18 Feb 2014

NZ tour for Chinese food industry reps

9:26 am on 18 February 2014

Forty-five Chinese food industry representatives are touring New Zealand farms and meat plants this week.

Silver Fern Farms meat co-operative is hosting the group, which includes procurement managers and marketers.

Chief executive Keith Cooper said Silver Fern Farms dealt with about a dozen companies in what was now its largest market and it wanted to bring its customers to New Zealand as "seeing is believing".

But New Zealand's well-documented trade troubles last year also played a part in the visit.

"We had a variety of issues as a country last year in terms of market access from time to time," Mr Cooper said.

"So a bit educational but also showing Chinese partners what we do, how we do it and the benefits of dealing with New Zealand in terms of environmental friendliness, where we derive the product and really understanding that whole New Zealand Inc story."

Delegates would then be able to understand and advocate the procedures of the product, particularly around food safety, to their customers in China, he said.

The Chinese delegation's tour would end with a conference in Dunedin on Thursday.