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Export Award for Merino New Zealand

November 29, 2000

Media release ­ for immediate use

Export Award for Merino New Zealand

The innovative, partnership-oriented approach taken by Merino New Zealand in marketing New Zealand¹s export merino clip has been recognised at the 2000 New Zealand Export Awards.

Chief executive John Brakenridge accepted the ³Co-operating to Compete² Export Award for Merino New Zealand at last night¹s awards function in Wellington, reflecting the efforts of its 700 merino growers.

The category won by Merino New Zealand was one of five special commendations made as part of this year¹s export awards, and was for ³two or more New Zealand-based companies who demonstrate growth in foreign exchange earnings in 1999/2000 specifically as the result of working together².

Merino New Zealand has worked with a number of key partners in international markets, developing ongoing relationships which have contributed to increased foreign exchange earnings. Export earnings are up from $56 million in 1998/99 to $96 million for 1999/00.

Acknowledging the commodity upturn, the McKinsey Report recognised the independent efforts of Merino New Zealand, which has resulted in increased prices for New Zealand Merino over its Australian counterpart.

³Our strategy has been to target the highest end of the market, and to position New Zealand Merino as an exclusive, high value differentiated product,² John Brakenridge says. ³Co-operation has played a major part in achieving this, whether it is working with manufacturers to find solutions, or acting as facilitator between growers and international customers.

³Over the five years since Merino New Zealand was established to market and promote the New Zealand Merino clip, the value of those relationships ‹ and the spirit of co-operation they engender ‹ has become abundantly clear.

Among the leading fashion houses which incorporate New Zealand Merino in their designs are YSL, Givenchy, Loro Piana, Prada and John Smedley. Renowned Italian manufacturer Marzotto recently launched a new range of luxury blankets made from New Zealand Merino, while Schneider¹s exclusive range of Authentico top (the processed merino used in fabric manufacture) is now available in the lucrative Japanese market.

³We are constantly investigating new ways of working with companies to open up new opportunities and create innovative new products using New Zealand Merino,² John Brakenridge adds.

Merino New Zealand has a staff of 12, including representatives in Europe and Japan. Chief executive John Brakenridge was named Marketer of the Year at the 1999 New Zealand Export Awards.

For more information, contact: John Brakenridge Chief Executive Merino New Zealand Ph 03-377-7990


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