The Alliance meat co-operative is hosting a Chinese delegation this week as it looks at ways of continuing to grow a rapidly expanding sheepmeat trade to China.
Alliance is the biggest sheepmeat processor and exporter in new Zealand and China is now its biggest market, in terms of volume and is closing the gap with the UK on value, as well.
The Chinese delegation includes representatives of Alliance's partner in China, Grand Farm, the largest importer of New Zealand sheepmeat there and two Chinese Government officials.
On Tuesday, they visited meat processing plants in Southland and a farm supplying the company.
Marketing general manager, Murray Brown said Alliance has been working with the company since 2000.
He sheepmeat exports to China have been mainly lower value cuts used in traditional dishes such as hot pots, but that's changing.