorpe from July 27 to July 30.
Department director sheep industry development Bruce Mullan said the DAFWA Sheep Industry Business Innovation project, made possible by Royalties for Regions, aimed to assist the industry to build capacity to supply new markets for sheepmeat and live exports - generating flow-on benefits to producers, industry, the regions, communities and the State's economy.
"The aim of the tour is to increase WA delegates' knowledge and understanding of the Chinese red meat market, and take those findings back to industry," Dr Mullan said.
Department agribusiness and food trade development manager Terry Burnage said the tour would look at retail and food service channels in Beijing, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia and Shanghai.
Delegates will gain valuable insights of the supply chain development program between WA's largest red meat processor Bunbury-based processor V&V Walsh and China's largest red meat importer and distributor, the Heilongjiang Grand Farm Group.
"By exposing WA industry to the intricacies of meat processing, distribution and marketing by Grand Farm, which is acknowledged for being an innovative leader in the Chinese red meat industry we aim to build greater awareness and confidence about the Chinese market which is already Australia's largest sheepmeat market and which has significant scope for further development," Mr Burnage said.
"Delegates will play an important role in delivering their insights to fellow producers and industry about the requirements in the supply chain and the significant market opportunities.
"We expect about 10 leading sheep producers to take part from across the agricultural region, along with farm consultant, DAFWA and MLA representatives.
"The delegates will build knowledge right through the supply chain, noting different regional market requirements through retail and food service channels as well as looking at local sheep production systems where WA industry also has opportunities for sales of genetics and technical assistance."
p For more information on Sheep Updates, visit agric.wa.gov.au/sheepupdates