WHAT CHINA WANTS FROM FARMING ‘DOWN UNDER’

Xiaomeng (Sharon) Lucock1, Kevin Old2, Keith Woodford3

1Lecturer in Agribusiness Management, Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce, Lincoln University, New Zealand

2Senior Lecturer in Farm Management Research, Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce, Lincoln University, New Zealand

3Honorary Professor of Agrifood Systems, Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce, Lincoln University, New Zealand

Corresponding author: Sharon.Lucock@lincoln.ac.nz

 

ABSTRACT

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.


BIOGRAPHY

Sharon Lucock is a Lecturer in Agribusiness Management at Lincoln University. She is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management and the International Farm Management Association. She is also an Associate Director on the Board of New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre (NZCCRC), representing Lincoln University. Sharon was brought up in Beijing, China. She came to New Zealand in 2002 after graduating with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from China Agricultural University, and then furthered her academic training at Lincoln University with a Graduate Certificate in Commerce, a Master of Applied Science in Horticultural Management, and a PhD in Agribusiness Systems.Since 2011 Sharon has been lecturing and researching in agricultural management and international agrifood systems at Lincoln University, with a particular interest in New Zealand agrifood companies working in/with China. This research ranges across animal and crop-based industries, through to farmer livelihoods on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Sharon’s research interests also extend to Chinese consumer choices in the big cities, as well as linkages and synergies between agribusiness and tourism industries, particularly in relation to Chinese tourists in New Zealand.