China has agreed to allow New Zealand chilled meat into its vast market.
The industry has been trying for years to get access and Prime Minister John Key says the breakthrough will be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
He's visiting China and told reporters the first consignments could be on the way within a couple of months.
"This will be great, there's a lot of value in it and there's a lot of meat exporters," he said.
"It's a really important step for us."
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, who is with Mr Key in China, says it’s a great opportunity for meat exporters.
"We have very strong air links into this market, and that's very important," he said.
"It's now up to individual companies to make sure they've got their high-end distribution networks available so they can put premium chilled meat products into the white tablecloth restaurants in Shanghai, Beijing and other cities."
Earlier this week Mr Key was at the signing of another meat deal, when Alliance Group signed a commercial agreement with Beijing businessman Chen Xibin, the owner of a huge farming enterprise.
It will help Alliance send more sheepmeat and venison to China, and includes an agricultural services and training agreement.