Guest post from Tony Egan, Managing Director of Greenlea
Most New Zealanders agree our 100% grass-fed beef is among the best in the world. So do the customers of Greenlea, a global exporter of NZ beef that has its roots in a family owned butcher shop in Gisborne, more than 80 years ago.
From a single butcher shop, Greenlea has grown to support 2 plants and our 450 staff, who work with a commitment to integrity, excellence and innovation to export 90% of our products to global customers.
For Greenlea, this wouldn’t be possible without the free trade agreements that New Zealand has negotiated over the last two decades. By opening up these export markets, we’ve been able to grow and employ more New Zealanders, as well as continually develop and enhance our product offering.
Since 2014, Greenlea Premier Meats has taken full advantage of the trade agreement with China which opened the way for us to start exporting frozen meat into that market. From there, China has grown to become our second biggest market after the USA. In 2016, we expected to send $50 million worth of product to China.
Relationships matter. Through working closely with our customers in China we have been focused on developing new value-added products. We have recently commissioned a new processing room, with a strong focus on China. Once this extension is completed, our operational growth is likely to lead to 8 new jobs in our team in the months ahead.
This demonstrates the benefit of free trade to us, our employees and our farmer suppliers, and we expect to see further growth opportunities from the recent agreement that New Zealand can begin to export chilled beef and sheep products to China.
The team spirit that pervades the company reflects our values and the strong family culture. Being one team is at the heart of what we do and how we do it. It’s Greenlea’s people working as one team that makes us successful. We’re big enough to achieve but still small enough to care and that is consistent from our boardroom, to our farmers, our employees and our customers.