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NZ honey bees recognised in Prestigious Awards

Mon, 21 Jun 2004

New Zealand honey bees recognised in Prestigious European Awards

Auckland, 21st June 2004: Hardworking New Zealand Manuka Honey Bees (pictured) have been recognised for the first time at the highly prestigious Salon International de L'Alimentation (SIAL) International Food Exhibition in France. The bees that exclusively collect raw ingredients from the flagrant blossoms of the Manuka tree to produce a rich Manuka Honey essence have won a gold medal for their 42 BELOW Manuka Honey Vodka. It is a huge morale boost for these bees that manufacture honey under any conditions, don't really get paid and often die on the job.

The gold medal for 42 BELOW Manuka Honey Vodka will be collected on behalf of the bees by New Zealand gin and vodka maker, 42 BELOW Limited's, Chief Vodka Bloke and bee subjugator Geoff Ross at the Salon International de L'Alimentation (SIAL) International Food Exhibition in October 17-21 at the Paris-Nord Villepinte exhibition centre in Paris.

The SIAL win comes just weeks after 42 BELOW won a gold medal for 42 BELOW Pure Vodka and a silver medal for SOUTH Gin at the 42nd World Selection 2004 of Spirits and Liqueurs, Monde Selectionâ, run by the International Institute for Quality Selections in Brussels.
"These wins boost the prestige of our brands in the eyes of key sales agents, distributors and buyers in our new and developing export markets. Winning Gold at the Salon International de L'Alimentation has meant resounding export success for previous winners," said Geoff Ross, 42 Below's Chief Vodka Bloke.

The awards are decided quite differently in the two competitions. At the Monde Selectionâ decisions are made by a jury that is comprised of a group of specialists appointed for their professional knowledge. But they do not rely on sensory analysis alone - they often carry out chemical and bacteriological analysis at official or approved European laboratories, also checking conformity of the labelling.

The Brussels spirit competitions are rated among the most important in the world for the alcoholic beverages category while SIAL is recognised as the most important event in the world for the grocery, supermarket and food service sectors. SIAL attracts over 130,000 trade buyers and 5500 exhibitors from 98 countries.

Just getting picked for the Salon International de L'Alimentation is difficult. Peter Mitchell, publisher of New Zealand's FMCG magazine, selected 42 BELOW Manuka Honey Vodka as one of 12 best New Zealand packaged goods products that entered the market in the two years since the last exhibition, submitting them with samples and performance descriptions. Publishers from 27 other countries on the international jury also submit their 12 products covering the various categories. They then meet in Paris and spend three days evaluating and judging the products to eventually come up with 12 gold medal winners, one for each category. New Zealand companies had a huge showing with 42 BELOW, Sealord and Tegel taking three of the 12 gold's.

Each of the 12 category winners receives their awards at a ceremony that for the past dozen years has been broadcast live on French television. 42 BELOW Manuka Honey Vodka, as winner of the alcoholic beverages category, will then be on prominent display in a special section in front of the exhibition, exposing it to the large number of international buyers.

Secret voting by the 28 judges then identifies a Grande SIAL D'Or winner - the best single new product in the world for the past two years from the category winners, and this is announced at a special function during the show in October attended by senior French Government Ministers, world supermarket industry leaders, diplomats and trade commissioners from many countries

Both of the awards allow 42 BELOW to use the awards and medals on product packaging and in promotions. The Monde Selectionâ win allows 42 BELOW to use the medal for 5 years on bottles, packaging, and in the promotion of 42 BELOW Pure Vodka and SOUTH Gin.


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