NZ fare promoted at Bangkok celebration
published : 27 May 2022 at 10:00
newspaper section: Business
New Zealand has strengthened ties with Thailand by holding an event in Bangkok for its national food and beverage programme.
The "New Zealand, Made with Care" initiative aims to reaffirm Thailand's importance as New Zealand's ninth-largest trading partner. It connects those who support New Zealand products in Thailand, including importers and distributors, Thai government officials, members of the press, and business leaders including Sudhitham Chirathivat, Supatra Chirathivat, Polapatr Suvarnazorn and Dillip Rajakarier.
New Zealand's Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O'Connor and Ambassador-Designate Jonathan Kings presided over the opening ceremony.
It was Mr O'Connor's first visit to Thailand since the start of the pandemic.
Celebrity chef Wuttisak Wuttiamporn created 14 dishes using 17 premium New Zealand-sourced ingredients from the land and sea at the event.
In 2021, New Zealand's exports to Thailand were worth 28.7 billion baht, a 19% increase from 24 billion in 2020. The largest category was food and beverage worth 15.8 billion baht.
The most popular New Zealand products shipped to Thailand include dairy products, seafood, meat, and fruit such as kiwi, avocados, plums and cherries.
Meat is the fastest-growing product category with a total export value in 2021 of 890 million baht, 2% growth from the previous year.
Packaged food is also gaining popularity in Thailand, which could be in response to Thai consumers' health and sustainability trends, said the New Zealand contingent.
Popular products include avocado oil, processed fruit products, honey, cereal, and snacks such as chocolates and cookies.
The campaign is a global initiative involving an integrated marketing programme across consumer and trade activities.
The scheme officially launched in Thailand in July 2021, with marketing activities involving major partners such as Central Food Retail, Ek-Chai Distribution System (Lotus's), Big C Supercenter and Siam Makro.
The campaign's objective is to demonstrate New Zealand's commitment to providing high-quality and safe food and beverage products to consumers in Thailand.
The New Zealand government said the programme highlights three key aspects of its products: safe; nutritious and ethical; as well as high-quality and tasty.