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Region’s food producers boost Visa Wellington On a Plate

Region’s food producers boost Visa Wellington On a Plate

The growth in range and quality of the Wellington region’s food and beverage producers was highlighted at last night’s launch of this year’s Visa Wellington On a Plate festival, which runs from August 15-31.

Regional economic development agency Grow Wellington says suppliers play a vital part in the festival, which last year brought in $4.1 million in GDP to the region’s economy – the equivalent of full-time jobs for 55 people.

“Wellington has a thriving food and beverage sector,” says Gerard Quinn, chief executive of Grow Wellington. “This has only been confirmed by new producers joining the more established names in this year’s festival.”

New businesses in the annual culinary festival include the Wellington Chocolate Factory, a central city startup bean to bar manufacturer. The company will feature in various dessert menus and will hold a number of chocolate origin tasting events.

The craft beer part of the festival also sees some new players with Kereru Brewing from Upper Hutt joining festival stalwarts such as Garage Project (Aro Valley) and Tuatara (Kapiti).

Producers have also had the opportunity to enter the prestigious MiNDFOOD Producer Awards 2014, which will be announced on August 15. This year there are three categories:

Sustainability, Best Established Producer and Best New Producer.

Mr Quinn says the festival is New Zealand’s largest culinary event and has become a key factor in the food and beverage sector’s economic growth.

“It’s not only a great platform for producers to team up with chefs and put a spotlight on the region’s diversity, it’s also a great way for producers to collaborate,” says Mr Quinn, with events featuring producers from different regions and different specialties to give consumers a unique experience.

“This year’s festival shows once again that Wellington is New Zealand’s cuisine capital.”


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