With China’s appetite for premium protein growing, Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart has signed an agreement to help meet that demand.
Mrs Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting (Hancock) announced last night the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with Zhejiang Aozhou Cattle Industry Co. Ltd (Aozhou), an entity jointly formed by Sino‐Australia Modern Industry Park, New Hope Group, Zhejiang Seaport Group and Harvest Fund, which could see the live export of up to 300,000 cattle to China.
Under the agreement, Hancock will have the opportunity to invest in Aozhou, a company incorporated for the purpose of developing a cattle receiving and processing facility on Jintang Island, China.
Aozhou will develop and operate this facility, and will sell and distribute the beef products to consumers in the Yangtze Delta region; and Hancock and Aozhou will establish a joint venture in Australia for the purpose of purchasing, feeding and exporting suitable cattle to those Chinese facilities, a Hancock statement said.
“The Jintang Island facility will have a capacity of 150,000 head per annum, with the potential to expand that capacity to up to 300,000 head per annum in the future as growth allows,” the statement said.
Hancock executive chairwoman Gina Rinehart has welcomed the opportunity for an increased exposure to end‐user markets. “Australia needs to export currently two-thirds of its cattle, so overseas markets must continue to be developed if we are to grow our cattle industry,” she said.
“Growing our cattle industry helps the many related industries, not just the stations themselves, but also the trough and tank suppliers, the hydraulic crush manufacturers, the contractors and truckers, accountants and other consultants, and more,” Mrs Rinehart said.
New Hope Group chairman Yonghao Liu said there had been an increasing demand for premium protein in China.
Hancock CEO Garry Korte said they were pleased to partner with New Hope Group, Harvest Fund and Zhejiang Seaport Group, with strong support from the Government of Zhejiang.
“Hancock and our partners are committed to growing a more integrated and efficient supply chain and continuing to supply into multiple distribution channels. In doing so, we cannot overlook that China is an important market, with an increasing demand for high quality protein.”
The Hancock family started their first cattle station in north-west Australia. Since then Mrs Rinehart has extensively grown the Hancock agriculture portfolio including purchasing the nation’s largest private landholding, S Kidman and Co, with Chinese real estate conglomerate Shanghai Cred.