Storming through the world of organics New Zealand’s businesses made a huge impact on the world stage at Biofach China 2018. Competing with some of the organic food industries world leaders the small collective of New Zealand companies headed by the New Zealand Organic Exporters Association made huge strides to gain attention and awareness for our local organic produce.

New Zealand has a perfect opportunity to transform our food production systems into the most sustainable low input model in the world; with consumer consciousness growing at a rate around 25% percent every year.

Social media platforms have been heavy drivers of increased consumer consciousness of common societal problem areas including climate change, sustainability, and food sovereignty. With echo chambers placing heavy responsibility on multinational food producers, there is a perfect storm brewing that could work in-favour for Kiwi organic growers.

The 2016 New Zealand Organic food report estimates that our organics industry is valued around $217 million dollars domestically, and our exports around $250m. This hails nothing in comparison to the near $300b dollar global market cap in organic food that could be targeted, and even more promising as more and more people begin to switch to organic only diets.

New Zealand’s strong agricultural industry naturally favours good quality product over nasty GMO’s and the like. Talking with Rick Carmont, of the Organic Exporters Association of New Zealand they took the Chinese organic expo representing 140 New Zealand based companies showcasing some of our best product including Manuka Honey, Peanut Butter, and all sorts of organic milk products.

Taking a native approach to getting attention the Organic Association of New Zealand incorporated traditional Māori performing arts by another startup business Te Wehi Haka as a vehicle of performance and storytelling adding to what the companies were trying to achieve.

Such was the case that the New Zealand pavilion beamed with attraction, authenticity, and story New Zealand’s story once again shone through on the world stage. Narrative is what the companies demonstrated as the innovation of the time. It is this deeper level understanding of culture, and organic values that really resonates well with Chinese consumers.

For New Zealand it was a huge win as New Zealand was named country of the year for its leadership in organic produce, and storytelling. There seemed to be a humble gratitude shown from the New Zealand lead contingent who took the acknowledgements with humility and grace. Perhaps an important value that can often be missing in a loud business scape.