Photo taken on Nov. 4, 2019 shows Silver Fern Farms' plant in Te Aroha, New Zealand. (Photo by Gloria Qi/Xinhua)
WELLINGTON, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- One of New Zealand's leading agricultural companies is looking forward to further understanding Chinese customers' needs and exploring its market potential at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) to keep its market leading edge, the country's largest red meat exporter's CEO told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"CIIE is a strategically important event for Silver Fern Farms. It is a significant opportunity for us to showcase our brand and products at such an international stage. Undoubtedly, CIIE will expand our market leading edge," said Simon Limmer, Chief Executive of Silver Fern Farms who has attended the CIIE for two consecutive years. He vowed to bring more high-quality products to Chinese consumers.
Silver Fern Farms is New Zealand's leading processor, marketer and exporter of premium quality lamb, beef, venison and associated products, exporting to over 60 countries around the world, according to the CEO.
The Dunetin-based giant agricultural company is set to showcase over 30 products in the expo. "We were the only food producer ranked in the top 20 of the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index in 2018 and 2019," Limmer said.
He said the company would have their New Zealand Maori Haka Performance Group returning this year to provide the first-hand kiwi experience to the expo audiences.
Silver Fern Farms started off with small volume of mutton products exporting to China which has now grown into a significant international market for the company. The most prolific growth has occurred over the past 10 years, with revenue from China now representing nearly a quarter of all sales, Limmer said.
"China is our largest market with customers balanced across all sectors including retail, wholesale and food service. You can find our products at many premium hospitality venues as well as premium supermarkets in major cities. We have to adapt quickly to meet our customers' needs in an ever-changing consumer landscape that continues to offer us opportunities."
"The China market offers New Zealand's agricultural industry significant opportunities. A key focus for Silver Fern Farms is to gain a deeper understanding of our Chinese customers' needs," Limmer said, noting that the Chinese shareholder's strong resources will help to understand and win the market.
The company is a 50-50 partnership between Silver Fern Farms Co-operative and Shanghai Maling Aquarius, a leading Chinese meat processor and distribution company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
"We have a unique DNA. Shanghai Maling and Bright Foods are successful food producers and distributors in China who have the in-market experience in China. Silver Fern Farms Co-operative holds the strong relationship with farmers and the expertise in livestock. This governance structure has provided us a unique and integrated advantage over our competitors," Limmer said.
He said the market in China would help the company achieve its vision of becoming the world's most successful and sustainable grass-fed red meat company.
"We look forward to sharing the story of New Zealand's natural, sustainable grass-fed farm systems directly to Chinese consumers in the CIIE."
With the theme of "New Era, Shared Future," the second CIIE, held from Tuesday through Sunday, has attracted more than 3,000 companies from over 150 countries and regions.■