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Zespri - Supreme Exporter Of The Year

Zespri International Ltd – Supreme Exporter Of The Year

New Zealand’s Biggest Horticultural Export Earner

Auckland, June 13, 2003 -- New Zealand’s Supreme Exporter of the Year is ZESPRI International Ltd, the global leader for kiwifruit and New Zealand’s biggest horticultural export earner.

The Trade New Zealand Export Awards were presented at a gala dinner in Christchurch on Thursday 12 June. The Export Awards are sponsored by DHL.

ZESPRI International, which outperformed around 30 other finalists to be named New Zealand’s top exporter for 2003, also won the Food & Beverages Exporter of the Year Award.

The judges said ZESPRI International was a standout company and a model other primary producers would do well to emulate.

“ZESPRI International has achieved something very rare in the primary sector – it has established a strong price premium for its products over the competitors’. It has done this by building a robust brand, introducing a promising new product – ZESPRI™ GOLD - and honing its supply chain management to ensure consumers get high quality fruit.”

CEO Tim Goodacre says sales of ZESPRI™ Kiwifruit totalled $800 million in 2001/02, up from $746 million the previous year, with almost all its revenue generated from exports. The company has increased returns to its shareholders and growers for five consecutive seasons.

Mr Goodacre says the Tauranga-based company fights competitors on value rather than price, offering a unique multi-product portfolio that provides the consumer with a choice. He says sales have been boosted in the past several years by the highly successful global commercialisation of the new, sweeter kiwifruit variety ZESPRI™ GOLD.

Export Awards were also presented across nine other categories. Commenting on the winners, the judges said they all demonstrated sophistication and ingenuity in the way they tackled export markets.

“They have a clear idea of the value proposition they are offering and a clear strategy for developing it further. Moreover, they run the gamut from young, small companies to long-established, large companies across a diverse range of products and services. Each of them offers valuable lessons for other companies.”

IRL BioPharm, a highly specialised manufacturer of the “warheads” for revolutionary new anti-cancer drugs, is the Agritech and Life Sciences Exporter of the Year. The company has created a world leading biotech business in less than five years of business, achieving annual exports of $11 million. A division of Industrial Research Ltd, IRL BioPharm has its strategic planning capability in Auckland and scientific facilities in Wellington.

Fletcher Challenge Forests North American Consumer Solutions is the Building, Wood & Interiors Exporter of the Year. Based in Auckland, the company has developed a successful North American export business, including the marketing and supply of added value wood products to major hardware and home improvement stores.

Comvita New Zealand Ltd is the Consumer Products Exporter of the Year. A Bay of Plenty company, Comvita started manufacturing natural health products derived from honeybees in a garage in 1974. Exports have been growing at 50% per annum since the late 1990s, boosted by a major expansion and restructure and following its entry into the Australian market.

Orca is the Design & Creative Exporter of the Year. A world-leading specialist in triathlon wetsuits, the ethos of the Orca brand is performance led by design, with products engineered with the underlying objective of enhancing an athlete’s performance. With annual exports tracking up towards $10 million, sales to 23 countries and a growing product range, Orca has come a long way from the business that started in 1993 selling wetsuits out of the boot of a car.

Victoria University of Wellington is the Education Exporter of the Year. The number of overseas students attending the university increased from 952 in 2001 to 1400 in 2002, with foreign exchange earnings growing from $10.17 million to $17.3 million over the same period. The company has done an excellent job of marketing itself and then assuring it delivers a quality education to foreign students.

CWF Hamilton & Co is the Engineering Exporter of the Year. The Christchurch company manufactures water jet propulsion systems for high-speed work and patrol boats up to 60 metres long, achieving annual export sales of almost $40 million. Close customer relationships, technology leadership, foreign operations and domestic manufacturing excellence add up to a formidably powerful competitive advantage for this company.

Pulse Data International Ltd is the Information, Communications and Technology Exporter of the Year. Increasing annual exports by five times in the past five years to $50 million, the Christchurch company is winning international acclaim for its innovative technology products for the blind and visually impaired.

Airways New Zealand is the Services Exporter of the Year. Increasing international recognition and demand for its air navigation services and technology has seen the State Owned Enterprise grow foreign exchange earnings from $6 million in 2000 to $12 million in 2002. Strategic partnerships such as the one it has with large American company Lockheed Martin are pivotal to achieving its growth goals.

CRMS Consulting Ltd is the Emerging Exporter of the Year. The Auckland based company has developed a viable and growing export business in three years, helping international pharmaceutical companies improve their profitability through more effective use of their sales and marketing resources.

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