A new agreement between NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and a major Asian agricultural university, cemented on a visit by Chinese scientists to Cowra, NSW, in late February 2017, is set to increase demand for Australian beef in the lucrative China market.
Dr Yimin Zhang from China’s Shandong Agricultural University (SDAU) will work on joint research projects with DPI aimed at selling more Aussie beef into China, said DPI senior principal research scientist David Hopkins, who is based in Cowra.
“Dr Zhang will work with local researchers to identify how Australian beef can meet Chinese market preferences and encourage growth in demand for Australian beef,” Dr Hopkins said.
The roots of the collaboration
“DPI established a fertile relationship with the university in 2014 when SDAU funded a 12-month placement for Dr Yanwei Mao to gain new skills in experimental design, laboratory work and data analysis,” Dr Hopkins explained.
“That placement, here at the DPI Centre for Red Meat and Sheep Development in Cowra, led to published research which clearly showed that demand for beef and sheep meat will continue to grow in China.”
During his Cowra placement in 2015, Dr Mao praised the meat produced by our livestock farmers, enthusing, “Australian red meat is the best in the world, and China has a lot to learn in terms of beef quality”.
“As part of my studies and research, I want to learn how to improve meat quality and tenderness, and then take that knowledge with me back to China to work on reinventing our meat industry,” Dr Mao told the Cowra Guardian.
Building the market for Aussie beef
Now, the aim is to build on Dr Mao’s findings, uncovering new insights and finding better ways for Australian producers and processors to deliver premium Aussie red-meat products into Chinese markets.
The relationship between DPI and Shandong Agricultural University has been formalised in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and the appointment of Dr Hopkins as an adjunct professor at SDAU.