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Showcase puts new business the way of Wellington

Showcase puts new business the way of Wellington food and beverage suppliers

The Visa Wellington On a Plate (VWOAP) 2014 Supplier Showcase, held in Wellington on Monday is being praised by industry and participants as a huge success.

Grow Wellington’s Sector Development Manager for Manufacturing, Grant Lumsden, says the event was attended by over 40 suppliers from around the region, with a number securing new contracts for supply from the hospitality trade who attended.

The Supplier Showcase, run by Grow Wellington in conjunction with the Wellington Culinary Events Trust, is a forerunner to the VWOAP festival in Wellington in August, and gives the region’s chefs, restaurant owners and suppliers a chance to begin planning menus and events.

“We also hosted out of town buying delegations from boutique food retailers in Auckland, as well as local industry, and all were extremely pleased by the day and the quality of the producers and products on show. Our businesses are attracting national and global attention around their products because of their quality and originality,” says Mr Lumsden.

Michael McHugh, Editor in chief of MiNDFOOD, attended the event to announce several new categories for producers in the media company’s MiNDFOOD Producer Awards which will run during the VWOAP festival later in the year. “I’m incredibly impressed - the products of Wellington’s suppliers are leaps and bounds ahead of what I’ve seen in recent food shows in California,” Mr McHugh says.

Regional suppliers play a vital part in the festival which brought in $4.1 million in GDP value to the Wellington regional economy last year.

Olive Oil maker and owner of LOT EIGHT Nalini Baruch, says she feels her day at the showcase was very valuable. “After 12 years of commercial operation I assumed I knew most people in the food industry – but I was pleasantly surprised by the number of new contacts I made.”

Ms Baruch says she will be continuing talks begun at the showcase with a view to getting her products stocked by new suppliers outside of the Wellington region.

“Buyers were impressed by my commitment to wholesome local ingredients which have 100% traceability – this is something that so many artisan producers in the Wellington region have in common.”

Ms Baruch also brought her new line of pressed Aromatic and Harissa olive oils, which are pressed in the Wairarapa. “Buyers were able to do their own sensory and taste tests. We get to witness the pleasant surprises on their faces. VWOAP is considered a premium event and to be a part of the showcase sends a signal to the buyer that the participating supplier has the right credentials.”


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