North Otago farmers Blair and Jane Smith believe the red
meat industry still has more work to do in Asia.
Although New Zealand's red meat industry has made good
inroads into the Asian market there is still work to be done,
Blair and Jane Smith say.
The North Otago couple gave a presentation during the Beef
and Lamb New Zealand Central South Island Council annual
general meeting last week about their recent visit to Asia.
The pair visited China, Taiwan and South Korea on a
fact-finding mission as part of their duties as winners of
the 2012 Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
They chose to visit Asia as they had never been before and
they were interested in finding out about the diet of the
people in the area and their eating habits.
Mr Smith said the trip highlighted the value of farmers'
levies used for marketing, as the Beef and Lamb New Zealand
staff in Asia knew their markets and were hard-working.
''I have no issue whatsoever saying that the $9 million is
well spent,'' Mr Smith told those present at the meeting.
However, despite the traction New Zealand red meat had gained
in Asia, there was still work to be done, he said.
One restaurant they visited in Taiwan had assorted New
Zealand beef that had been supplied from multiple suppliers.
''He only bought New Zealand beef, but once it was from New
Zealand it was all about [paying the lowest] price,'' Mr
''I counted four, if not five, differently labelled boxes of
New Zealand processors.''
If New Zealand red meat was to become a high-priced
commodity, New Zealand's processors would have to stop
undercutting each other in the market, he said.
Mrs Smith said the attitude of some restaurateurs was
However, the pair had also witnessed many practices which
were heartening, including the use of social media to market
New Zealand red meat.
Many eateries and retailers in the region were dedicated to
New Zealand red meat and more work was needed to ensure
marketers understood what Asian consumers desired, as it
differed from country to country, she said.
- Timothy Brown.