Silver Fern Farms’ presence in China has received a boost with the official opening of the Shanghai offices of Primary Collaboration New Zealand (Shanghai) Co., Ltd by the New Zealand Minister for Economic Development, Hon. Steven Joyce.
The partnership of New Zealand primary industry businesses was announced in August last year. It provides in-market services to ensure faster and easier entry to the complex mainland China market.
The collaboration stems from the inaugural New Zealand Primary Sector Bootcamp movement held by industry CEOs and government agency leaders at Stanford University in 2012.
Silver Fern Farms General Manager Sales, Grant Howie, says China is a key market for the food company.
“China is a market where we have experienced strong growth. Last year our sales to China were in excess of $380 million. A key focus for us from this initiative is on building relationships which expand our branded retail product sales and grow sales of our Premier Selection range with food service customers.”
China Market Manager Claire Tan is based in the Shanghai office and will represent Silver Fern Farms. Her role is focused on driving Silver Fern Farms’ Plate to Pasture strategy in China by supporting value creating marketing programmes with Silver Fern Farms’ key Chinese customers including; NZFocus, Stand Top and Tenderplus.
“Claire has a unique skill-set which will benefit the company as we grow sales of our high value consumer and food service ranges in China.
“Claire is fluent in Mandarin and was educated in New Zealand. For her, spanning the two cultures is second-nature, which will be crucial for us as we understand more about the China market. She also has a background in the red-meat sector which makes her a perfect fit to support our efforts in Shanghai and other key cities.”
The central Shanghai office facilities are located close to New Zealand Trade & Enterprise’s ‘NZ Central’ where they have access to kitchen and presentation facilities to demonstrate new products to customers.
The Primary Collaboration New Zealand office and Claire’s appointment supports a concerted effort by Silver Fern Farms to grow its value creation strategy in China. A New Zealand conference for Chinese customers was held in Dunedin in February last year. Since then Silver Fern Farms has hosted several new customers who have taken on premium product ranges.
“Although we have been exporting to China for over 25 years, the office continues our strategy to support the development of our China business with sales and marketing support,” Mr Howie says.
“The market is developing rapidly and we see Primary Collaboration New Zealand supporting our good progress. We have a set of very unique brand development programmes in China.
“Silver Fern Farms has established two on-line shops to sell branded retail products directly to consumers in Shanghai. One is a flagship store on Chinese retail site T-Mall. Later this month the company will launch a new Chinese language version of Silver Fern Farms’ website.”