8 Sep 2015

Chinese interests in NZ meat industry 'significant'

10:34 am on 8 September 2015

The Meatworkers Union says Chinese investors already have significant interests in the New Zealand meat industry.

Silver Fern Farms is not commenting on reports that foreign investors, possibly from China, want to buy a 50 percent stake in what is New Zealand's biggest meat company for $100 million.

Sources in the meat industry say an announcement is imminent.

Meatworkers Union Secretary Graham Cooke said several meat plants across the country are owned or part-owned by Chinese investors.

"There is more and more interest by overseas countries, principally China who are clearly looking at protecting their food line," said Mr Cooke.

"We're hearing from the Australian meatworkers union and there's clearly a significant interest in owning the farm right through to the shipping companies right through to the retail outlets in China.

Mr Cook said the meat industry has had overseas interests for a considerable period, and while the union would rater see the industry New Zealand owned, its dealings with Chinese owners had been favourable at this point.