JA Zen-Noh Meat Foods Co. and Itoham Foods Inc. said Wednesday they will be the first firms to ship Japanese beef to Hong Kong since an agreement was signed in April to resume Japanese beef exports after a five-year ban over mad cow disease.
The two firms have tied up to send the beef, starting May 14. They initially will ship about 1 ton of beef from high-quality black cattle raised in Kumamoto, Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures to restaurants and department stores in Hong Kong.
The beef in the first shipment will retail for around 30,000 yen per kilogram. Hong Kong imposed a ban on Japanese beef after Japan found its first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in September 2001. The ban was lifted on condition that Japan limit its exports to meat from cattle aged up to 30 months and remove brain, spinal cord and other specified risk materials.
Hong Kong was the biggest destination for Japan’s beef in 2000, with 60 tons shipped.
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