The New Zealand business delegation in China has struck a major deal for the red meat sector.
Farmer-owned co-operative Alliance Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with Grand Farm, China's largest importer of sheep meat, in Beijing.
The deal will expand the presence of Alliance lamb, mutton, beef and venison further into southern China, including cities such as Shanghai.
The meeting was part of the agenda for New Zealand business delegates accompanying Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on the diplomatic mission this week.
Alliance has been working in China since the mid-1990s and is already China's largest exporter of New Zealand lamb.
General manager of sales Shane Kingston said the co-operative aimed to be the leading red meat provider in China.
"We look forward to introducing Pure South, Silere, Lumina and Handpicked product ranges to a broader base of Chinese consumers across multiple channels, and strengthening the brand presence and value creation from our premium portfolios," Kingston said.
"Alliance and Grand Farm will work together to foster innovation and develop further innovative food solutions that cater to emerging new channels and the growing Chinese consumer base."
Grand Farm owns and operates 105 speciality retail butcheries, supplies product to more than 2000 supermarket butcheries, minimarts and hypermarkets, and has a wholesale distribution network with more than 2,400 retail outlets.
Grand Farm's president Xibin Chen said the relationship exemplified the co-operation between two leading red meat companies.
He said the company was committed to establishing Pure South and Handpicked as the leading red meat brands in China.