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The secret handshake for exporters

31 Oct 2019
lobster web

How FernMark is helping put New Zealand rock lobster at the top of the bill in China

The world has a huge appetite for seafood, and it’s prepared to pay a premium for the best. New Zealand seafood exporters are making the most of that by using the FernMark to open doors into this vast market. 
New Zealand rock lobster is already worth more than $200 million a year in exports to Asia, taking pride of place on banquet tables, not only for its size, colour and taste, but also because of the story our exporters have to tell about food that comes from the cleanest and purest of waters, harvested with the greatest care.  
It’s a story about traditional Māori values of kaitiakitanga - guardianship - of scarce fisheries that has seen New Zealand achieve the highest of world rankings for fisheries management. 
Campbell Gin of Port Nicholson Fisheries LP, a 100% Māori owned business exporting lobster to China says the story they take to the market is not only one of food that comes from “a clean beautiful environment and seafood from clear waters,” but also one of the sustainable practices, working not just for today’s harvest but ensuring harvests will be there for future generations.  

Gin sees the FernMark as a reputation-enhancer. “Because it is associated with trust and authenticity, it reinforces that message that we care about our fisheries and helps us to validate our products when speaking to suppliers.”   

He says the FernMark, our national symbol for country-of-origin assurance, was an obvious choice for them to help take their story out into the world. “Fisheries and other primary industries will benefit from the collective promotion of our country on a global stage.” 
Collectively building momentum 

Campbell sees momentum gathering as more and more producers come onboard into the FernMark Licence Programme, all helping to spread the New Zealand story of kaitiaki, ingenuity and integrity. 
“Now that more exporters are using it, it does, from the customers’ perspective, reinforce the authenticity of the product and the quality assurance. We can see that it’s starting to tell the story for us.” 
In November, Port Nicholson, along with other NZ seafood exporters, will be at the Qingdao seafood festival - the largest in the world - where more than 33,000 seafood professionals from around 100 countries come together to make new relationships. They’ll be making the most of their FernMark calling card. 
5 reasons why the FernMark makes strong commercial sense for seafood exporters