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Rockit Global is Hawke’s Bay Exporter of the Year

Specialist apple grower Rockit Global has been named ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay’s ASB Exporter of the Year.

They were presented with the award by the Head of Trade Finance at ASB Bank, Mike Atkins, at the sold-out awards dinner last night at the Napier Conference Centre.

Rockit Global had earlier in the night won the Napier Port Industry Trail Blazer Award.

Also contesting the Exporter of Year were NZ Casing Company, winner of the Tomoana Food Hub Innovation in Export Award; and Weleda, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Most Sustainable in Export award. Kiwigarden won the NZL ContainerCo Emerging Exporter award, and Atkins Ranch was awarded the Judges Choice award.

Rockit Global Chief Executive Austin Mortimer said there were “absolutely delighted” to win the award.

“The Rockit team have worked extraordinarily hard to build a world-leading innovative apple snack brand.

“We are now growing Rockit apples in nine countries and selling in 29, but have big plans to expand into even more markets within the next 12 months. We are very proud of the success to date and look forward to building on it over the coming years.”

He is in New York promoting Rockit at North America’s biggest food fair.

“We are working closely with NZTE to position Rockit in the North American market. The response to our product is always amazing. Consumers love the sweet, juicy miniature apple and innovative branding.”

Rockit is transforming the snack food market by producing unique apples which are cross-bred to be the world’s first miniature apple, and marketing them in novel tube packaging.

The finalists were: NZL ContainerCo Emerging Exporter: Mogul; Telegraph Hill; Kiwigarden. Tomoana Food Hub Innovation in Export Award: Lean Meats, Atkins Ranch; Hawke’s Bay China Marketing Group; Rockit Global; NZ Casing Company Napier Port Industry Trail Blazer: Lean Meats, Atkins Ranch; Rockit Global. NZTE Most Sustainable in Export: Lean Meats, Atkins Ranch; Weleda; NZ Casing Company.

ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay Executive Officer Amanda Liddle says ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay was overwhelmed by support from the business community for the awards.

“It’s fantastic to pay tribute to the hard work exporters do every day, especially when seeking out new markets and often leaving their families for long periods of time.

“I want to congratulate the finalists and winners for being brave enough to put themselves out there for these awards.”

Mike Atkins said that as the major sponsor of ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay, ASB continued to enable the community to celebrate the success of its exporters through the awards series, while maintaining a robust market development and education programme.

“We congratulate Rockit Global on their outstanding achievement, along with all of the winners and finalists. Quality submissions from a diverse range of industry sectors made for close and intense competition.

“ASB is excited about the future of exporting out of the Hawke’s Bay because, like all of the business operators supporting your export sector, we’re an ambitious bunch and strive to be, and do, the best for our customers. And we feel Kiwi ambition can take us a long way. Smart collaborative partnerships will get us over the line.”

The Chief Executive of Business Central and ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay, John Milford, praised Rockit as well as the other entrants.

“Exporters are New Zealand’s heroes. They’re out there fighting hard in the international marketplace every day, generating jobs and income to the tune of $70 billion each year to ensure we can maintain our standard of living.

“We’re grateful for the support from ASB, who clearly want to be part of the significant contribution Hawke’s Bay businesses are making to the New Zealand economy.”

Other sponsors were Trinity Hill, Te Mata Estate, Jetstar, OPure, and Grundy Productions.

Business Central, which oversees ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay, represents employers across the lower North Island. It provides employer, health and safety, and human resources advice, and advocates policies that reflect the interest of the business community.


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