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Christchurch-founded global trading company Garra International has secured its first own-brand beef shipments into China, with supply expected to reach an estimated US$6 million per month by 2022.

“China is, by a large margin, the world’s largest buyer of animal protein”, says Garra board chair Ali Mossalem in Christchurch. “So it was only natural that Garra would seek to gain a foothold for our own-brand beef in that market. We’ve established distribution connections and our first shipment is on its way to Shanghai.”

With operations in ten countries, Garra is a trading company known for acting as a facilitator at both ends of the business, bringing buyers and sellers together for mutual benefit. Since 1995, Garra has also developed and marketed its own-label products, focused primarily on Arab countries. With this global expertise behind it, the company decided it was time to invest in the huge market that China represents.

Garra’s Brazil-based CEO Frederico Kaefer (pictured above) says: “We customised the Garra brand especially for Chinese consumers. With selected products and a specialised team, we are confident Garra will gain traction in this key market for the animal protein sector.”

Kaefer says Garra’s projections for China are ambitious. Currently, China represents 10% of Garra’s revenue; their goal is to reach 40% in a short period.

“The brand’s sales alone should quadruple in the next year,” Kaefer says, “from 250 tons sold per month to 1000 tons. If our plans come to fruition, we expect our own brand to reach 25% of our sales volume in 2022 – more than double what we currently have.”

For the initial shipment the own-brand beef comes from Uruguay, a country that stands out for the high quality of its meat, and which already exports heavily to Asia. However, Kaefer says if growth targets are met there will be opportunities to source beef from New Zealand and Australia as well.

The decision to sell Garra’s products to China is another step towards the company’s plan to quintuple its turnover in ten years, from US$200 million to US$1 billion. Currently, Garra trades 120 thousand tons of chicken, beef, lamb, and pork per year – sold to some 500 customers in more than 60 markets. The company also has operations in nine other countries, including Brazil, the United States, and Australia – countries where it already produces its private label – as well as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.


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Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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