Meat Marketing OpportunitiesWednesday, Feb 28, 2001
A surprising reaction to the Foot and Mouth outbreak in UK has been the assumption that NZ meat producer's
could/should in some way gain extra profit from the misery that this disease is bringing to
The disruption that this outbreak brings to normal trade will pass as the outbreak is contained and
controlled. But the long-term concerns should be with how to preserve consumers confidence in the
consumption of red meat as a quality healthy product.
Ten years of BSE, Swine Fever, and now Foot and Mouth will have really challenged the European consumer's
loyalty to meat and meat products. Fear of disease containing red meat has become uppermost
in the mind of the consumer.
Fear of the unknown and fear induced by rumor can only be countered by quality information and ridged
implementation of approved quality standards to assure the market that producers are trustworthy..
The task for the NZ meat industry should not be the harvesting of a short-term monetary gain but to
use the opportunity to brand and position New Zealand meat as quality product, produced on clean pastures
to impeccable standards.
Some NZ producers may feel flattered that some UK supermarket chains identified New Zealand as an opportunistic
source of product to fill a gap in supply for their house brands.
NZ's meat marketers should trade the short-term financial benefits of such an association for the longer-term
contracts for supply of quality branded product for a term into the future.
Guaranteed market access contracted directly into European retail has much to recommend it. Even better
would be the use of a brand like the developing caliber of Zespri to identify NZ Produced Pastoral
Helping others while helping ourselves is a good marketing position.