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Food and beverage sector next on the economic menu

2 August 2005

Food and beverage sector next on the economic menu

The unique flavours of Northland are to be explored in a new initiative to help develop the region’s specialty food and beverage industries.

A recent market research project has highlighted the potential of wine and food to tempt domestic visitors to Northland during the quieter winter months.

The project, by research firm Colmar Brunton, identified “wine and foodies” as a market segment which could be encouraged to choose Northland as a holiday destination during the shoulder and low seasons.

Regional economic development agency Enterprise Northland will be holding a series of workshops in Kerikeri, Dargaville and Whangarei in early August to hear the views of food growers and producers.

“We want to know what’s great, what could be better and what support we could offer to further enhance the growth of the specialty food and beverage sector in Northland,” said Kiri Goulter, project manager of the major regional initiative (MRI) Activate Northland.

She said high-profile examples from Northland’s specialty, or niche, food and beverage sector include added-value products such as:

- Olives, olive oils and other high-quality oils
- Cheeses
- Chillie products
- Handmade chocolates
- Organically-grown produce
- Wines
- Subtropical gourmet products.

Farmers’ markets are another potential visitor drawcard.

“We will be looking for regional strengths to help create a point of difference for Northland – it might be around the advantages of our subtropical climate,” Kiri Goulter said.

Enterprise Northland has appointed former Cuisine magazine editor Lyn Barnes, now a Kerikeri resident, to help co-ordinate promotions around Northland’s food and beverage industry. Several initiatives are already underway in the North and Lyn hopes to work with organisers of these, so that their efforts complement each other.

- Anyone with an interest in the upcoming regional food and beverage workshops can contact Enterprise Northland on 09-438 5110 or visit the website www.enterprisenorthland.co.nz

- Public meetings are being held:

5.30pm to 7 pm, 8 August at the St James Anglican Church Hall, Kerikeri

5.30pm to 7 pm, 9 August at the Kaipara Community Centre, Hokianga Rd, Dargaville

5.30pm to 7 pm, 10 August at Dickens Inn, Cameron St, Whangarei

ENDS

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