Larry Goodman's ABP Food Group has entered an exclusive deal with Chinese company Beijing Hopewise to launch a range of Irish beef products on a Chinese e-commerce platform.
The platform, JD.com, is one of the largest business-to-consumer online retailers in China by transaction volume and revenue, with 301.8 million active users recorded in the first quarter this year.
The agreement will see ABP ship a range of premium beef cuts to the Hopewise processing facilities in Shanghai and Beijing. From here, the beef will be processed into consumer packs, with consumers able to purchase for direct home delivery via the JD.com platform on their phones.
"This deal is a further tangible endorsement of the quality beef that Ireland and ABP continues to offer," Mark Goodman, MD of ABP’s international division, said.
"We look forward to building on our relationships in the Chinese market, and working closely with both the Department of Agriculture and Bord Bia to continue to grow the market share for Irish beef in China."
While almost unheard of in Ireland, ABP said that the process of purchasing beef products online is one of the fastest growing trends in the Chinese market.
Earlier this year, ABP secured the first contract to supply Irish beef to China since exports from Ireland to the country were blocked following the BSE crisis. ABP signed a €50m deal to supply Chinese restaurant chain Wowprime, which has more than 400 restaurants in China and Taiwan across 18 brands.
The company also extended its range of premium "Irish Nature Organic" steaks with YATA, a Hong Kong based supermarket chain, while ABP also exports Irish beef to the Philippines and Japan.