HENDERSONVILLE, TN – Genus plc (LSE: GNS), a leading global animal genetics company, announced today that it has entered into a strategic collaboration in China, the world’s largest pork market. The collaboration, with Beijing Capital Agribusiness Co. Ltd (“BCA”), a leading Chinese animal protein genetics business, is to research, develop, register and market elite pigs in China that are resistant to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (“PRRSv”). Today’s announcement marks an exciting step forward in the development of PRRS resistant pigs for pork producers in China.
“The combination of Genus’ PRRSv resistance technology, elite genetics and breeding know-how along with BCA’s deep understanding of the porcine sector in China and its distribution channels plays to the strengths of each party,” said Bill Christianson, PIC COO. “We are looking forward to rapidly progressing the PRRSv resistance program in collaboration with BCA and launching this important new product in China.”
The initial phase of the collaboration is expected to take several years and focuses on the research, development and regulatory approval in China of PRRSv resistant pigs. Following regulatory approval and the launch of PRRSv resistant pigs in China, Genus and BCA have agreed that they will work together in a joint venture which will include Genus’s porcine operations in China (“PIC China”).
As China seeks to modernize its pork production, these efforts are significantly hindered by disease outbreaks. The potential to reduce PRRSv will bring significant benefits to China by improving the reliability of the pork supply chain and continuing to provide high-quality pork to Chinese consumers. PRRSv affects the majority of pigs in China and causes animal suffering, reproductive failure, increased mortality and reduced growth. BCA and Genus also intend to cooperate to research and develop solutions to other major animal health challenges facing the Chinese pork industry including African Swine Fever.
“We are excited to collaborate with Genus PIC, the world’s leading porcine genetics company, for the registration and launch of PRRSv resistant pigs in China as an important step of a broader partnership,” said Liu Jiantong, General Manager and Vice Chairman of Beijing Capital Agribusiness Co., Ltd. “BCA is a leading agricultural company that focuses on providing high quality and modern technology to Chinese animal protein producers. Our exclusive collaboration with Genus PIC in China on this cutting-edge technology and other future ventures further expands BCA’s presence in the animal protein genetics sector and is consistent with BCA’s long-term strategy.”
“The more countries that have approved the production or consumption of pork from PRRSv resistant pigs the smoother global trade. China is the largest consumer, producer and importer of pork in the world. It is important for Chinese consumers, Chinese producers and overseas producers—including those here in the U.S.—to have approval for use of this technology in China,” added Bill Christianson.
Further information on this strategic collaboration is set out on the Genus plc corporate website.
Genus is a UK public company with ordinary shares admitted to the Official List and to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities with a premium listing under the symbol (“GNS”). Genus creates advances to animal breeding and genetic improvement by applying biotechnology and sells added value products for livestock farming and food producers. Its technology is applicable across livestock species and is currently commercialised by Genus in the dairy, beef and pork food production sectors.
Genus’s worldwide sales are made in over seventy-five countries under the trademarks ‘ABS’ (dairy and beef cattle) and ‘PIC’ (pigs) and comprise semen, embryos and breeding animals with superior genetics to those animals currently in farms. Genus’s customers’ animals produce offspring with greater production efficiency, and quality, and use these to supply the global dairy and meat supply chains. The Group’s competitive edge has been created from the ownership and control of proprietary lines of breeding animals, the biotechnology used to improve them and its global supply chain, technical service and sales and distribution network.
With headquarters in Basingstoke, United Kingdom, Genus companies operate in over twenty-five countries on six continents, with research laboratories located in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
About PIC China
PIC China are wholly owned subsidiaries of Genus. PIC China supplies and distributes elite porcine genetics to several leading Chinese pig producers through a mixture of contracted, joint venture and owned animals.
BCA owns extensive poultry breeding businesses in ducks, layers, and broiler chickens. Its portfolio of animal genetics businesses is the most diversified in species and one of the largest in scale in China, including: Cherry Valley ducks, which are 85% of Chinese broiler ducks, Yukou layers, which are over 40% of Chinese layers, Golden Star Beijing Ducks, which are 95% of the Beijing Roasted Ducks, AA broiler chickens, which are over 12% of the Chinese white feather broiler chickens, Holstein dairy cows that breed elite herds with the highest record of average milk production, and Zhong Yu Brand pigs, with over 6,000 sows capacity, a leader in North China market for many years.
BCA intends to build on this portfolio to become China’s number one genetics supplier of animal protein, with market leadership in the main farming animal species.
BCA is 45% owned by Beijing Capital Agribusiness & Food Group (which is in turn owned by the Beijing Municipality), 38% owned by GLP-Youshan Fund, and 17% owned by CITIC Agriculture Technology Co., Ltd and CITIC Agri Investment Fund. Beijing Capital Agribusiness and Food Group is a conglomerate in the agriculture and food space with annual sales of over RMB126 Billion in 2018. GLP- Youshan Fund is a special purpose investment fund established under GLP, the modern logistics infrastructure and asset management company with over US$64 Billion assets under management.
CITIC Limited (SEHK: 00267) is one of China’s largest conglomerates and a constituent of the Hang Seng Index. Among its diverse global businesses, CITIC focus primarily on financial services, resources and energy, manufacturing, engineering contracting and real estate. As China’s economy matures and is increasingly weighted toward consumption and services, CITIC is building upon its existing consumer platform, expanding into complementary businesses that reflect these trends and opportunities. As of 31 December 2018, CITIC Limited had total assets of HK$7,661 billion and total ordinary shareholders’ funds of over HK$558 billion.
Tracing its roots to the beginning of China’s opening and reform, it is driven today by the same values upon which it was founded: a pioneering spirit, a commitment to innovation and a focus on the long term. The group embraces world-class technologies and aims for international best practice. Its platform is unique in its diversity and scale, allowing CITIC to capture emerging opportunities in China and around the world.
CITIC Agriculture Technology Co., Ltd. serves as the only platform to plan and execute CITIC Limited’s agriculture investment strategy. CITIC Agriculture focuses on agricultural biotechnology with a mission of upgrading China’s agricultural industry. Leveraging CITIC Limited’s advantages in capital, branding and internationalisation, CITIC Agriculture today is building and shaping globally competitive agricultural companies.