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Grocery Challenge Sources Industry Excellence

Grocery Challenge Sources Industry Excellence

The annual Heinz Wattie's Grocery Challenge begins regionally this month, with 48 entrants competing in the only national competition to recognise excellence and potential new business leaders within the grocery sector.

2003 winners Fiona Pointon from Progressive Enterprises Ltd's head office, and Susan Gordon of Countdown Whakatane, felt that the experience was inspiring and invaluable for their careers.

"I found it lifted my profile within the company and certainly gave me a better global understanding of the business," says Fiona, Category Manager Bulk Foods, Baking and Hot Beverages at Progressive Enterprise's head office.

"There was so much to learn and I'm still using the information that I did research on for my presentation."

"The many different facets to the competition were all challenging, especially the Outward Bound component," says Susan, Whakatane Countdown Store Manager.

"I've been in the grocery business for seven years and had always thought about entering, last year was the first time I did - and what a result!

"On entering, I'd just been given the Whakatane Store Manager's role, and the competition gave me great exposure to the business and confidence in my abilities."

Regional finals are held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and finalist results will be announced at the end of March.

Heinz Wattie's Managing Director, Nigel Comer says the company is very excited with the calibre of entrants received.

"It's going to be a tough competition. Its value is that it not only identifies two national winners, but inspires people throughout New Zealand to become business leaders," says Nigel.

"The competition helps entrants learn new skills, undertake challenging situations and experience personal and career growth."

Regional finalists head to Auckland to compete in the national final in May with a Gala Dinner celebrating the winners at the end of May. There are two winners covering both the corporate and store industry levels. Both will win a trip to an Australian development course to further their leadership skills.

2004 sees Heinz Wattie's celebrate its fourteenth year of running the Grocery Challenge. Heinz Wattie's is proud to be encouraging education and excellence within the grocery sector.

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