He claims New Zealand producers are not emphasizing the origin of their products, despite research showing most western consumers view New Zealand food as the next best thing to their own products. "This research was done by the University of Florida. This is an example of how little market research we do as a country into understanding perceptions of our food in different countries."
Lees said New Zealand was not taking advantage of a positive perception of the quality and safety of its food products. "Unfortunately we are missing out on this premium because many overseas consumers are unaware their food originates in New Zealand. We are very good at selling products and commodities, but not as good at marketing."