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Campaign urges shoppers to buy New Zealand goods


Campaign urges shoppers to buy New Zealand goods

Supermarket chain Progressive Enterprises is taking a commercial approach to get Kiwis to back locally produced goods in a new campaign titled Celebrate New Zealand.

Through its 92 Foodtown and Woolworths supermarkets, Progressive is encouraging people to be positive about New Zealand and buy discounted products that are manufactured in this country.

The company says if people support New Zealand[1] grocery products the whole country benefits long term. The campaign has the backing of some big name suppliers marketing grocery products as well as fresh produce.

It has developed an initial two-week campaign to highlight the message and "get the ball rolling". Progressive Enterprises' wants to steadily increase support from business and grow Celebrate New Zealand into an annual event.

It believes a commercial approach - where local goods are given price and quality advantages in its stores - is sensible, patriotic and everyone wins.

Progressive Enterprises managing director Ted van Arkel says Foodtown Woolworths has lobbied suppliers to support the campaign. The company's "first class supplier supporters have really come to the party" he says.

Suppliers cover a range of categories including juice and powdered drinks, snacks, breakfast cereals and spreads, supplements and teas, wines, pork and chicken meats and all New Zealand-grown fruit and vegetables.

Mr van Arkel the aim says is to get people to celebrate the good things New Zealand stands for and the things we do well at and thereby benefit the nation as a whole.

"It's a simple proposition and there's no easier way I know of to show your support than when you're grocery shopping. We produce so many good things in this country."

Mr Van Arkel says Foodtown and Woolworths is proud to be a part of New Zealand and following the successful merger with the former Woolworths Group wanted to put something back into the wider community.

"We have strong connections with this country through our businesses, our New Zealand shareholders, the charities we support and the locally-produced goods and services we buy in this country.

"The merger has gone extremely well and has given us new power to deliver more. But as we deliver more, so we recognise the need to put more back in to the communities in which we operate.

"We have achieved this with strong support from customers and suppliers and we wanted to acknowledge that support in a positive way. We set our minds to thinking of ways we could show this support and Celebrate New Zealand is the result.

"We are starting the ball rolling in our own way and we want others to join us."

Mr van Arkel says the programme is long term.

"We agree it is a big task and we realise there is no quick fix; but commercially we are stronger now and we have better power to help people benefit from supporting New Zealand products.

"We believe the message needs to get through that celebrating the country is good for everyone in the country. But if we sit back and do nothing, nothing will happen."

"We want Celebrate New Zealand to become a calendar event. We have set aside this appropriate time in the annual calendar to focus on the New Zealand-made goods we sell. We believe everyone can participate by simply buying local."

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