The group, funded by beef and sheep farmers, created a Korean name that means New Zealand nature-bred beef, which will be accompanied by the slogan 'A Healthy Gift from Pure New Zealand Nature'. The move is designed to promote New Zealand beef as a safe and natural alternative to grain-fed beef supplied by Australia and the US. New Zealand wants to highlight that its beef is grass-fed, and reinforce its good image as disease-free compared to US beef, which is currently banned in Korea due to BSE. "Our main objective here is to strengthen recognition of New Zealand beef and create a positive point of difference that is strongly focused at the retail sector," said Craig Finch, responsible for market development at Meat & Wool New Zealand. "New Zealand beef is a natural fit with the Korean people who are very particular about their health and food safety," he added, pointing to the low fat content of grass-fed beef and high levels of iron and vitamins and omega-3s. The Korean market, of some 48 million people, holds significant potential for New Zealand as its economy strengthens and more beef is consumed by an increasingly affluent middleclass. While pork is most consumed meat in the country, beef comes second, and is seeing growing demand. According to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), beef imports for the first five months of 2006 reached 77,401 metric tons, up by 14 per cent compared to the same period in 2005, with chilled imports rising 41 per cent to 9,703 metric tons. However Australia remains the dominant exporter to the country, accounting for 68 per cent of frozen and 94 per cent of chilled beef imported in the first five months of 2006. The continued delay in the resumption of imports of US beef, originally expected to start again in March, has also helped new, smaller players such as Mexico, export more beef to Korea.