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Navigating the long-haul China journey

Catherine Beard traces the journey of NZ Premium Foods into China and shares their tips on surviving and thriving in such a competitive market.

Doing business in China is not for the faint-hearted, but when it’s your first ever export market you’re in for a really steep learning curve! But this didn’t deter Rachael Speedy and her team at NZ Premium Foods.  Starting with just one product – foodies premium extra virgin olive oil – they’re developing the export of a range of food and beverages into the Chinese retail and food service markets. 
Here are some of Rachael’s ‘survive and thrive’ tips:

1. It’s a long-haul journey.
“China is an inherently difficult market so we decided we needed to learn more about the culture, protocols and how to do business there before we entered the market. Our research helped us develop products specifically suited to that market,” says Rachael.
“It took five years to do all that! So you must take a long-term perspective if you want to go into China. It’s best to have a well-established business in New Zealand and/or elsewhere first.
“We needed to confirm we had the five C’s: the Capability to do so; the Capacity to scale up manufacturing when required; enough Cash so as not to jeopardize the business in New Zealand, the Commitment to stay in the market and the Competitiveness to be there.
“Out of the five C’s from our research, in reality we found we needed five times the length of time and five times the amount of cash to get into China.”

2. Networking in New Zealand.
Rachael emphasized the hugely important role that networking has played in helping NZ Premium Foods succeed in China – both within the Chinese community here and in China itself.  
“For the past five years I’ve been building relationships in the Chinese community wherever possible. This led to us finding one of our Chinese market partners, who we were able to meet here in New Zealand. 
“Through experiencing the country, they understand New Zealand, our regulations and the product a lot better. Safety is paramount to the Chinese, so it’s great that they can walk into the factory and see it’s absolutely spotless.  
“This partner represents our brand in market and has connections into the relevant retail sector, servicing 3000 supermarkets and convenience stores in the Shanghai region. 
 “We’re competing with the entire world, so we’ve had to select niche markets suited to our premium products. Our partner’s specialist in-market knowledge has been invaluable.

3. Networking in China.
“Be prepared for a lot of networking once you’re in China too – the Chinese way! 
“That means meeting the families, dinners out, it’s a whole different world – I can’t even compare the two in terms of culture and how business is done.  
“For example, it’s the norm in China to do business over a meal. So a lunch or dinner can go on for hours. And there’s lots of protocol and a hierarchy you need to understand.

4. E-commerce is key.
“Once we’ve established good market partners, we focus on longevity, supporting our brands and getting products moving off the shelf.  
“This means growing our presence through e-commerce, and having Chinese experts running a Chinese social media strategy from New Zealand. 
“Having an e-strategy is a vitally important ingredient. We post on Chinese social media such as WeChat almost every day, and we’re working on engaging more influencers. 
‘We would like to have more Kiwi premium food companies collaborating with us on the e-commerce journey – it lifts the profile of each of the products. So please get in touch!”

Catherine Beard is executive director of ExportNZ, which assists exporters throughout New Zealand. www.exportnz.org.nz

Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) Meeting

Rachael had the opportunity to meet with Jing  who is a KOL that has a following of 10 million people!  The workshop was organised by Paul O’Brien who owned the successful EasiYo company. Other attendees were Alex, Jing's business partner and James from Wild Catch.  We all shared our business successes and challenges and gained valuable insights and new ideas.

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Foodie Fun

Rachael is a foodie at heart and she often entertains family and friends with her delicious cooking.  Recently she organised a demonstration for her cooking group led by Grant Allen  chef extraordinaire.  On the menu was a fish pate made with kawhai and pickled cucumbers, 3 peppered salmon served with persimmon, nashi pears and cos salad and a dessert of burnt butter caramel blueberry tart. Our foodies for food lovers extra virgin olive oil and flaky salt finished the dishes to perfection.  

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CEO Summit

Rachael was invited to attend the CEO summit held in Auckland on the 4th of May 2017.  The summit brought together 200 CEO's, MD's, GM's and Country Managers to discuss fundamental, make-or-break issues that will determine our organisations thrive or dive in the years to come.

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LATIPAY 

NZ Premium Foods offers Latipay as a simple and easy payment platform for Chinese customers. Rachael was invited for a meeting and lunch with Latipay along with a delegation from Harbin. https://www.latipay.net

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DAIGOU TRAINING

March 2017

We showcased our Foodies for Food Lovers Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a large group of Chinese re-sellers. This is all part of the sales support we provide at NZ Premium Foods.  We started with a blind tasting of a variety of olive oils including our own.  This is a great way distinguish between the quality and taste of some of the olive oils currently on the market.  We then demonstrate some recipes - marinades, dressings and an olive oil chocolate mousse - delicious and healthy. We end the session with discussion about the health benefits of olive oil.  To find out more interesting information about olive oil - the myths and health benefits, here are some articles below that have recently been published by the NZ Herald

What seed oils are really doing to your body..

Mediterranean diet helps prevent memory loss...

Is the food you are buying fake?

Coconut Oil vs Olive Oil...

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FOOD VALUE CHAIN CONFERENCE

March 2017

Rachael Speedy was invited to speak at this conference held at the Pullman Hotel, Auckland. Rachael's presentation was a case study - exporting the NZ brand, a story from NZ Premium Foods.
It was an informative conference held over 2 days which dealt with several topics such as innovation and food trends, food technology and science, exporting, food compliance and safety to name a few.

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FOODFIRST TRADE SHOW 

March 2017

It was great to attend the recent Foodfirst Trade Show held at the Auckland Showgrounds.  It was themed "Gold Rush" and was a fantastic event to meet the foodfirst distributors and their customers. Attendees sampled our fare made with Foodies for Food Lovers extra virgin olive and NZ Organic Flaky Salt.

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Food and Beverage Commercialisation and Export Event 

December 2016

Rachael was invited to speak at a workshop organised by BNZ/Food Bowl/Plant and Food Research.  Other speakers included Craig Armstrong from NZTE, Dr Peter Stevens CEO of GS1, Dr Helen Darling Founder of the Asia Pacific Centre for Food Integrity and Tim Grainger CEO of Venerdi.

Rachael spoke about building her company and developing markets in China.  Along with Dr Helen Darling, Rachael also spoke about Food Integrity and Food Fraud.

It was a fantastic workshop where customers, suppliers and specialists could come and network.  BNZ, Food Bowl and Plant and Food Research were also on hand to advise attendees how they can help with developing new product lines and export into new markets. 

MELBA GROUP TURNS 21 

November 2016

NZ Premium Foods was invited to the 21st celebration of a long standing cafe institution in Auckland, Melba Group.  It was a fabulous night which also raised funds for the Starship Foundation.

Melba Group are purveyors of fine hospitality establishments throughout Auckland, serving outstanding coffee and delicious food.

They are dedicated to award-winning service and excellent fare that has cemented the popularity of their establishments.

They are focused on quality products and use our foodies for food lovers Extra Virgin Olive Oil in their cafes.

THE RED CIRCLE GROUP

October 2016

Rachael is part of a progressive group called The Red Circle who met once a month to discuss business between NZ and China.

Here they are at the Grand Harbour Restaurant, Auckland Viaduct. 

#FOODINTEGRITY2016 - PRESS RELEASE                              

Food Safety Minister, the Hon Jo Goodhew, opened New Zealand's inaugural global Food Integrity Conference held in Auckland on 13 July.

Initiated by local company, Asia Pacific Centre for Food Integrity, New Zealand's supply chain with China was at the forefront of the conference which came at a key time on the world stage for food safety with regulations and requirements changing worldwide and impacting the entire food chain.

Local business women Rachael Speedy, Managing Director of NZ Premium Foods, knows the value of premium food from New Zealand and spoke on 'Building Reputation: Building Brands Across Borders'.

Developing markets, especially China, are driving New Zealand’s food and beverage export growth with Asia now the largest destination region.

International keynote speakers included:

- Col. John Hoffman from the Food Protection and Defence Institute – a US Department of Homeland Security Centre of Excellence.

- Sonia Bradley from the World Bank, Global Food Safety Programme

- Professor Wu, Chief Scientist, China National Centre of Food Risk Assessment in Beijing; and

- Kevin Wang, Editor-in-Chief, China Food Safety Magazine.

- Karl Ye, Managing Director, GMP Pharmaceuticals, joined the Executive Director of Export NZ, Catherine Beard and Hamish Findlay, General Manager, ESR Ltd to discuss export opportunities.

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KIDS BOOKS SERIES: WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM

In keeping with their aim to share knowledge about food, the Asia Pacific Centre for Food Integrity has this great range of kids books in English and Chinese, which will show your little one (or ones!) how food gets from the farm gate to their plate.  Easy to read with colourful illustrations, check out the Asia Pacific website for these great books

Use this address in your browser to see them on the Asia Pacific website: http://www.asiapacificfoodintegrity.com/#!links/v4mhl

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#FOOD INTEGRITY2016                                             www.foodintegrityconference.com

Everyone is talking about global supply chains - whether it is from the perspective of adding value to the supply chain, protecting the value that is in the supply chain from fraud, counterfeit or misrepresentation, or translating value to meet consumer expectations.

如今世界上几乎人人都在讨论全球供应链,话题涉及到如何增加供应链的效益,到如何预防供应连中的欺诈、假冒、歪曲甚至改变价值来满足消费者的需求。

Join us in Auckland where we will bringing together the experts to talk about global food supply chains.

欢迎加入在奥克兰的研讨会,我们将邀请专家发表有关全球食品供应链的演讲。

The language of the Conference is English and Chinese interpretation will be available.

 研讨会以英语为主,我们将提供现场中文翻译。

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BANK OF CHINA GLOBAL SME CROSS-BORDER MATCHMAKING SERVICE

At the China-New Zealand Agribusiness Trade and Investment Conference in May 2016, NZ Premium Foods was honoured to be selected by the Bank of China as one of the SME's that would be part of the Bank's 'Matchmaking Service'. his service has been highly recognised and commended by local governments and enterprises both in China and overseas.

Conference attendees included Mr Gao Yingxin, Executive Vice President of the Bank of China, Mr Zhan Fan, Economic & Commercial Counselor for the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in New Zealand and the Hon. Nathan Guy, Minister of Primary Industries of New Zealand.  

 

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SERVICE FOODS &foodies for foodlovers Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Service Foods are one of NZ’s largest privately owned and operated food distribution businesses.  With a reputation for only using the best quality ingredients and innovative and sustainably produced new products it was a natural fit to have the foodies for food lovers Extra Virgin Olive Oil - grown in fertile soils, with clean air and fresh water - featured in their Product Catalogue 2016 – 2017.

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