Experts in New Zealand have said the country’s red meat sector is likely to change forever after shareholders of a major co-operative voted in favour of selling a 50 per cent stake to a Chinese-owned meat processing company.
Silver Fern Farms (SFF) will sell half of its business to Chinese-owned Shanghai Maling for $NZ261 million (£115m). SFF members have suggested the deal will give increased access to the Chinese market.
Shanghai Maling must take the proposal to its own shareholdrrs on Octobere 30 but experts claimed this was a done deal. Silver Fern Farms is currently owned by 16,000 sheep, cattle and deer farmer shareholders.
Dean Hamilton, chief executive, said: "It is good business sense to take costs out that are unnecessary. ’I think we will be looking back at this date and saying, this was the genesis of the change in the red meat industry in New Zealand, certainly for Silver Fern Farms."