Tuesday, 16 January 2024 11:55

Confidence in long-term market-led strategy

Written by  Nigel Malthus
SFF general manager sales, Peter Robinson says farmers should have confidence in the long-term value of the company's market-led strategy. SFF general manager sales, Peter Robinson says farmers should have confidence in the long-term value of the company's market-led strategy.

Farmers should have confidence in the long term value of Silver Fern Farms market-led strategy.

That was the message SFF general manager sales, Peter Robinson, gave suppliers at the meat processor and exporter's round of roadshows late last year.

"We have a young, but increasingly strong and recognised brand. And there is no shortage of genuine opportunity in the premium end of the market for us."

Robinson says one positive was that US export volumes are back about 19% on a year ago.

"We're starting to pick up some good businesses in the likes of Japan, for example, where those US volumes start to slip back," he told a meeting of suppliers at Lake Hood, Ashburton. "And as they work their way through the US domestic inventory we expect to see [US] demand open up for imported beef again."

Robinson added that there were some "really good" case studies to show the assets that the company has built up have been successful in building loyalty and holding up the value of the brand, even as the commodity cycle starts to slip.

He displayed a graph showing SFF's premium brands held their retail value despite volatility in the commodity space.

Robinson also explained how the company was investing in consumer insight surveying in all its relevant markets - and 95% of people surveyed are still eating red meat.

"We hear that anecdotally, younger consumers are turning away from red meat, but we're not seeing that," he says. "In fact, millennials and Gen-Z are eating meat at least once a week - more than what we see from Gen-X and Boomers."

However, Robinson says those generations were much more conscious and selective than those who came before them, and "hyper aware" of choosing ethical and sustainable options.

"More than half of the customers are actively trying to, at least occasionally or all the time, select more ethical and sustainable red meat options. We see this growing, which is why we're getting down our Nature Positive track."

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