In­dia and China trust NZ food

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

An eye-pop­ping re­sult has emerged from Lin­coln Univer­sity re­search that en­vi­ron­men­tal qual­ity, an­i­mal wel­fare and re­cy­cling is­sues are more im­por­tant for Chi­nese and In­dian con­sumers of Kiwi food than the Brits.

Over the next three years more re­search will be done by the univer­sity’s Agribusi­ness and Re­search Unit to come to grips with the will­ing­ness of con­sumers in emerg­ing mar­kets to pay more for food they trust.

Less sur­pris­ingly, New Zealand’s food-safety rep­u­ta­tion has a big­ger sell­ing pull for con­sumers in China and In­dia than Bri­tain, but back­ing this up with bet­ter la­belling could con­trib­ute ex­tra ex­port re­turns of $480 mil­lion over the next six years.

Pro­fes­sor of trade and en­vi­ron­men­tal eco­nom­ics Caro­line Saun­ders said the Brits seemed less both­ered about prod­uct at­tributes such as trace­abil­ity, sup­ply chains and coun­try of ori­gin in ini­tial stud­ies per­haps be­cause they had a safe food chain and did not get food scares found in China and In­dia.

The greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion of con­sumers from the emerg­ing coun­tries for en­vi­ron­men­tal qual­ity, an­i­mal wel­fare and re­cy­cling had floored many people and had drawn a mixed re­ac­tion, she said

‘‘People who have ex­pe­ri­enced these na­tions say ‘yes, it’s true’. Their en­vi­ron­ments are so stuffed and they wrap it around the qual­ity of their food.’’

Chi­nese and In­dian con­sumers were pre­pared to pay more for trusted food and pro­duc­ers could in­crease their earn­ings if they im­proved mar­ket­ing and brand­ing and pro­vided ev­i­dence it was au­then­tic, she said.

Food-safety la­belling is ex­pected to lift dairy and lamb ex­port re­turns by $307m from China, In­dia and Bri­tain by 2020. This could rise to $480m by com­bin­ing la­belling of food safety with pro­vid­ing proof farm an­i­mals and the en­vi­ron­ment were be­ing looked af­ter.

Ini­tial re­search was done be­fore a se­ries of food scares cul­mi­nated in Fon­terra con­firm­ing last year a bot­u­lism scare around dairy prod­ucts was a false alarm.

Since the 2008 melamine scan­dal in China when in­fants died, and many more were hos­pi­talised, af­ter con­sum­ing con­tam­i­nated milk prod­ucts, Chi­nese con­sumers have been sen­si­tive about buy­ing only trusted food for their chil­dren.

Ms Saun­ders said wealth­ier con­sumers at the pre­mium end of the mar­ket were pre­pared to pay much more for food as long as it was safe.

‘‘We have these people with their one child who are of­ten sep­a­rated from them for pe­ri­ods be­cause they are both work­ing and they are on in­fant for­mula and safety is para­mount for them.’’

Chi­nese con­sumers were will­ing to pay 26 per cent more for for­eign prod­ucts than their own prod­ucts and 50 per cent more for New Zealand prod­ucts.

In In­dia, con­sumers favour their own food and dis­count for­eign food by 20 per cent ex­cept for New Zealand prod­ucts which re­ceive a 10 per cent pre­mium.

Ms Saun­ders said this showed how much Chi­nese and In­dian con­sumers val­ued Kiwi food, and pro­duc­ers were prob­a­bly un­der­valu­ing their food.

– Fair­fax NZ.

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