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FoodBowl partners celebrate Culley’s growth milestones

23 May 2014

FoodBowl partners celebrate Culley’s growth milestones

The joint venture partners in Auckland’s state-of-the-art food production facility The FoodBowl – Te Ipu Kai, are delighted to have assisted Culley’s Sauces and Salts in its plans to crack the export market for the first time.

Culley’s has signed its first export deal – to supply a high-end Australian distributor with six of its sauces, and flavoured salts – and also signed a distribution deal with Progressive Enterprises which will see Culley’s products sold in Countdown stores nationwide.

Those achievements were followed by two awards from the recent New York City Hot Sauce Expo, which add to Culley’s previous competition successes.

The company has tested and produced all of its products at The FoodBowl in South Auckland, a joint venture between Callaghan Innovation, the Government’s High Tech HQ for business, and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – on behalf of Auckland Council.

The facility enables innovative companies in the multi-billion dollar food and beverage sector to carry out large-scale tests and produce new products in an export-certified environment.

Mary Quin, CEO of Callaghan Innovation, congratulates Culley’s for its major achievements: “Culley’s is a perfect example of why we made a long-term investment in The FoodBowl. Its success will grow New Zealand’s export revenue and jobs.”

“The food and beverage sector has huge potential for New Zealand, and we need to keep backing companies such as Culley’s to enable them to scale up for the export market,” says Mary Quin.

The FoodBowl has worked with hundreds of companies since it opened near Auckland Airport in 2011, and dozens have used its production technology.

ATEED chief executive Brett O’Riley says Auckland Council’s economic growth agency is proud to have helped Chris Cullen grow his business from a small enterprise selling at Clevedon Farmers Market, to an award-winning exporter.

“ATEED’s food and beverage sector specialists have worked with Culley’s from the start, from basic business advice, through to helping arrange New Zealand Trade & Enterprise funding for marketing and important showcasing opportunities,” says Brett O’Riley.

He says The FoodBowl gives food and beverage companies certainty around certification and compliance, and confidence around production capacity,

“Culley’s is one of Auckland’s many innovative food and beverage companies which have the potential to grow and become export earners. We are delighted ATEED’s economic growth team, and particularly The FoodBowl, have helped Chris and his team to achieve their dreams.”

The FoodBowl is used by companies of all sizes, from start-ups to the likes of Tegel Foods, which successfully carried out year-long trials and produced a new export chicken product for Asian markets. The facility’s technology enabled Tegel to extend the shelf life of its products to overcome the impact of long-distance travel.

Brett O’Riley says: “Other companies are emerging and will emulate Culley’s achievements with the help of The FoodBowl. Auckland Council’s significant investment in the facility is being repaid through real economic and job growth across the region.”

New Zealand Food Innovation Auckland Ltd, operating as The FoodBowl – Te Ipu Kai, was originally an ATEED subsidiary funded by the Government, and by ATEED on behalf of Auckland Council.

Last year, ATEED and Callaghan Innovation signed a joint venture deal which saw The FoodBowl become two thirds owned and funded by Callaghan Innovation on behalf of the Government. The other third is owned and funded by ATEED on behalf of Auckland Council.

Auckland’s food and beverage sector is valued at about $3 billion-a-year.


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