Photo: Tawheed Manzoor / Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Scoop: Why would the amount of rice being eaten in Asia plateauing be good for New Zealand? Because Asia’s growing middle class is turning from rice to eating protein which is rising in consumption by 5 percent annually and New Zealand is well-placed to meet that increased demand, said Stefan Hajkowicz, a top scientist on strategic foresight at Australia’s federal scientific agency CSIRO.

They want to know where their food comes from and are also concerned about food safety with New Zealand and Australia perceived to be safe. Consumers are prepared to pay a premium for products that deliver on that, he said. “When a Shanghai customer goes to the supermarket they could swipe their smartphone over a kiwifruit and get a picture of where it was grown, what happened on the way to market, what part of New Zealand it was from, what treatment it got when it landed in that country – it could even include an opportunity to talk to that farmer,” he said.

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