Scale, diversity of Asian markets noted

Blair and Jane Smith, with the Royal Host and Mos Burger restaurant chain executive management...
Blair and Jane Smith, with the Royal Host and Mos Burger restaurant chain executive management team in Taiwan. Photo supplied.
An industry-backed trip to Asia has given Blair and Jane Smith a deeper understanding of the challenges facing marketers of New Zealand meat and dairy products.

Mr and Mrs Smith, from Five Forks and the national winners of the 2012 Ballance farm environment awards, recently returned from South Korea, China, Taiwan and Singapore.

They visited various markets for New Zealand sheep, beef and dairy products, with the aim of learning more about offshore markets, exchanging views on topics of interest to New Zealand farmers and of highlighting New Zealand's stance on agricultural sustainability.

The trip ''opened their eyes'' to the scale and diversity of Asian markets, Mrs Smith said.

''Each country we visited was completely different in terms of consumer tastes and requirements, and that really made us appreciate some of the challenges the marketers of our products face,'' she said.

While food safety was a foremost concern for Asian consumers, they also wanted products to be produced in a manner environmentally sustainable, Mrs Smith said.

A highlight for Mr Smith was a visit to the Grand Farm company, one of China's biggest importers of New Zealand lamb.

The couple met a ''huge range'' of marketers, consumers, politicians and industry representatives. Most people they talked to had a good perception of New Zealand and its agriculture, which made the couple proud.

 

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