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Eat New Zealand wins $100K tourism grant

31st October 2018

Eat New Zealand wins $100K tourism grant and announces our vision to become the world’s premium food destination.

Eat New Zealand, a New Zealand Food Movement, has been awarded the Auckland Airport $100,000 Tourism Development Grant for our mission to develop ‘out of the ordinary’ thinking to promote New Zealand and support our vision to become the world’s premium food destination. This fund will assist towards establishing a nationwide food celebration that showcases the story of New Zealand food alongside traditional Matariki celebrations.

Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, says, “Eat New Zealand were the standout winner for this year’s grant, demonstrating fresh and creative ideas plus a clear strategy to promote New Zealand as a food tourism destination and encouraging travellers to explore more of our exciting and diverse tourism experiences.”

This news comes as part of a momentous week for Eat New Zealand, as we co-presented the first ever Food Hui, alongside the Restaurant Association. The Christchurch event, was attended by over 250 individuals from throughout the country and touted as “the most important food conversation in New Zealand”. Eat New Zealand presented Day 2 of the hui, announcing our vision, goals, and successes through a series of speakers.

Angela Clifford, CEO of Eat New Zealand shared “it’s a big, ambitious goal, but it’s one that we are going to go after with everything we have….We want New Zealand to be the world’s premium food destination. We want to support the development of sustainable food systems, making sure all kiwis have access to our food. We want to increase New Zealand’s unique culinary credentials by sharing our food stories with the world.”

Eat New Zealand are particularly interested in connecting our two biggest economic sectors – food and tourism. We were thrilled to have Rob Simic, Head of Food & Beverage, ANZ, launch the first ever Food and Tourism Report co-authored by The Ministry of Primary Industries and ANZ Bank. This joint industry insights paper – “New Zealand Food and Agri Tourism” aims to raise the profile of food tourism.

“New Zealand has a thriving food and beverage sector and a booming tourism industry, but more can be done to connect the two and realise the opportunities this brings for our primary sectors.”

The report shows that over 60% of food tourists sought out products from the country they visited when they got home.”

“With our three biggest tourism markets, Australia, China and the USA, also being our three largest food and beverage export markets, this is a great opportunity for our primary sectors. Whether you are farming in Southland, exporting beer from Wellington or providing unique dining experiences in Northland, this report highlights opportunities both behind and beyond the farm gate to connect with consumers.”

We hope this will stimulate thought on collaboration between our two biggest export earners. Working together to bring the world to New Zealand, and take New Zealand to the world. The full report is available here.

As part of the day two discussion, Eat New Zealand hosted a sustainable fishing panel, allowing "A chance to understand the state of our fisheries from an unimpeachable source, the fishermen themselves”, says Giulio Sturla, Founder of Eat New Zealand. We heard from Scott Macindoe of Legasea NZ who divulged that our “fisheries are in a state of sustainable extinction” and the cold hard facts that our “fish are currently out of reach for New Zealanders, with the bulk being exported for a poor price.” But inspiring stories of game changers in action were shared from the men and businesses determined to lead the way to a more sustainable future, including the inspiring Kai Ika Project.

Other topics covered included understanding Mahinga Kai, where Makarini Rupene explained the need to improve farming practises, clean up our waterways and build relationships through kai and the application of kaitiakitanga – the guardianship of our precious environment.

A stimulating introduction to regenerative agriculture was shared, as well as the importance of telling our regional food stories and understanding the role we play in world food. As Ian Proudfoot of KPMG revealed - “New Zealand is an artisan player in the global food system”.

We saw the beginning of a vision for national food resilience and sovereignty, with Michael Reynolds of Canterbury Food Resilience Network laying down the challenge to ensure our food systems provide sufficient and accessible food to all New Zealanders and how this wider Eat New Zealand movement provides the opportunity for us to claim back the sovereignty of our environment, our land and our food.

We also announced a partnership project with the social enterprise business, Leftfield Innovation to raise the awareness of the outstanding grains & seeds we grow in New Zealand for the purpose of supporting sustainable land use. The hui lunch, designed by Bear Lion Foods used lentils, oats, rye, barley, quinoa, linseed, spelt, hempseed and blue peas all grown in Canterbury.

It was full, raw and utterly inspiring and we are so excited to watch our wild ambition become a reality, as Nic Lees of Lincoln University stated “it’s not a matter of if we can become the world’s premium food destination, it’s a matter of when!”

Join us.

Eat New Zealand (formerly ConversatioNZ) was established in 2015 by ‘Cuisine Magazine Chef of the Year - 2018’, Giulio Sturla, owner of Roots Restaurant, Lyttelton. It is a collective of New Zealand's chefs, producers, media, tourism and event operators, who have all been inspired to create a national platform to promote and champion our best food, drink, and culinary tourism opportunities.

We believe our home grown food is world class. The quality of our produce, the skill, creativity and passion of our people, and our spirit of respect and openness means the food we create is of the highest global standard. We're closer to the source. “We are all connected to food. We should all care. It’s the essence of who we are.” Giulio Sturla, Roots Restaurant.

Eat New Zealand will continue to build on our national digital platform designed to bring together all aspects of NZ food. Our website has already seen several thousand visitors since it launched with people wanting to discover what each region has to offer in terms of restaurants, cafes, farmers markets, tours and festivals in that area. But we can’t do it alone. We need your help. Be part of the movement, share our vision and become a supporter …

Our vision

· We Want Resilient Food Communities

· We Want Our People Connected to Our Food

· We Want to Use NZ Grains and Seeds

· We Want the Fish on our Plate to have a Future in the Ocean

· We Want Regenerative Agricultural Systems

· We Want to Share Our Food Stories With The World

· We Want to Tell Our Regional Food Stories

· We Want a National Food Celebration

· We Want to Connect Our Biggest Economic Sectors – Food & Tourism

· We Want NZ to Become the World’s Premium Food Destination


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