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New Zealand Story, a government initiative to develop and grow New Zealand’s international marketing brand, has launched a new FernMark Programme for New Zealand exporters.
The FernMark is the government’s official trademarked silver fern developed for exporters. Through the Fernmark Licence Programme businesses that meet the eligibility criteria will be able to use the FernMark on their products. 
Rebecca Smith, director of New Zealand Story, says the mark gives companies a competitive advantage overseas by giving products an immediate connection to the story of New Zealand and its associated reputation and credibility.
“It’s vital for our economic growth that New Zealand’s products demand a premium overseas – that’s one of the ways we’re going to reach the Business Growth Agenda’s target of increasing the ratio of exports to GDP to 40 percent by 2025. 
“Carrying the FernMark on products is a simple way for internationalising businesses to leverage the value of New Zealand. From Chinese consumers looking for food products they trust, through to European distributors wanting to partner with resourceful and innovative businesses, we know New Zealand businesses have the potential to do better if they actively call out their New Zealandness at the point of purchase,” says Smith. 
In order to carry the FernMark exporters must meet the licence criteria. It requires a business to be connected to New Zealand from a financial, regulatory, governance and personnel perspective. The company’s products must also meet minimum requirements for being considered as made, grown or designed in New Zealand.
New Zealand businesses will pay between $1,500 and $5,000 per annum for a FernMark licence – regardless of the number of products that are licenced. 
The FernMark licence sits alongside the broader New Zealand Story toolkit of resources already available for companies to help them tell their own New Zealand Story when marketing overseas.  
“Around the world the New Zealand FernMark is recognised shorthand for ‘of New Zealand’. It is integral to telling a compelling story that differentiates New Zealand from other countries and helps give our companies an edge in fiercely competitive global markets,” says Smith. 
Augmented Reality 
The FernMark Licence Logo is embedded with augmented reality capabilities to give consumers access to content about New Zealand. 
When customers hover their smartphones over the FernMark, they’ll be able to use the Blippar App to verify the authenticity of the product's association to the FernMark Licence Programme and will be shown a short video that explains the story of New Zealand and what makes us unique.
Global Trademark Watch
The FernMark Licence Programme team operates a global trademark watch programme to catch misuse of the FernMark around the world. The FernMark logo is already a registered trademark in 14 countries. 
Through proactive monitoring and audits, the team has worked alongside foreign regulators to significantly reduce the misuse of the trademarked FernMark and thereby provided increased assurance to consumers that products claiming a New Zealand connection are indeed authentic.
Visit to apply for a licence to carry the FernMark.
Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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