The FernMark: a recognisable emblem to strengthen the reputation of Kiwi products overseas

The New Zealand lifestyle has a high-quality reputation overseas. Kiwis are reliable, hardworking, and trustworthy. That reputation has filtered down into the products produced in this country. 

To reinforce that reputation and ensure our exports are deemed authentic, five years ago, the New Zealand government produced the FernMark, a symbol to place onto products produced for export. It utilises one of our most recognised national emblems: the silver fern.

Using an already well-recognised logo to underline the quality of New Zealand products

The silver fern is a ubiquitous symbol in many New Zealand institutions. The national sports teams have it on their shirts. It decorates the front cover of our passport. New Zealand government departments use the symbol when overseas. It is a recognisable and valuable icon.

So, when the New Zealand Story Group was set up, one of its aims was to grow New Zealand’s reputation beyond its natural beauty image to reinforce the quality and innovation of New Zealand products and enhance our reputation in a very competitive world. Their three core values are kaitiaki, integrity and resourcefulness – three values that New Zealand and New Zealanders possess.

The FernMark is government endorsed

One of the initiatives that the New Zealand Story Group created was to provide an opportunity for exporters to adorn their products with a fern mark. The FernMark is government endorsed. If the product has been awarded a FernMark, the government believes that it protects and enhances the value of New Zealand’s reputation overseas. It also believes that you product reinforces the values of the New Zealand Story.

A godsend for New Zealand exporters

For New Zealand exporters, the FernMark is a godsend. Karen Murrell from Karen Murrell Lipsticks said, “Having the trademark was one of my biggest blessings working in China because it gave me security in the sense that I had an official mark on my product”.

Driving preference for New Zealand products around the globe

However, the FernMark does not just provide a visual emblem of New Zealand quality. The symbol is trademarked in 23 countries and it is monitored on over 800 trading sites to ensure that it is not duplicated.