From Cromwell with Love and a FernMark
There’s a rule of business that works very well for New Zealand’s growers and exporters: if you make the world's best, you can ask for the world’s best price. Ask the cherry growers of Central Otago. In markets from China to the USA and Thailand, their cherries enjoy price premiums of up to three times the average world price.*
Leading the way in several of those markets is Pure Pac Ltd. Formed three years ago by a group of seven New Zealand cherry growers, they have a state-of-the-art packhouse and their own export marketing company, giving them full control of the supply chain and delivering fresh, delicious top quality cherries to happy customers around the world.
Of course, it’s not enough to just make the world's best cherries. The world needs to know what's special about them. It needs to be assured it can buy with confidence.
For this, Pure Pac is using the FernMark as part of their brand story. This assures customers they’re buying the real deal. It reinforces the reputation New Zealand is building for the highest standards of care and the highest quality produce.
“Cherries from other countries are in the same selling space so we do need to differentiate ourselves and make our value proposition strong,” says Pure Pac Sales and Marketing Manager Kayleen Rowe.
The FernMark message about a nation working to the highest standards of food production, she says, supports that perfectly. “New Zealand is well known for producing high-quality produce. Building on that foundation they add a compelling provenance story about Central Otago: an ideal climate, perfect soil, the best people and systems, coming together to produce the world’s best cherries.
To ensure their cherries reach the market in premium condition, they have a few people handling the product as possible. The whole story of their scrupulous care can be seen online, and transparency and accessibility run all the way through their processes. “We’re in the packhouse while the fruit is being packed, Kayleen says. “If the customer calls me, we can literally turn on Facetime and show them how it looks in the packhouse on that day.”
The payoff comes at the highest market prices, especially at Chinese New Year, where red NZ cherries make a prestigious and highly desirable gift.
QR code scanning technology helps to authenticate their FernMark story and learn more about the story behind the brand. “People are more curious, getting better informed, going online about their purchases,” says Kayleen.
“As a consumer, I really want to understand where something is coming from. Premium products that come from New Zealand now really emphasise the importance of point of origin.”
FernMark also helps open doors for them in new markets by providing authoritative authentication, she says. “We're finding now in places such as tier 2 and 3 cities in China - with products coming in that they might not have seen before it's quite important for them to validate, and also for us to be able to point them in the direction of further information about the product. If that information comes from outside of our company, it's all the more authentic and legitimate. FernMark delivers that authoritatively.”
* Cherries from New Zealand obtain a 285% price premium over the world price (source, p 19).