This week both the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the commerce minister Zhong Shan visited the Netherlands to further ratify the trade deal.
The Chinese government had authorised the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) to perform the final inspection required at one veal-producing company.
According to Ekro, the deal signifies a breakthrough in the 17-year negotiation process concerning the export of Dutch veal to China. Initially, only boneless veal will be allowed to cross the border.
Henny Swinkels, Ekro director of corporate affairs, said that many people had worked “very hard” to achieve this.
“The Dutch embassy and its agricultural attachés in China, the NVWA and the chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) all deserve considerable praise,” he said.
“I am also very happy with the help we have received from the Dutch meat association, Centrale Organisatie voor de Vleessector (COV). It is an excellent result that could only be achieved through the professional, collective efforts and close cooperation with the Chinese institutions.”
Ekro is shipping the first veal order to China this week.
Swinkels said there were great prospects for the Dutch product, especially as the Netherlands had a good reputation in the field of nutrition in China.
He added: “With our quality system Safety Guard, we provide unique guarantees for the Dutch veal products we deliver, such as quality, tracking & tracing and food safety. Chinese consumers find these elements very important. It is now up to us to familiarise the market with the product.”