Silver Fern Farms

New Zealand’s primary industries are often criticised for being out of touch with the consumer. Silver Fern Farms has proved one exception to the rule, forming a four-year partnership with Designworks to reinvent what it means to be a Kiwi primary industry food company.

In simple terms, what did you do?

We helped tell the story of Silver Fern Farms, a New Zealand food company applying world-leading expertise from plate to pasture.

Telling this story in a compelling way is the foundation of the premium value the products now command around the world. In fact, Silver Fern Farms is one the first branded product ever allowed into the meat cabinet of UK supermarket Tesco’s.

Designworks approached the job as a chance not to just stand out, but to redefine the category. The design was able to create excellent shelf presence, unite everything under one brand, and reduce overall product complexity.

How has design driven organisational change?

Silver Fern Farms committed to a full programme of internal and stakeholder engagement with Designworks to ensure the brand was taken on board and to heart. ‘Inspirational food created by passionate people,’ is a vision the company now lives by.

For export, what currency does "New Zealand produce" hold and is it always an asset?

Absolutely, in terms of growing conditions and pure expertise in food we have a very special origin story – as we say in the Silver Fern Farms marketing material it is all about ‘a taste like no other from a place like no other’.

The bottom line: over the four years of development, what have you achieved?

The establishment of a fantastic brand, proudly representing the quality or our red meat expertise on the world stage. A potent case study in the power of design – both in terms of pure design and brand thinking and organisational design. Creating the brand and business infrastructure to drive significant new value.

There’s been a significant change of direction by rebranding the business - moving from the meat processor to a new, more marketing-oriented Silver Fern Farms.

Any vegetarians on the job?


–Jef Wong, Designworks