Friday, July 1, 2022

Logo gains ground

Taiwan is New Zealand’s largest prime beef cuts export market, where 80% of our beef goes into food service and only 20% into retail outlets, according to Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s China market manager Siu-Lin Shim. She was in this country for a week during March, speaking to beef producers at a Monitor Farm field day on Paua Station in the Far North.

Taiwan imports 96% of its beef consumption, which is around 5kg a person annually, from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Food safety is paramount, with the US recently losing the No 1 supplying country position to Australia because of BSE and ractopamine growth promotion scares.

Australia’s supply is now heavily weighted towards 180-day, grain-fed Wagyu-cross beef which has supplanted the US grain-fed beef.

NZ has an excellent reputation for food safety, combined with the grass-fed, natural origin for beef containing high levels of Omega 3 and iron.

Since launch in 2007 the NZ grass-fed beef logo now had over 20% recognition within Taiwan’s 23 million people, Siu-Lin said.

Taiwan has 13 million Facebook users and so Beef + Lamb has a “Pasture Perfect” site, which now has more than 1000 fans, posting NZ beef promotions and links to events. (

Beef + Lamb NZ works closely with the Burger King and MOS restaurant chains, which now take exclusively NZ beef patties in Taiwan after the US food safety scares.

Many privately owned restaurants also aspire to use NZ grass-fed beef and display the logo on their windows and menus.

The use of this logo was monitored and audited to ensure that non-NZ beef was not being passed off as the real thing, Siu-Lin said.

Her Wellington-based colleague, Helen Fletcher, Asian markets manager, said that most of NZ’s beef trade to Taiwan was frozen, which arose from our seasonal prime cattle kill pattern.

For retailers, chilled supply must be all year round, which Australia and the US could deliver.

In response to questioning as to why Beef + Lamb NZ paid for any of the in-market promotion with farmers’ levies, she said all expenditure was planned through the Meat Promotion Group in NZ.

“Companies must participate before we join, and because so much of our beef goes into food service and therefore loses its branding, we concentrate on “NZ grass-fed origin” and no individual meat company brands.”

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