Poutama hit the road early in 2016 and the pace hasn’t let up since. No sooner had the New Year begun and we were off on our first offshore market visit for the year. This was a whirlwind visit to North Asia that took in quick stops over 5 days to Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The results from this visit have been immediate.

In late January Poutama hosted Hong Kong business Dragon Trend over a two-week period. During this time the Dragon Trend crew of Dave Garcia & Sam McNiven got to meet Maori food and beverage producers in parts of both the North & South Islands. Dragon Trend is on a mission to source NZ & Australia foodstuffs for a pavilion set up by Chinese SOE China Merchants Groupcalled Q-Emporia. The pavilion is situated in the Shenzhen Free Trade Zone close to the port and customs bonded warehousing.

Dragon Trend and CMG have formed a JV company with Dragon Trend having the rights to secure foodstuffs from NZ, Australia, France and Italy. Chinese consumers will be able to purchase quality foreign foodstuffs either through visiting the pavilion or via an online channel.

Dragon Trend has been impressed with the quality of the food & beverage produced by Maori and made an immediate order for Manuka honey from Taku Honey. Dragon Trend have also requested samples of seafood, beer, wine and more honey and will place these before their sampling team for possible selection. They’ve also asked Poutama to assist them to source a secure supply of red meat, water, horticultural and dairy products and will be making further visits to NZ in the near future.

While the work with Dragon Trend has been going on, Poutama has also been working with a couple of Taiwanese businesses. One of them is setting up to import foodstuffs sourced from members of the Haukai Cuisine cluster. This to date includes beverages and hot sauce. The other Taiwanese business wants to form a JV with Maori honey producers and establish a vertically integrated business that will target high-end Chinese consumers.