Sexed Genetics, trading as Global Reproductive Systems (GRS Embryos), is a bovine embryo harvester based out of a 320-acre farm in Goorambat in northern Victoria. Dom and Jo-anne Bayard both have a lifetime of experience with cattle and run their own Wagyu and Mont Beliarde cattle herds.
GRS Embryos have been exporting to China for 9 years and also export to the USA, Canada, EU, New Zealand and Uruguay. The company has been accredited to produce embryos for export in China and is inspected every three years by Chinese AQSIQ quarantine officials. Additionally, the Australian Department of Agriculture audits the company every six months.
Dom and Jo-anne first visited China in 2003 and made their first shipment to the Middle Kingdom in 2006. The first export comprised 35 embryos and they have since been exporting to China annually. The largest single shipment to date has been 1000 embryos, illustrating how demand from China can escalate rapidly and dramatically. Additionally, Dom commented that each shipment to China should be viewed as a separate contract that must be negotiated on its own merits.
The clients with whom the Bayards deal in China are private companies. Product specifications can often change without much notice. For example, initial estimates of the number of embryos required for a particular order are often much higher than the final figure, which can make life very difficult given the substantial lead time and investment required to generate and harvest bovine embryos. Dom urges companies to be patient and flexible when working with China. Negotiation is innate to Chinese business, as it is to Chinese culture in general, and Dom recommends companies do their homework and allow for negotiating space when quoting prices.
Despite the challenges, the Bayards have benefited greatly from their business engagement with China. Their advice to fellow businesses is to embrace Chinese culture and the cultural differences that await when doing business there.