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Wine industry pioneer joins taskforce

Hon Jim Anderton Minister for Economic Development - Hon Jim Sutton Minister of Agriculture

25 February 2005

Wine industry pioneer joins food and beverage taskforce

The two Cabinet Ministers on the food and beverage taskforce, Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton and Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton, say they’re pleased that George Fistonich, founder and Managing Director of Villa Maria is bringing his expertise in and knowledge of the wine industry to the taskforce.

Mr Fistonich’s appointment was announced by Prime Minister Helen Clark in Auckland on Thursday.

George Fistonich joins leaders from New Zealand’s food and beverage industries and senior government representatives as a member of the 20-strong taskforce, which is charged with boosting one of the country’s fastest growing sectors.

“I am delighted to welcome Mr Fistonich to the taskforce, and to see a man of his passion and expertise join our line up of leaders from industries across our food and beverage sector,” said Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton and taskforce co-chair.

“Mr Fistonich is an innovator, renowned for his entrepreneurial talent, determination and vision for the New Zealand wine industry as a whole,” said Jim Sutton.

The Food and Beverage Taskforce marks the beginning of a Government and industry-led initiative to capitalise on one of the country’s fastest growing sectors. Food and beverage exports have doubled in the past 10 years and today account for close to 50 percent of total merchandise exports.

The task force is co-chaired by Jim Anderton and Tony Nowell, Managing Director for Griffin’s Foods Ltd, Tony Nowell.

ENDS

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