A quarter of a billion dollars worth of Chinese customers
were hosted by Silver Ferns Farms this week, with an emphasis
on food safety practices.
Customers from throughout China were flown in for a week of
touring farms and processing facilities in the North and
Silver Fern Farms chief executive Keith Cooper said China was
a large market with many challenges and the 45 delegates it
hosted represented $250 million worth of trade to their
''A lot of time was spent on farms and in our plants to give
them an in-depth understanding of our food safety systems and
processes which is obviously of paramount importance in
Recent food safety scares and instances of ships being
delayed by paperwork issues at the border has put the
spotlight on New Zealand's trading relationship with China in
''I think it has given us a good lesson that China is
culturally different and we have to understand that culture
and ensure we respond to those cultural requirements.
You could not beat ''seeing it first hand'' which is why they
brought the group over, he said.
''This is the largest-scale tour we have run for customers.
It's an important way for us to build trust with our
customers so they are confident in growing their trade with
us,'' Mr Cooper said.
China last year became the co-operative's largest export
market by volume and by value, he said.
''This is a critical market for us.''
- by Dan Hutchinson