Taking the farm to the customer


COVID’s presented many challenges for businesses, and one of them is the inability to travel.

So, when Fonterra’s research and development partner BY-HEALTH wanted to give its customers a glimpse of farming, New Zealand-style, they used live video technology to bridge the gap, taking the farm to the customers.

BY-HEALTH, China’s largest vitamin and dietary supplement company hosted the event in the run-up to the Singles Day shopping bonanza also known as 11:11 (11th November) to connect consumers with the primary source of some of their products’ ingredients – the lush, green pastures of New Zealand.

Singles Day is a huge opportunity for businesses, because what was started by university students as a rejection of Valentine’s Day (giving them an excuse to buy themselves and other singles a present), has now become the biggest shopping day in the world, exceeding sales of US equivalents Black Friday and Cyber Monday, combined.

Challenged by the restrictions of the global pandemic, BY-HEALTH used a live online video to connect Waikato farmers Colm and Gaynor Tierney with customers looking to make real time purchases of their products. The event was hugely popular, with over 10,000 people tuning into the livestream through two of China’s biggest E-commerce platforms Alibaba and JD.com.

BY-HEALTH Livestream

Some of the best moments from the BY-HEALTH Livestream with Fonterra farmer suppliers Colm and Gaynor Tierney.

With the help of a live translator Colm and Gaynor answered live questions from consumers who were interested in day-to-day farm operations; how many times a day the cows get milked and when the tanker arrives to collect the milk.

Viewers were also taken on a live tour around their small dairy farm near Ngāruawāhia so consumers could see for themselves how the milk is produced.

A similar event hosted by Fonterra’s specialist baby formula, Anmum, also attracted over 10,000 customers for a live chat – taking viewers on a journey from the farm to Fonterra’s HQ.