Canada looks to beef up beef sales to China

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By WANG RU in Bei­jing wan­gru@chi­nadaily.com.cn

With China’s de­mand for meat soar­ing, Canada is look­ing to pro­mote its brand of beef in the huge mar­ket.

On March 27, Deron Bilous, Al­berta’s min­is­ter of eco­nomic devel­op­ment and trade, joined the Canada Beef team in China to host a culi­nary event and cook­ing class in Bei­jing.

Twenty Chi­nese con­sumers also gath­ered at the ABC Cook­ing Stu­dio Indigo Store in Bei­jing to sam­ple Cana­dian beef.

The event in­cluded a cook­ing demon­stra­tion of premium Cana­dian beef cuts, fol­lowed by the op­por­tu­nity for the con­sumer au­di­ence to cook and ex­pe­ri­ence their own Cana­dian beef meal.

Beef con­sump­tion in China has been soar­ing in re­cent years. Chi­nese im­ports of beef in the first half of this year stood at 184,000 tons – up 17 per­cent over the same pe­riod in 2014. Canada is the largest beef and cat­tle ex­porter in the world.

Cana­dian beef is sold at more than 100 stores in China, in­clud­ing a dozen Sam’s Club and Ole’s in big cities like Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Shen­zhen, Hangzhou and Dalian.

China im­ported 32,870 tons beef from Canada in 2015; that’s 381 per­cent growth com­pared with 2014.

By the end of Jan­uary, Canada has ex­ported 1,820 tons of beef to China, twice the amount from last year.

Canada’s pris­tine en­vi­ron­ment, cool cli­mate and fresh wa­ter make it an ideal place to raise cat­tle.

Canada is a world leader in feed grain pro­duc­tion, in­clud­ing bar­ley, wheat and corn. High-qual­ity feed grains en­able Canada to pro­duce well­mar­bled, flavorful and ten­der beef, with white-col­ored fat that con­sumers around the world pre­fer.

Canada Beef Pres­i­dent Rob Mei­jer is con­fi­dent the con­tin­ued fo­cus on Chi­nese con­sumers will strate­gi­cally po­si­tion the Cana­dian beef brand and se­cure in­creased mind-share in this mar­ket.

“Con­sumer en­gage­ment is more than sim­ply broad­cast­ing our mes­sage. We must cre­ate con­ver­sa­tion points and spur cre­ative thought through an ex­cep­tional Cana­dian beef ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Mei­jer. “Our loyal brand ad­vo­cates want two-way, re­cip­ro­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tion, so we con­tinue to en­gage con­sumers through im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences.”

“In Al­berta, we are known for our Rocky Moun­tains, our oil and gas in­dus­try, and our world-class beef,” said Bilous. “Our cat­tle are grown, raised and made to meet the highest stan­dards. With an in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion for ex­cep­tional taste, qual­ity and safety, there is no bet­ter ex­am­ple of our agri­cul­ture sec­tor than Al­berta beef.”

Canada Beef con­tin­ues to work with pro­vin­cial part­ners and gov­ern­ments, and brand part­ners to drive de­mand for Cana­dian beef among Chi­nese

In Al­berta, we are known for our Rocky Moun­tains, our oil and gas in­dus­try, and our world-class beef.”

con­sumers. This leads to in­creased brand aware­ness and brand loy­alty, with the in­ten­tion of po­si­tion­ing Cana­dian beef as a fa­vorite pro­tein among Chi­nese con­sumers. Canada Beef is the cat­tle pro­ducer-funded and run or­ga­ni­za­tion re­spon­si­ble for do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional beef and veal mar­ket devel­op­ment.

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