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NZ Food & Bev: Getting Noticed In Japan

Getting Noticed In Japan - A Kiwi Food And Beverage Company Collaboration

April 7, 2005 -- Six New Zealand companies are banding together on a national pavilion to ensure they are noticed at Foodex Japan 2005, Asia’s largest food and beverage exhibition and a gateway to Japan - the largest importer of consumer food products in the world.

The companies are attending Foodex (8-11 March) with funding and other assistance from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE). NZTE’s Trade Commissioner in Japan, David Ferguson, says support for Foodex is part of a wider, sustained campaign by the agency. “We are working to highlight opportunities for New Zealand exporters in the wealthy Japanese market and to raise New Zealand’s profile in Japan and the fast growing North Asia region, predicted to become the most important for New Zealand in future years,” says Mr Ferguson. Foodex comes just one week before the opening of World Expo 2005 in the Japanese prefecture of Aichi. To capitalise on New Zealand’s presence at the World Expo, the Government is funding a series of Aichi leveraging projects, including the successful ‘The Changing Face of Japan’ seminars that were held around the country last month.

Mr Ferguson says the seminars, including specific food and beverage workshops, were designed to challenge outdated perceptions about Japan and highlight the awesome buying power and sophistication of Japanese consumers.

He says Foodex is an opportunity for New Zealand to promote itself as an innovative source of safe, high quality specialty foods and for the individual companies to target specific opportunities.

“The New Zealand companies’ objectives include increasing exposure in this important market, introducing new products, meeting current and new business partners and increasing volumes of current business. Exhibiting on a national pavilion allows companies new to Japan to benefit from active mentoring and association with those more experienced in the market.”

The six companies are Glovers Foods Ltd (premium processed meat products); Jack Link’s New Zealand (branded meat snacks); Siesta Holdings Ltd (mineral water); Terry Network Company (honey, seafood and horticulture products), UPB Ltd, (beef processor with a focus on specialty items for the Asian market); and Meat and Wool New Zealand Ltd.

Meat and Wool NZ’s representative in Japan, John Hundleby, says Japan is currently New Zealand’s second most valuable market for beef exports, with potential for further growth.

He says participation at Foodex will be one of Meat and Wool NZ’s key promotional activities in the North Asian region this year.

“As Asia’s largest food and beverage exhibition, the exhibition gives us substantial exposure to much of the Japanese meat and broader food trade during the four-day period. Our objective is to further raise the profile of New Zealand beef in the Japanese market with both the media and the trade.

“The exhibition provides us with an opportunity to interact with and provide up-to-date information to existing users of New Zealand beef and to develop new users.”

Mr Hundleby says by exhibiting as part of the national pavilion, the New Zealand companies will enjoy a higher profile than stand alone exhibitors elsewhere in the show.

“Equally importantly, we secure a better location than would be possible if we participated on our own. Moreover, it is also possible to capitalise on the overall New Zealand image offered by the stand.”

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