Uruguay shows off its meats at SIAL CHINA and is distinguished as “Country of Honor”


Between May 18 and 20, the SIAL fair was held in Shanghai, China. In this edition, INAC participated with a 660 square meter stand that offered tasting, with 21 co-exhibiting companies and 15 brokers, traders and meat chain stakeholders. This participation was especially significant for both diplomatic and commercial reasons and reflects the deep and satisfactory state of bilateral relations.  

This was the first landing of Uruguayan businesspeople on Chinese soil since the pandemic. China is the country’s main trading partner and its relative relevance is of top importance for the meat chain.  

In terms of diplomacy and institutional representation, this fair took place in the year of the 35th  anniversary of the establishment of our bilateral relations. Because of that, together with the fact that INAC did not fail to participate in SIAL Shanghai during the pandemic, our country was considered a country of honor at the event. 

In that regard, it was noted that the SIAL fair was included in the ministerial tour of the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries. Minister Fernando Mattos, together with INAC President Conrado Ferber, Board members Daniel De Mattos and José Mesa and Uruguayan Ambassador to China Fernando Lugris inaugurated INAC’s stand with the other members of VIP delegation. The presence of Minister Mattos was especially significant given that the ministerial tour involves multiple official actions aimed at improving the meat chain’s access to the Chinese market with new products. 

Uruguayan beef was used as a star ingredient in the cooking contest “La Cuisine”, where international chefs prepared their best dishes using Uruguayan beef. President Ferber tasted the dishes with the organizers, praised the attributes of Uruguayan beef and gave out the prizes. 

The annual cocktail reception that INAC offers at the Grand Hyatt Hotel was resumed, and more than 300 people attended. There were speeches by Minister Mattos, President Ferber and Ambassador Lugris, and in addition to the Uruguayan official authorities (diplomatic and sanitary) there were representatives of the Uruguayan and Chinese private sectors. Two Chinese restaurants, one in Shanghai and the other in Guangzhou, received awards for selling the most Uruguayan meat in their region in the wake of INAC’s marketing campaigns on the Dianping platform in 2022. 

The institutional agenda also included several meetings and exchange events with Chinese representatives. 

One of them was the workshop organized with China Entry & Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA). 

This activity was in charge of customs experts, who addressed the Uruguayan private and government sector to explain the specific processes that affect the entry of Uruguayan meat in China. The workshop was opened by Minister Mattos and was attended by the Consul in Shanghai Marcelo Magnou and the Deputy Director of the Animal Industry Department, Diego Dominguez. This workshop was offered by Shanghai and Tianjin customs authorities and covered details on port inspection (especially changes implemented after Covid) and regulatory frameworks (particularly the changes resulting from standards 248 and 249). They went through the most frequent problems (non-conformities) observed by Chinese customs and how to prevent them. The speakers praised the professionalism of Uruguayan exports, highlighting the very low levels of inconveniences they encountered. 

Also to highlight was the signing of the agreement between INAC, Sunlon and Wumart.  The institute already had a cooperation agreement with Sunlon, signed in 2021. This organization is a state-owned company in Beijing’s municipal capital. They are relevant in international trade as importers, and are already doing business with several national exporters. In addition, they have their own products that reach the shelves of several points of sale in the region. As a result of this agreement, several B2B promotional events for Uruguayan meats were organized, in addition to webinars on Uruguayan sheep meat. Sunlon’s clients are mostly wholesalers, processing plants and supermarket channels.  On this occasion, the agreement was deepened owing to the recent acquisition of Sunlon (who joined the Wumart supermarket chain). This new project seeks to use Wumart as a channel for marketing campaigns promoting Uruguayan meat. 

The Uruguayan delegation also held a meeting with the China Meat Association. 

This organization is a national entity registered before the Ministry of Civil Administration and internationally, and like INAC, they are members of the International Meat Secretariat (IMS). They gather Chinese companies in the meat sector, including, among others, importers and exporters, meat packing plants, processing plants, traders, cold storage warehouses, and retailers, as well as research institutes and the press 

On September 24, 2013, INAC and CMA signed a cooperation MOU, establishing the relationship between the two institutes. For example, in 2016, CMA participated in the XXI World Meat Congress organized by INAC and IMS. Subsequently, INAC has participated in various trade fairs organized by CMA. The INAC delegation was received by CMA Vice President Chen Wei and Michelle Wu, Director General of the International Cooperation Department. On this occasion, they discussed the improvement of mutual communication mechanisms on industry news, preparation of delegation visits and match-making. 

INAC representatives also held meetings with marketing and market intelligence agencies to deepen their knowledge of the Chinese consumer and outline future collaborations with these organizations.