(Yicai Global) Oct. 17 – Driven by China's rising demands for overseas meat products, US food and agriculture giant Cargill expects its turnover at next month's China International Import Expo to exceed last year's USD2.4 billion, the firm's China president said.
The difference in price between pork and imported beef is shrinking and more consumers are willing to buy beef and other meats, Liu Jun told reporters on Oct. 15.
"Cargill's sales of meat such as beef and chicken in China have greatly increased over the past year," Liu said.
Such is the importance of the second CIIE in Shanghai to the Minnesota-based firm that it has doubled the size of its booth area to 200 square meters. Chairman and Chief Executive David MacLennan will also be in attendance, Liu said.
Cargill will bring pea protein, pet food and personal care products as well as other commodities to the CIIE. Pea protein is an important raw material for plant-based meat. With the rise of artificial meat products, the protein has become a new market favorite. As Chinese consumers have different tastes from Westerners, the company will research and develop products to meet their needs, he added.
The world's first national-level, import-themed exhibition offers a platform for communication with government, industry peers and consumers, Liu said. Cargill hopes to make better use of this year's event to connect with all sectors and sign more trade and cooperation deals.
The CIIE can also help foreign colleagues to improve their understanding of the Chinese market and increase their confidence in investing in China, he added.
Cargill's investment in China has doubled over the past seven years and Liu expects this number to double again in the next five to seven. This year, the firm already invested CNY1.3 billion (USD183 million) in China, including a food safety testing center in northeastern Jilin province. The center will start operating early next year and it will serve the Chinese market as well as the Asia Pacific region, Liu said.