SUCCESS IS BUILT ON TRUST
About 5% of our production goes to the domestic market in New Zealand, the rest is exported to markets around the world. About half of the export volume is handled directly.
Unlike most other international business, the apple industry – involving millions of dollars of perishable product – does not work (on) Letters of Credit, and is very much based on trust. To earn that trust, we need to build strong relationships with our customers. Much of this comes down to keeping our word, doing what we say we’re going to do, and delivering a high quality product.
UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE MARKET WANTS
We regularly travel overseas to meet our buyers, as well as hosting them here in New Zealand. We also attend three major fruit conferences each year – in Hong Kong, Asia and Berlin, which provide good opportunities to meet both new and existing customers.
Our success hinges on getting to know our buyers, and understanding their domestic markets. Some buyers may not be prepared to pay a premium for colour, while others will place a high value on it. We find out what they need, and make sure we deliver it.
As well as supplying to specification, we also have to ensure that everything runs smoothly in getting the fruit to market, and hitting target windows for delivery. So when he’s not overseas visiting buyers, our General Manager – Marketing, Wayne Yule spends his time planning selling programmes an booking shipping.