One of New Zealand’s most innovative business solutions – to take high quality kiwi food and beverage products direct to Chinese consumers – launched today in Shanghai during the China International Import Expo (CIIE).
Officials from The New Zealand Consulate General in Shanghai, representatives from the New Zealand Government, leaders from China Liquor Distribution Association, Shanghai Liquor Monopoly Administration, and Alibaba Group, brand representatives from HUI Māori Collective, as well as Chinese food and beverage industry experts and media attended the launch event.
The HUI Māori Collective comprises ten companies that together will sell a range of premium products, including wine, Mānuka honey, fruit bars, and Kawakawa soft drink. It was formed in the spirit of support and kinship, to provide a wide offering of trusted high quality products to Chinese consumers.
HUI Māori Collective’s brand ambassador and leading Māori musical performer and producer, Tiki Taane, also joined the coalition, blending world-class Māori entertainment with premium food and beverage products, providing Chinese consumers with a unique shopping experience and helping the coalition’s products stand out on Tmall Global.
Guests and representatives were invited to taste the food and wine. HUI brands’ inheritance of the traditional craft and the innovative combination of modern science and leading edge technology were highly praised.
HUI Māori Collective is the first coalition exporter that joined the ‘Food Trust Framework’ initiated by the New Zealand Government. “The HUI Māori Collective has always adhered to its commitment to quality and integrity,” said Hon David Parker, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Economic Development.
The ‘Food Trust Framework’ means that Chinese consumers can be confident that their goods do come directly from New Zealand and the authenticated Māori producers in the collective. The framework offers total consumer transparency via a unique product QR code and a verified physical delivery logistics system. This ensures the authenticity, quality and safety of the HUI products purchased by Chinese consumers.
The Chair of the Collective, Hayden Johnston, said each member had proven success within their own business. “Together we have formed an incredibly cohesive group with an outright focus on quality and respect for land and people. We proudly put forward our very best products and we have learnt to leverage our collective skills, energies and resources in the belief of achieving even greater success together.’’
President of China Wine Distribution Association, Wang Xinguo, said HUI Māori Collective entering China is a good news for both China wine market and Chinese consumers. “We are delighted to see an increasing number of premium international brands launch in Chinese markets. It will help create a dynamic and competitive environment providing numerous high quality choices for Chinese consumers. ”
Maggie Zhou, Managing Director of Alibaba Group in Australia and New Zealand, said “New Zealand products continue to see strong and growing demand from Chinese consumers across Alibaba’s marketplaces. We look forward to working with the businesses involved in the HUI Māori Collective and working with New Zealand Post to support the roll-out of this initiative on our Tmall Global marketplace.”
The name HUI was chosen as a word with common meaning in both Māori and Chinese languages for meeting or gathering. The centrepiece of the HUI logo, designed by leading Māori designers, represents a ‘rourou’ or traditional woven food basket. “Both Māori and Chinese culture share a common belief in family values and life experience, we hope this strengthens our connections with Chinese consumers,” says Bobby Leef, representative of HUI Māori Collective. “It’s a great honour to join HUI together with other New Zealand businesses providing premium kiwi food and beverage products to consumers. We’re not competitors; We see each other as whānau (family) who’s proud of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and proud of the Māori community.”
The New Zealand Government also hopes that HUI Māori Collective will enhance New Zealand brand awareness and reputation in the world. Their Māori-branded product suite has been hosted on NZ Post’s flagship store on the e-commerce platform Tmall Global, which is part of the Alibaba Group. Chinese customers can order online, NZ Post will then package the order from its Auckland Airport warehouse and send direct to Chinese consumers in a partnership with China Post.
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