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What China wants has profound implications for the export income generated from New Zealand and Australia’s agrifood sectors. A better understanding of ‘down under’ advantages in accessing the Chinese market, what this market demands, and how Chinese people go about business will benefit these farming sectors. Employing qualitative empirical research, assisted by academic and industry literature, together with our own ongoing industry networks, this article addresses the question “what does China want from farming ‘down under’ in New Zealand and Australia?” The greatest advantage of these ‘down under’ nations lies within our production and supply chain systems which enable us to supply safe and high-quality food products that Chinese consumers demand. In order to fully utilise this advantage, farmers need to integrate themselves within supply chains, which have necessary knowhow in accessing the Chinese market. This knowhow starts with understanding the importance of, and length of time that it takes to build, trusting guanxi (关系, relationships). Following this understanding, there is a need to appreciate the roles that Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), daigou and mianzi (面子, ‘face’ or prestige) play within the nuances of reaching Chinese consumers and dealing with Chinese agrifood business people.

Keywords: Farming ‘down under’, Chinese consumers, food safety and quality, guanxi, mianzi, daigou

New Zealand

Author(s): Lucock X. (1), Old K. ( 1), Woodford K. ( 1)

Organization(s): Lincoln University (1)

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