Ban on Aussie beef imports into China lifted
China has lifted a three-month ban on beef imports processed by a group of Australian abattoirs.
The ban had been enforced due to non-compliance with China’s labelling regulations.
Australian Country Choice, Thomas Foods International, Kilcoy Pastoral Company, JBS Beef City, Prime JBS and Northern Co-operative Meat Company were the six companies banned.
These abattoirs process almost a third of Australia’s beef trade to China and were banned from exporting to China in July 2017.
Trade Minister Steven Ciobo raised China’s suspension of exports from the beef processors during meetings in Beijing last month.
Beef exports are big business for the Australian beef industry
Australia’s beef exports to China were worth more than A$670 million last year, making it Australia’s fourth largest market.
Total beef exports to China for the year to the end of September 2017 totalled 74,821 tonnes.
“This is terrific news for the six affected facilities, great news for their workers and suppliers,” Ciobo said.
The industry employs almost 50,000 full time staff throughout its supply chain according to the Australian Meat Industry Council.
Trade into China cannot resume until China’s Certification and Accreditation Administration puts the six company names back onto their approved list which has not yet occurred.
Australian Food News understands that this is will be a formality, and the suspensions have been lifted.
The Australian beef industry will soon determine when trade re-commences and invoke protocols that ensure these types of regulatory issues do not arise again.
Expansion of beef exports
Those in the beef industry are hopeful that expansion of Australia’s overall chilled beef trade into China will expand sooner rather than later.
Discussions between the Australian and Chinese governments will occur in Australia on November 19, 2017 with this issue said to be high on the agenda.
At present, only ten companies are eligible for chilled export.
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