Small Business: Making it in China - Green Monkey

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Charlotte Rebbeck, managing director of Green Monkey, organic baby food producer, with daughter Eve. File photo / Simon Baker
Charlotte Rebbeck, managing director of Green Monkey, organic baby food producer, with daughter Eve. File photo / Simon Baker

Charlotte Rebbeck, founder and managing director, Green Monkey, the natural baby food Christchurch company talks to GIll South about her experiences in China.

Green Monkey's penetration into China is slow and extremely focused. We have no lack of demand with multiple enquiries a day wanting a supply of our super premium baby food range. This is due to our credibility in New Zealand and Australia as the most awarded baby food in Australasia.

Built on honesty and integrity, this sits well for the safety- conscious Chinese parents. We have 100 per cent traceable ingredients and are the only baby food in the world to have single source ingredients.

We trace back to the farms in New Zealand for everything. They don't trust their own food even if it is organic to the Chinese. It's more about where the food is sourced, something Kiwis are not focused on quite yet.

Currently every other brand of baby food imports cheaper ingredients and most often they are from China or South America and then it says just " MADE in New Zealand or MADE in Australia".

Even though Green Monkey is much more expensive to produce, the middle to high income in China will do anything to give their only child the best. Our focus has always been "super premium" as we can never compete on price alone.

We find most enquiries, which come directly through the website or via New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, are from traders or people trying to make a quick buck. So the key is saying "No" to 99 per cent and yes to the right partnerships. We have spent months working with retail chains and massaging relationships so they are win/win always or no deal.

China is a very exciting market for sure and we feel New Zealand can offer the best super premium products to China, but having control and trust through to the customer is what I feel is the key.

A lot of people will set up their businesses while still in jobs. The question is, what size does their fledgling business have to be before they leave the safety of the salaried job? When is the time right? Email me, Gill South at the link below. Tell us your stories about when you took the leap:

- NZ Herald

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