Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Export Award For Tohu Wines

Export Award For Tohu Wines - New Zealand’s First Maori Wine Exporter

Wellington, May 12, 2003 -- Tohu Wines, the country’s first Maori wine exporter, has won a Trade New Zealand Export Award for growing annual foreign exchange earnings to $4 million in five years of business.

(Media are invited to attend the presentation of the Tohu Wines Export Award by the Minister of Maori Affairs, the Honourable Parekura Horomia, at 5pm, on Monday May 12, at Nomai Room, Te Puni Kokori, 143 Lambton Quay, Wellington.)

CEO James Wheeler says Tohu Wines was established in 1998 by three entrepreneurial Maori groups who wanted a business venture that would enable them to export their culture to the world. He says they saw wine as the ideal vehicle to achieve their commercial and cultural aims.

The three organisations – Wi Pere Trust, Wakatu Incorporation and Ngati Rarua Atiawa Iwi Trust – who between them have 3000 shareholders, own land in Gisborne, Marlborough and Nelson, some of New Zealand’s top wine growing regions.

Mr Wheeler says Tohu Wines is the marketing company for the joint venture. Located in Lower Hutt and employing just three staff, it takes responsibility for research, product development, marketing, sales and distribution and strategic direction.

He says the company is achieving strong export growth in a very competitive international market, with key success factors the quality of its wine and its Maori heritage.

“We are targeting the upper end of the market. Our aim is to produce wine that is superb quality and has a unique flavour – we don’t want to make wines that taste the same as everyone else’s. Our wine must be of the highest standard in order to retain customers and create positive world of mouth feedback.

“While quality is an essential element of our competitive advantage, what distinguishes us from all other wine producing companies is our Maori brand. Global markets are fascinated by our indigenous way of life and the Maori aspect enhances their experience of our wine.”

Mr Wheeler says all the company’s branding and marketing reinforces that this is a Maori wine label.

Tohu Wines is currently producing Chardonnay, unoaked Chardonnay and reserve Chardonnay from Wi Pere’s Gisborne vineyards, and Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough grapes.

The company is using contract grapes, as well as its own and a percentage sourced from Wi Pere Trust to produce its wines. Mr Wheeler says the joint venture business has invested millions of dollars in establishing its own vineyards.

“Our intention is to eventually have 60% of total production coming form the joint venture partner vineyards, giving us greater control over quality and supply.”

From 3000 cases of wine from its first harvest, production this year is 30,000 cases. Mr Wheeler says by 2005 production will triple to 90,000, and by 2007 some 120,000 cases of wine a year, which he predicts will earn the shareholders $20 million in foreign exchange.

To ensure he has buyers for all his wine, Mr Wheeler spends up to four months of the year travelling, attending wine shows, cold calling on potential clients such as restaurateurs and bottle stores.

He says to date, the company’s initial focus has been on developing the US and UK markets but he is aiming to open one export market a year between now and 2007.

“During the next several years I will work to increase distribution in current export markets – the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Holland, Belgium and Germany, and enter the Australian market. After that the focus will be on developing Asian markets.”

Trade New Zealand Account Manager Rino Tirikatene congratulated Tohu Wines on its Export Award win.

“Tohu Wines is a role model for Maori businesses, particularly in terms of their branding. Their point of difference is that they are a Maori business - that flows through into everything they do and is something they effectively use to their advantage.

“Their success is especially significant, because Trade New Zealand’s Maori Enterprise team has worked with Tohu Wines since its inception and has grown with them.”

Ninety-five percent of Tohu Wines is exported, and James Wheeler says as production grows, more Tohu Wine will also be available domestically.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Stats NZ: Consents For New Homes At All-Time High

A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021, Stats NZ said today. The previous record for the annual number of new homes consented was 40,025 in the year ended February 1974. “Within 10 years the number of new homes ... More>>

Stats NZ: Unemployment Declines As Underutilisation Rises

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.7 percent in the March 2021 quarter, continuing to fall from its recent peak of 5.2 percent in the September 2020 quarter but remaining high compared with recent years, Stats NZ said today. ... More>>

ALSO:

Digitl: The Story Behind Vodafone’s FibreX Court Ruling

Vodafone’s FibreX service was in the news this week. What is the story behind the Fair Trading Act court case? More>>

Reserve Bank: Concerned About New Zealand's Rising House Prices

New Zealand house prices have risen significantly in the past 12 months. This has raised concerns at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Putea Matua about the risk this poses to financial stability. Central banks responded swiftly to the global ... More>>

Westpac: Announces Strong Financial Result

Westpac New Zealand (Westpac NZ) [i] says a strong half-year financial result has been driven by better than expected economic conditions. Chief Executive David McLean said while the global COVID-19 pandemic was far from over, the financial effect on ... More>>

MYOB: SME Confidence In Economic Performance Still Cautious

New insights from the annual MYOB Business Monitor have shown the SME sector is still cautious about the potential for further economic recovery, with two-in-five (41%) expecting the New Zealand economy to decline this year. The latest research ... More>>