NZ collaboration in Asia ‘hugely important’

29 September 2016

Collaboration between New Zealand companies working in the export markets of Asia is hugely important, says Prolife Foods CEO Andrew Smith.

In a NZ Food and Grocery Council video interview on exporting opportunities within food and beverage, he says that while New Zealand companies compete “really strongly” in the domestic market they should collaborate when fighting to get into markets in Asia.

“When we’re overseas, we are part of NZ Inc in some way, and there are things that we can do to collaborate that don’t interfere with our own potential but gives us all much greater potential – and that’s creating the scale that’s creating the expertise.

“I think as we target these markets in Asia and Southeast Asia, that collaboration aspect is hugely important for us.”

He also talks about the “learnings” behind his company’s success in building $100 million of international business: companies looking at exporting should look first at Australia because it’s not far away, is five times New Zealand’s size, and consumes similar products to us; make sure they’re good in the New Zealand market because the Australian market is much harder; do research and use available expertise; make sure they have the investment “for the whole of the journey, rather than just the first six months or a year”.

Likewise, the investment curve for the “massive markets” of Asia is essential, as is research around deciding whether or not to keep the same products that worked in New Zealand and Australia, and collaborating with other New Zealand companies.

View the interview with Andrew Smith here