Japanese food and seasonings firm Ajinomoto has said that its frozen food unit is close to signing an agreement with Thailand’s Betagro Agro-Group to produce and supply frozen processed pork products for the Japanese market.

The new joint venture, to be named Ajinomoto Betagro Specialty Foods Co, will be 51% owned by Ajinomoto and 49% owned by Betagro, reported Dow Jones International News.

The two companies already operate a joint venture, Ajinomoto Betagro Frozen Foods (Thailand), which makes frozen processed chicken products, primarily for the Japanese market.

The new joint venture will start supplying frozen processed pork products to the Japanese market from May 2005.

Separately, Ajinomoto has set up a subsidiary in India, in the southern city of Chennai, to package and market seasonings produced at the firm’s operations in Thailand, said the Nikkei Report.