BUNBURY-BASED meat processor V and V Walsh has entered into a new joint venture which will significantly increase Western Australia’s meat and fodder exports to China and inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy.
Agriculture and food minister Ken Baston today congratulated the state’s largest red meat processor, V&V Walsh, on the export project.
“With an estimated investment of $1billion over five years, the project will involve Bunbury-based V&V Walsh, as well as China’s largest red meat importer from Australia and New Zealand, Grand Farm, and the Inner Mongolian Government,” Mr Baston said.
“There will be investments in both jurisdictions - $200 million of Chinese investment into WA to increase lamb and beef production; and $800million in Inner Mongolia, where there are plans to develop new processing facilities and an expansive network of feeding systems.
“V&V Walsh plans to provide frozen boxed meat to Grand Farm and will require an extra 500,000 lambs and 30,000 cattle per year during stage one of the project, so this will no doubt create employment opportunities.”
The minister said the Department of Agriculture and Food WA would provide technical support during the project’s pilot stage to develop feed production systems, genetics and breeding, formulated feed, biosecurity and training in sheep and cattle husbandry.
Prospects for growth of beef and sheep meat into China are high.
In China, each person consumes an average of 4.9kg of beef a year and 2.8kg of sheep meat.
By comparison, Australians consume an average 32.5kg of beef and 10kg of sheep meat.
“For every one kilogram of extra lamb meat consumed in China, an extra 65 million lambs will be required,” Mr Baston said.
“And for every one kilogram of extra beef consumed in China, an extra 6.5 million cattle will be required.
“WA has the very significant opportunity to grow exports.”
V&V Walsh has made substantial investments to increase the capacity of its abattoir in Bunbury and is in the final stages of gaining approval to export to China.
This is a joint venture between Grand Farm president and China’s Beef and Lamb Association chairman Mr Chen Xibin and brothers Peter and Greg Walsh of V&V Walsh.
The WA pilot project will complement plans by Grand Farm and the Government of Xilinhot to build a world-class new industry, including research and development in Inner Mongolia.