It has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese representatives Xuefang Chen and Wenbo Ge to explore commercial opportunities in the Chinese market, particularly on the imports and distribution of beef. It said that the purpose of the Memorandum is to set up a joint venture, in which Minerva, Athena Foods or any other subsidiaries, shall be partners.
The statement said: “With the establishment of this JV, in partnership with Chinese representatives, the Company aims to maximize its distribution channels in China, enabling new business opportunities, and to meet the growing demand for beef protein in China, which today accounts for approximately 15% of all global beef consumption.”
In September, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, approved 25 Brazilian meat processing plants for export, 17 of which were beef facilities, two of which are owned by Minerva.
The Minerva sites are based in Rolim de Moura and Palmeiras de Goiás, which have a combined slaughter capacity of 3,500 heads per day. These two, combined with the Barretos plant that is already certified to export to China, allows Minerva to offer up to 4,340 heads per day to the China market.
Minerva was also forced to put its staff at the Barretos site in Sao Paulo on “collective vacation” for two weeks in June following a temporary ban on beef trade between Brazil and China due to the detection of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply prevented the relevant materials from entering the food chain, allowing the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) to consider the matter closed, paving the way for exports to resume.