Virginia Ag Leader Promotes Rendering in China

In mid-May, Todd Haymore, secretary of Agriculture and Forestry of the Commonwealth of Virginia, visited Shanghai, China, with the Virginia Trade and Investment Mission led by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to promote agricultural product exports to southern China. Invited by Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Chinese customers of the Virginia rendering industry, including Yunan Huijia Trading Co., Shenyang Harvest Trading Co., and Dalian Chengcheng Trading Co., came to Shanghai to attend dinner with McDonnell and Haymore. Haymore met representatives from each company and extended gratitude for their support in development of the Chinese market for processed animal proteins produced by Virginia renderers. He also discussed political issues on current trading and opportunities to further expand exports.

Haymore then visited aquaculture feed plant Haid Group in Wujiang City of Jiangsu Province, Suzhou Aquaculture Farms in Jiangsu Province, and Nori Petfood Corporation in Shanghai. He was accompanied by Charles Green, director of Division of Marketing and Development, Virginia Department of Agriculture; David Wong, director of Asia Pacific market, Virginia Department of Agriculture; Tinglong Cao, vice president of Yunan Huijia Trading Co.; and Peng Li, Asia regional director, National Renderers Association. Yingzhuo Xu, senior vice president of Haid Group, flew from the company’s headquarters in Guangzhou to welcome Haymore and reviewed the history and development of the company.

Haid Group is the second largest aquaculture feed producer in China by volume. The company’s 35 plants produced approximately 2.5 million metric tons of feed in 2010, of which aquaculture feed accounted for 40 percent. Of the one million metric tons of aquaculture feeds, shrimp feed was close to 25 percent. Haid Group also produced 300,000 metric tons of swine feed, 600,000 metric tons of chicken feed, and 400,000 metric tons of duck feed in 2010.

Haid Group is one of the largest end users of U.S. poultry meal in China. The company has been actively contacting various government agencies to petition the industrial demands of U.S. ruminant meat and bone meal, and feels pessimistic about the potential market opening in the near future. Haid Group explored the possibilities of Haymore communicating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prompt negotiations with counterparts in China to allow U.S. ruminant meat and bone meal exports and abandon polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, testing for ruminant DNA in non-ruminant protein meal exports. Xu asked Haymore to forward his appreciation to Valley Proteins for always assuring quality and safety of poultry by-product meal, as well as his interests in signing a long-term contract with Valley Proteins to secure supply and save costs of formulation modification due to changes in suppliers and analyses. After meeting with Xu, Haymore examined pet food grade poultry by-product meal stored in a warehouse and observed the processing lines.

“It is very hard for me to imagine that Virginia’s secretary of agriculture traveled such a long way to our plant in rural area of Jiangsu simply to listen to our needs and concerns, and seek advice for better business and customer service,” said Xu.

Haymore visited Suzhou Aquaculture Farms and Nori Petfood and discussed use of processed animal proteins in aquaculture feeds and pet food with the local professionals. The feedback from all customers visited was very positive. Haymore is the first and so far the only secretary of agriculture of all the U.S. states that has visited production facilities of Asian customers of the U.S. rendering industry.

August 2011 RENDER | back