Silver Fern Farms Confirm First Sea-Freight Container of Chilled Beef And Lamb to China
Thursday 24 August: Silver Fern Farms has launched a large-scale China chilled pilot with the first sea-freight container shipment of
chilled beef as well as multiple air-freight orders of beef and lamb set for customers across China.
The pilot is part of a six-month trial negotiated by the government to test chilled red meat access into the China
market. While small-volume air-freight product has been sent into market, it is understood that this is the first
sea-freight container to test the market says Silver Fern Farms GM Sales Grant Howie.
“It is important that during this trial period we test the market’s protocols and supply chain for chilled meat at
sea-ports as well as via air-freight,” Mr Howie says.
“With chilled product in China we need to test the process at scale which is why we have worked with one of our
customers to take a full 20ft container of chilled product.”
The first sea-freight container leaves New Zealand this week and is due to arrive into China in early September.
“Our relationship with Shanghai Maling has helped facilitate this sea-freight order. We are working with one of Shanghai
Maling’s subsidiaries who will distribute Silver Fern Farms chilled beef to a number of its supermarkets in and around
“The cuts they are taking are important. They are primarily secondary cuts of prime Beef – cuts that would otherwise
have been sold frozen at lower prices. They have the capability to position these traditional Chinese cuts at a premium
Silver Fern Farms is New Zealand’s largest meat exporter to China, having achieved $316m of sales to the region in 2016.
All of the product entered the market in frozen form.
Silver Fern Farms is also testing protocols for small-scale air-freight orders of beef into key food service
distributors who service high-end restaurants and hotels in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen and an airfreight order for
lamb cuts into a major multi-national high-end supermarket chain.
“For the past 2 years we have been busy developing the premium food service market with our Eating Quality (EQ) Graded
Silver Fern Farms Reserve Beef as a frozen product. Our Reserve and Angus Beef frozen programmes are aged for 21 days
back in New Zealand before being shipped frozen. Now that we have the ability to ship chilled, that ageing can now occur
as it is shipped to China.”
“This is a complex large scale chilled pilot to test a variety of market entry options as well as a range of products.
We have two air-freight orders destined for our food service customers in Shanghai. They have ordered our value added
Silver Fern Farms Reserve Beef, and our food service chilled prime beef product in primary and secondary cut form. They
are taking steak cuts, our Silver Fern Farms Reserve oyster blade and rump caps.”
“We have also partnered with a major multi-national high-end supermarket chain for an order of lamb cuts, including
premium lamb racks. We look forward to further orders at scale so we can test sea-freight container orders once the new
season lamb production comes on in coming months.”