A major Chinese trading company has agreed to purchase 60 million pounds of pork from Smithfield Foods. The pork will be free of Paylean, the feed additive also known as ractopamine, which is banned in China. Delivery is expected by the end of December.
Smithfield president C. Larry Pope says, "Although our agreement today is modest, we believe there could be additional purchases, and we are hopeful that this is the beginning of a longer-term and growing association,"
Although the news release did not provide the name of the Chinese company, on Thursday Pope told Wall Street analysts in a conference call that Smithfield had been having "substantial conversations" with Chinese trading company COFCO. COFCO is the largest oils and food importer and exporter in China and a leading food manufacturer, according to its Web site.