ABP has confirmed that it will be extending its range of online beef products for Chinese consumers on the JD.com platform, up from three product lines to 10 product lines.

The announcement was made during a visit of its Chinese Distribution partner Hopewise to ABP Clones. Minister for business, enterprise and innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D. was also in attendance.

Hopewise was the first company to import Irish beef to China and 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.

The process of purchasing beef products online is one of the fastest growing trends in the Chinese market. ABP beef is supplied to JD.Com through the Hopewise distribution network in China.

Commenting at the announcement, Mark Goodman, managing director of ABP’s International Division said: “ABP is delighted to welcome Minister Humphreys and our distribution partners, Hopewise, to our facility in Clones.

“The time is now right for us to extend our range further to include another 7 products. These have been developed following six months of close and successful collaboration between our new product development team here in Ireland, our colleagues in China and our distribution partners Hopewise.

“We look forward to the continued expansion of our products with Hopewise and the JD.Com platform.”

Mr Sun Yong Li, chairman of BJ Hopewise responded saying: “Irish beef is proving popular with our customers and with the Chinese consumer.

“They value the fact that the product is fully traceable, hormone free and is produced in green fields. Demand has been increasing since we launched the ABP product on JD.Com in July, I think it is important for Ireland to push for more plant approvals to ensure increased supply as demand grows.”

In February 2018, ABP became the first European beef company to agree contract arrangements with Chinese customers. In July, the company signed an export agreement with Hopewise where ABP ships beef cuts to Hopewise processing facilities in Shanghai and Beijing.

The product is then processed into consumer packs, with consumers able to purchase for direct home delivery via the JD.com platform on their phones.