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Hubbard Foods Welcomes Trade & Enterprise Support

Joint statement: Hubbard Foods & New Zealand Trade & Enterprise

January 25, 2005

Hubbard Foods Welcomes New Zealand Trade And Enterprise Support

Hubbard Foods Limited has welcomed support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to improve the capability of its manufacturing facilities, making its operations more internationally competitive and enhancing export prospects.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has provided half the funding, to the value of $183,600, for consultancy services which will support a range of projects Hubbards Foods is undertaking. The projects will support the implementation of a $1.15 million investment by Hubbards in capital equipment and support services.

Hubbard Foods’ Executive Director David Irving said this support from NZTE was extremely timely, and the company would make exceptionally good use of the money.

“This funding will help the Company lift its operational performance to an international standard, which is needed to sustain and increase exports.

“The choices facing Hubbards were to remain a good New Zealand business, or boost our international competitiveness. We compete with international and multinational companies in the breakfast category so we have no option, particularly if we want to sustain export growth.”

Mr Irving said Hubbards’ huge investment in equipment and support services would include the purchase and commissioning of a major new piece of cereal manufacturing equipment, and reconfiguring the operational facilities. These developments will also mean the company has the ability to manufacture a number of new products for which there are export enquiries

“Earlier support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has made a valuable contribution to our business as it has become more export-focussed, and supplemented the substantial investments the company itself has made.”

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Group General Manager for the food and beverage sector Rod MacKenzie said NZTE had worked alongside Hubbard Foods for a number of years supporting its transformation to an internationally successful company.

“Hubbard Foods has strong growth prospects internationally but also faces a number of challenges. NZTE’s support has particularly focussed on helping the company improve its productivity.

“The funding from NZTE’s growth services fund is to ensure that as the company grows its export revenues, it has the systems and skills in place to meet demand and respond to new market opportunities.”

Mr MacKenzie commented that just 160 firms account for 80 percent of New Zealand’s foreign exhange – despite there being nearly 300,000 businesses registered in New Zealand - and less than one percent of them are regular exporters.

“That puts New Zealand at the bottom of the SME exporting scale compared to our trading partners.

“Our businesses face a unique set of barriers to becoming internationally competitive including making the jump from supplying the local market to meeting the needs of the much larger international market, limited knowledge of potential overseas markets and the high costs of exporting.

“The growth services fund aims to help more companies develop the critical mass required to compete internationally,” Mr MacKenzie said.


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