State-owned AsureQuality and NZ Post have teamed up to develop and deliver one of New Zealand’s most innovative business solutions – to take high-quality, verified, Maori-owned food and beverage products direct to Chinese consumers.

In a world-first collaboration, the ‘Food Trust Framework’ means that Chinese consumers can have full confidence in the provenance of their purchases from the authenticated Maori producers that make up the newly-launched HUI Maori Collective.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, who helped bring together the initiative, has said that the collective’s product suite will be hosted on NZ Post’s flagship store on the e-commerce platform Tmall Global, which is part of the Alibaba Group. Chinese customers can order online, NZ Post will then package the order from its airport warehouse and send direct to Chinese consumers in a partnership with China Post.

NZ Post spokesperson Dene Green, General Manager International Strategy and partnerships, says that the framework offers Chinese consumers trust and transparency using a unique AsureQuality QR code and a “verified physical delivery logistics system” that is fully owned and operated by NZ Post.

“This bespoke system produces an electronic record of information from manufacturing to delivery, ensuring confidence in the authenticity, quality and safety of the Hui products purchased by Chinese consumers,” he says.

“The huge learnings out of this journey have also enabled us to begin working on a proof of application blockchain trial which will augment the attributes of the framework,” says Green.

AsureQuality CEO John McKay says that this world-first quality assurance framework will be used to independently authenticate and endorse the HUI’s manufacturing processes and supply chains, and in addition will capture the coalition’s Maori values and how these are woven into product delivery for consumers.

“We believe that proof of provenance is a big opportunity to grow value from New Zealand’s productive sector, by increasing supply chain security, protecting against counterfeit, and providing the opportunity to differentiate New Zealand producers and products.

“As a State-Owned Enterprise, we have the backing of the New Zealand government to build and support ‘Brand New Zealand’. The ‘AQ Assured’ assurance mark that fronts the new framework helps us do just that. It is a compelling way that New Zealand exporters like the HUI Maori Collective can deliver the trust, transparency and confidence in their brand stories that savvy international consumers are looking for,” says McKay.

“In collaboration with NZ Post, we’re excited about future opportunities to further build the Hui Collective, as well as, replicate and evolve it in other sectors, working side by side with our coalition partners to support and grow NZ Inc.,” he says.

The HUI Collective will be launched in China on Monday, November 5, during the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.

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