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Food Hawke’s Bay Announces New Memership Plan

MEDIA RELEASE
December 16, 2005


Food Hawke’s Bay Announces New Memership Plan

Food Hawke’s Bay is refocusing its structure in the new year in order to widen its profile and increase sales of Hawkes Bay food products.

General Manager Jane Libby says the new membership plan is part of a new focus for Food Hawke’s Bay as its three year Regional Initiative comes to a close. The initiative is due to end on 31 March 2006.

She says the membership based organisation plans to offer a range of activities that will build on the achievements of the Regional Initiative, providing food specific services to help build food companies in Hawke’s Bay and grow sales of local food products.

“The activities will be funded by members and financial sponsors, in-kind and voluntary contributions and a range of user pays programmes to support, maintain and grow the initial Food Hawke’s Bay initiatives. We will be ending the three years on a high with a new focus and direction as we move into a new era.

The organisation will be controlled by industry members with Food Hawke’s Bay staff available to support and facilitate the establishment process. It is expected members will be made up of Hawke’s Bay food producers, processors, growers, exporters and marketers while there is also an opportunity for suppliers, service providers and support organisations to become members too.

Over the last three years, Food Hawkes Bay has:

 Assisted with the group purchasing of an insurance package called Foodsure. Foodsure, developed by Risk Solutions, was developed specifically for the Hawke’s Bay food industry. It covers liability (product, professional, GE/GM, product tamper etc), property (material damage, deterioration of stock, machinery breakdown, commercial vehicles etc)) and transit. Twenty eight Hawke’s Bay companies have been visited or contacted and the package has been well received. Savings of $3000 per year plus increased insurance cover have been reported.
 Formed a monthly business network specifically for those interested in meeting others from the food industry. A guest speaker is invited each month and provides a great forum for sharing information. Other groups have also been formed for the meat sector and for companies interested in opportunities for by-products from fruit, vegetables and grapes and also for meats
 Assisted companies to secure $503,211 in funding from Technology NZ for the three years to date.
 Improved the links between EIT and the region’s food industry stakeholder group.
 Promoted co-packing opportunities in Hawke’s Bay and is assisting two companies to find co-packers for their products.

Ms Libby says the membership organisation adds an extra string to Food Hawke’s Bay’s bow in terms of how they support and connect industry, education and research groups in the region to assist the export growth of Hawke’s Bay food companies and products.

Rather than waiting until February to announce the new membership plan, it was decided to release the details in the lead-up to Christmas to end the year on a high. It was also a good time to reflect on the success of Food Hawke’s Bay, she said.

“In the past three years Food Hawke’s Bay has assisted many companies in a variety of ways, from offering business assistance, easy exporting advice, networking opportunities and education and training, particularly with the group’s partnership with the Eastern Institute of Technology. This assistance highlights the importance of our organisation to the Hawke’s Bay food industry, particularly small to medium enterprises.”


ENDS

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