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New Zealand to have Strong Presence at Food Hotel Asia 2008 in Singapore

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With a presence of more than 50 products from 12 companies, New Zealand will have a significant presence at this year’s Food Hotel Asia (FHA), being held from 22 – 25 April 2008 at the Singapore Expo. New Zealand’s presence will be supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

Deemed one of the region’s foremost food and beverage trade shows, FHA ’08 presents a crucial platform for New Zealand food producers to meet and network with buyers from around the region, discover new business prospects and showcase their new and innovative products like seafood and meat, cheese, honey, wine and dairy.

The food and beverage sector is New Zealand’s largest manufacturing sector by total output, with its contribution to a positive trade balance and value of exports doubling to NZ$15 billion per annum since 1990. The sector contributes around 10% GDP and half of all New Zealand’s merchandise exports by value.

With food and beverage exports the backbone of its economy, it is easy to understand New Zealand’s focused approach to sustainability, especially since it is precisely its many natural advantages, including a clean, green environment, unpolluted waters and fertile soils that allow its food and beverage sectors to produce the premium quality products the country is known best for.

With a mission led by no less than the Prime Minister, the push to protect the environment they depend on has been wholly embraced by the industry, with some having already developed carbon-neutral production processes, such as Antipodes water, while others ensuring carbon-balancing schemes that plant trees and finance renewable energy projects. In addition, its temperate climate, access to free-range open fields, and a natural diet of fresh pasture makes New Zealand-bred meat far more energy efficient to produce than produce from North Asia, Europe and North America. Meat producers such as Highford Marketing and Fisher Meats will be at FHA 2008 with a selection of their produce, including Fishers beef sirloin, roasting ham and pork loin roast, and Highford’s beef, lamb, and seafood.

New Zealand produce has long been noted for its full flavour, freshness and overall high quality. In recent years, however, New Zealand food producers have also focused on leveraging the country’s superb raw materials, grown in its pristine environment, with innovation – applying their technological expertise and ingenuity to produce products that meet the world’s demand for new and novel foods, or foods that offer increased health benefits, or are convenient and sustainable, without compromising on taste. Companies such as Canary Enterprises and Te Mata Cheeses, which exemplify this innovative approach, will showcase produce such as pastry butter sheets for baking, and specialty cheeses at FHA 2008, respectively.

The country’s reputation for high quality food produce is also a result of its fastidious approach to traceability. Along with food production usually comes the issue of food safety and traceability, and New Zealand’s food producers and authorities have developed several initiatives. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA), responsible for food-related legislation has developed E-cert, an electronic certification system that tracks food product movements, providing food security and sanitary guarantees for the most demanding importers, The meat and livestock, fish, honey and horticulture industries also have standalone systems which allow for easy tracking from importers back to the source in New Zealand, and the proportion of food and beverage companies in New Zealand that are certificated to ISO standards is amongst the highest in the world.

The NZFSA issues around 200,000 export certificates annually for animal products, including seafood, and also facilitates exports of New Zealand food and food by-products to more than 180 countries by providing government-to-government assurances that the animal, dairy or plant export products comply with their stringent food safety standards.

In addition to demonstrating the country’s strength in food productions, NZTE is also seeking to bolster relations with the Shangri-La chain of hotels and other key regional hotel chains and distributors at the event – with the aim of building brand image, creating demand, and developing supply chain opportunities and providing knowledge and market intelligence to New Zealand suppliers.

On NZTE’s involvement at FHA ’08, Alex Matheson – Trade Commissioner in Singapore said, “New Zealand’s presence at FHA ‘08 will further enhance our brand recognition with key trade throughout Asia, improve the New Zealand F&B proposition and provide companies with an opportunity to further develop business relationships, sales and undertake competitor and market competitiveness.”

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