The Fiordland Lobster Company has won a top exporting award, becoming the supreme winner of the recent HSBC New Zealand China Trade Association awards.

Fiordland Lobster exports about 98 per cent of its live crayfish to China, and this year expects to send about 1.5million live crays to China.

The 30-year-old Fiordland Lobster operates from 15 sites around New Zealand, Australia and China, including processing plants in Te Anau and Sawyers Bay, near Dunedin.

Fiordland Lobster Company chief executive Alan Buckner said business innovation had caught the judges' attention.


''China is a challenging market and the pace of change there is incredible. It's actually shaped who we are by focusing our organisational culture on to constant innovation,'' he said in a statement.

For the past two years, Fiordland Lobster had also been supplying the Chinese online-to-offline supermarket chain Hema, part of the massive online Alibaba Group.

The crayfish were individually tagged with the company's Wild Legend brand, including QR codes which allowed Chinese consumers to learn about the crayfish's New Zealand origins, Buckner said.

Crayfish were also sold online and delivered individually to consumers, which ''delivered the New Zealand story right into Chinese homes'', he said.

In June Fiordland Lobster reported the price was buoyed by the US dollar being stronger in China during the year, and the Kiwi dollar weakening, in a range of about $80 to $120 a kilo.

The company exported about 800 tonnes of lobster overseas each year, most of the product coming from Fiordland. Shellfish were readied for export in depots in Fiordland and elsewhere in the country.

Category winners:

Auckland Airport award for Contribution to the Growth of Chinese Tourism in New Zealand - SkyCity Entertainment Group.


Waste Management NZ award for investment between China and New Zealand - Oceania Dairy.

NZTE award for trade between New Zealand and China - Fiordland Lobster Company.

Cathay Pacific award for best use of eCommerce in exporting to China - Trademonster.

New Zealand China Council award for outstanding contribution to the New Zealand-China business relationship - Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

HKNZBA award for success in Hong Kong by a New Zealand organisation - Eat The Kiwi.