Year of the ox: Australasian Food imports Argentinian blockchain beef into China on the back of growing consumption
It has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with BeefLedger and premium beef producer Carne Hereford S.A, which will see Australasian distribute and sell 1.2 tonnes of Argentinian beef in Shenzhen.
The imported beef is from Carne Hereford’s premium brand, Aliarg.
Australasian (Guangzhou) Food Co's founder Michael Harding said demand for imported beef in China continued to rise, despite the overwhelming preference for pork and chicken.
“I don't think there's too much concern as to whether Chinese consumer prefer Australia, New Zealand or American or Canadian beef. South American beef is widely accepted here, because it's widely available, packaged and well-priced.”
“Chinese consumers are quite open to products if the price is right, packaging is right, and product quality is good.
“However, I don't think beef consumption in China is nearly as widely understood or as popular as pork or chicken.
“Most Chinese consumers would have tried Western steak in a restaurant, but my experience with customers is that they don’t know how to cook it at home.”
This has prompted Harding to provide consumer recommendations for different cuts of meat along with cooking tips.
BeefLedger’s blockchain technology provides added security of authentication and tracking, to help consumers validate the credentials of the product they are purchasing through data on cattle health, location, transport, and processing throughout the supply chain – information Harding believes Chinese consumers are increasingly keen to understand.
“I've got many customers that are repeat customers across different provinces. Many of these customers are also interested in understanding how blockchain works.
“It's definitely something that people are inquisitive about. And I think as it matures, it's going to become more mainstream across many categories, not just in beef and food products.”
The first shipment of Aliarg is expected to arrive in March 2021.
Harding said it will sell to food service such as local restaurants, as well as direct-to-consumer (D2C).
“Local consumers are looking for high quality products at a reasonable price. The rapid growth in e-commerce post pandemic is also driving expansion in the direct to household’s channel.
“Our food services network is also coming online strongly, as conditions normalise and consumer confidence regains its pre-COVID vitality.”
For D2C, Australasian is working with WeChat’s Live Stream platform to sell the products, not least because livestreaming has been consistently rated the number one channel for online sales in China.
Harding also hopes to work with influencers to promote the products, which can attract more audience and make sales in real time.