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Australian meat is being sent to China as Coles looks to tap into the lucrative Asian market

Coles plans to export Australia’s best cuts of meat to China – but insists selling food to the Far East isn’t its priority

  • Australian meat sales skyrocketed in China, increasing 73 per cent this year 
  • Coles already exports $400million worth of meat each year to 40 countries 
  • They plan on expanding their export strategy with China being the main focus 

Coles will open an office in Shanghai as it tries to sell premium Australian meat to Chinese customers.

The supermarket chain currently exports the parts of cows that Australians don’t eat, such as offal, to China but will now be expanding to premium cuts aimed at the country’s middle class. 

A record amount of Australian beef was sold in China in 2019, in part due to swine fever which has severely impacted the supply of pork.

A record amount of Australian beef was sold in China in 2019, in part due to swine fever which has severely impacted the supply of pork. Pictured: A woman sells beef at a market in Beijing

Coles export boss Thinus Keeve said the company hoped to sell other products in China in the future.

‘Our primary focus will be beef and lamb, but over time you will see us selling some oat products… a bit of milk powder,’ he told the Australian Financial Review.

Mr Keeve said Coles was apprehensive about rushing their strategy in China.

‘We will start small and grow it into a sizeable business. It is a serious commitment from the Coles business to open an office in Shanghai… rapidly expanding into China is not the priority,’ he said.

Mr Keeve said there were no plans to open Coles supermarkets in China.

Coles currently sells $400million worth of meat to 40 countries around the world. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Coles for comment. 

Meanwhile, a recent investigation found that much of Australian beef being sold in China is fake.  

Coles already export $400million worth of meat each year to 40 countries but will be expanding their export strategy with China being the main focus (stock image)

Coles already export $400million worth of meat each year to 40 countries but will be expanding their export strategy with China being the main focus (stock image)

Warwick Powell, the founder of Brisbane-based company Beefledger, estimates that for every 10 kilograms of beef sold in China, one kilogram is actually the advertised product.

The beef either doesn’t come from the advertised country or the meat it claims to be is not beef at all.

Katherina Li, founder and chief executive of Beijing-based Liberty Post, said food fraud is undermining consumer confidence in China and is becoming a major problem.

‘There is a very high risk of fake product by using cheaper products that pretend to be Australian beef,’ she told the ABC.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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