YAOHAN Food Processing and Trading Co yesterday opened a joint venture cooked ham factory in Shenzhen with Chinese food manufacturer Zhonghao Foods. The new company, Yaohan Zhonghao Food Co, has paid 30.8 million renminbi (about HK$41.5 million at official rates) for the plant, machinery and equipment of Wally Food Co, a ham producer and associated company of Zhonghao Foods. The deal included land usage rights for 30 years. The factory is scheduled to begin operation early next month, producing 3,000 tons of cooked ham a year. Yaohan vice-chairman Wilson Wong said: ''Because production costs in China are lower than in Hongkong and because we can directly purchase raw materials such as fresh pork here, we can foresee considerable benefit for customers in China.'' The Yaohan subsidiary has a 60 per cent share in the new company, which has a combined total capital of 32.1 million yuan.