[19 August/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

New Zealand Merino Company Chief Executive, John Brakenridge said New Zealand was stuck in the past as it was trying to produce more low cost commodities rather than promote the fine products it already had. Mr Brakenridge added that New Zealand sold commodities at an export value of around $37 billion, but by the time they reached consumers globally they were valued at over $200 billion. Mr Brakenridge explained that a huge amount of that extra value came from branding and capturing the hearts and minds of target consumers. Mr Brakenridge said science and research had a place in terms of extracting innovation, but that should be anchored off a sophisticated marketing infrastructure.