Skip to main content

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 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.

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.

Glenn Baker

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


Dishing up export possibilities

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012

What’s mine is not yours

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012

25 countries… and counting

Exporter Today Editorial TeamExporter Today Editorial TeamApril 16, 2012