China International Import Expo: HUI Maori Collective launched in New Zealand to promote trade with China
A group of indigenous Maori food producers in New Zealand has launched a new export collective. The group plans to head to Shanghai for the China International Import Expo in November. The HUI Maori Collective has received government support to sell a range of high quality foods and beverages. They're also hoping to tap into cultural similarities between the Maori and Chinese people. Owen Poland tells the story from Wellington.
Traditional Maori singing wafted through Wellington's distinctive 'Beehive' Parliament buildings to celebrate the official launch of the HUI Maori Collective.
Eleven Maori businesses have joined forces to export wine, manuka honey, fruit bars and a soft drink to China, and they're supported by a Government that wants to promote trade.
DAVID PARKER NEW ZEALAND MINISTER FOR TRADE AND EXPORT GROWTH "The brand values of the HUI Maori Collective are underpinned by the standards of integrity of you as people but also the integrity of your products."
That integrity has seen the Collective become the first coalition of exporters to join the Government's Food Trust Framework which guarantees that products are high quality, authentic - and safe.
STEVE BIRD HUI MAORI COLLECTIVE MEMBER "We need people to understand that we're the real deal, we're genuine, we're Tangata Whenua, the people of the land."
Products from the HUI Collective will be sold on China's Tmall Global website which represents another breakthrough for Maori exporters.
NANAIA MAHUTA NEW ZEALAND MINISTER FOR MAORI DEVELOPMENT "For the very first time we can enter into the modern world of e-commerce in ways that continue to derive benefit to those businesses, yes."
OWEN POLAND WELLINGTON "The Maori collective chose the word HUI because, amazingly, it has a common meaning of meeting or coming together in both the Maori and Chinese languages. And the 'U' in the middle symbolizes a traditional Maori food basket."
The two cultures also share similar values around family life and long-term goals which the Collective hopes will strengthen their connection with Chinese consumers.
HAYDEN JOHNSTON HUI MAORI COLLECTIVE CHAIRMAN "I'd like to think that we understand each other in a better way, and if that results in a competitive advantage then that's great."
The Government also hopes the Collective will boost New Zealand's international brand status.
NANAIA MAHUTA NEW ZEALAND MINISTER FOR MAORI DEVELOPMENT "The more that we can ensure that New Zealand gains advantage from what Maori contributes to that brand, but also to the economy, the more that we will all benefit."
And while the four winemakers in the Collective are sometimes fierce competitors, being in a coalition with family values gives them greater strength.
STEVE BIRD HUI MAORI COLLECTIVE MEMBER "There's a free flow of knowledge that goes between each of the members that perhaps large multi-national corporations wouldn't share. But we're family, we're brothers, we're sisters, we're cousins."
The next stop for the HUI Collective is Shanghai where they'll join a strong New Zealand representation at the China International Import Expo. Owen Poland, CGTN, Wellington.
World-first verification framework takes premium Māori products to the Chinese market.
Tuesday, 16 October 2018, 8:52 am
Press Release: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
One of New Zealand’s most innovative business solutions – to take high-quality local food and beverage products direct to Chinese consumers - has been launched at the Beehive.
The formal agreement to create the HUI Māori Collective was signed last night in the presence of Ministers David Parker (the Minister for Trade and Economic Development) and Nanaia Mahuta (the Minister for Māori Development).
The HUI Māori Collective comprises 11 companies which together will sell a range of premium products, including wine, Mānuka honey, fruit bars, and Kawakawa soft drink.
Their Māori-branded product suite will be 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.
The innovative solution is underpinned by a world-first verification process developed in collaboration between AsureQuality, New Zealand Post and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for the HUI Māori Collective.
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.
For exporters, the framework delivers the trusted transparency and confidence in their own brand stories and ‘NZ Inc’ that discerning international consumers are looking for.
Further provenance authentication is provided through New Zealand’s FernMark Licence, which will be proudly displayed on HUI packages, Tmall Global and the HUI Collective website. The New Zealand Government FernMark Licence Programme verifies that products are grown or made or designed in New Zealand by reputable New Zealand companies.
Carrying the trademark offers the collective an additional layer of credibility and trust to both distributors and consumers in China. This is the first time a FernMark has been issued to a coalition group of exporters.
The HUI group will benefit from FernMark’s robust online IP protection programme, which monitors over 800 global e-commerce markets in China, including TMALL and Taobao. This ensures that all products bearing the FernMark are licensed to do so thereby providing a mark of trust and authenticity.
Tiki Taane has 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.
In launching the HUI Māori Collective last night, Minister Parker said: “The simply reality for us is that trade is crucial for our well-being and standard of living; 620,000 Kiwis rely on exports for their livelihood.
“It is why the Government is firmly focused on supporting our exporters. And as a consequence, we applaud those who contribute to our prosperity at home through their success on the international stage.
“As a country, we know that we need to diversify and enhance the value of our goods and services exports, and the HUI Māori Collective is the perfect example of that.’’
Minister Mahuta agreed, saying “It is exciting to see 11 Māori businesses as part of this bold Māori collective, combining a range of premium products direct to this important export market.
“HUI is a celebration of support and kinship. Māori businesses are already key players on the world stage and major contributors to the New Zealand economy.
“Today is a modern world of commerce where it is global, borderless and online – a place where Māori excel. What makes Māori business unique is our culture, our values, our approach.
“HUI carries all those proud, valuable Māori qualities with them into China.’’
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.’’
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 local 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 creation of the HUI Māori Collective has been supported by a number of organisations, including New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, AsureQuality, NZ Post, Te Puni Kōkiri and Poutama Trust.
The ANZ bank will provide support to develop a future blockchain solution, and bespoke finance solutions to support the Collective manage its financial flows. Paul Goodwin, ANZ Institutional Managing Director, said: “Blockchain technology could make a significant difference to Māori businesses and other exporters trading overseas. As well as businesses being paid faster, it’ll provide verification of a product’s authenticity, critical for Chinese consumers.”
Auckland Airport has also come on board as an official partner and will create a video that will tell the ‘producer to consumer story’ through the Collective’s innovative delivery logistics.
The HUI Collective will be launched in China on Monday, November 5, during the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.