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FoodHQ 10 Years On, And Launch Of Manawatū Regional Food Strategy

FoodHQ are celebrating 10 years in operation by launching a new physical office in Palmerston North. Located in the building previously home to The Factory, FoodHQ has taken the lease on from AgResearch, right in the heart of the science precinct of the city creating a home for agrifood in Manawatū.

FoodHQ CEO, Dr. Victoria Hatton is excited that the physical presence will help to provide visibility to the organisation and help to demystify what FoodHQ does at a pivotal time in their development. FoodHQ represents the largest collaboration of food science and innovation in New Zealand. Its vision is to build a truly sustainable food system in New Zealand that is equitable, innovative and export focused. This will be achieved by bringing people together to realise our collective food innovation potential and create more value, faster.

“In the past six to nine months we have done a lot of rethinking and reimagining to better understand what we want to be known for in the marketplace,” says Dr. Hatton. “Across the FoodHQ partnership, we have the power to shape the future of food with the research, science and innovation that is happening in the sector. The ability to take a physical stand and say this is us and where we are, is exciting, and it is poignant that this is 10 years on from the initiation of FoodHQ.”

Dr Hatton explained that the FoodHQ team have great ideas for the space, with the intention of creating a thriving hub where people can come and talk about all things food. There are also plans to grow edible plants everywhere to embody the living, breathing agrifood ecosystem they are a part of.

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“The release of the Manawatū Regional Food Strategy is timely as it aligns with our desire to establish Manawatū as a food basket of New Zealand,” says Dr. Hatton. “It is important to realise the potential of FoodHQ to support this vision. To do this, we need to have a go-to place that people can recognise and access.”

The new look FoodHQ was unveiled at a private evening launch event on Wednesday 13th December in their new building. The event also provided attendees with further insight into the Manawatū Regional Food Strategy, which was officially released at the event.

The regional strategy, commissioned by the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) in collaboration with Palmerston North City Council and Manawatū District Council along with an extensive group of partners and stakeholders, identified the region’s position in the agrifood ecosystem including how the region can best contribute to the New Zealand food story.

“This strategy sets a shared vision for the region, ensuring a bright future for food and agriculture, guiding stakeholders across the ecosystem from field to consumer,” says CEDA CEO, Jerry Shearman. “The success of the strategy, though, relies on a focused Implementation Plan, which we are beginning to roll out now. CEDA is well positioned to coordinate this implementation on behalf of the region, with a collaborative approach uniting the entire food value network.”

“FoodHQ are, and will continue to be, instrumental in the region’s ability to succeed in the agrifood space and we look forward to supporting them in their new endeavour.”

The Manawatū Regional Food Strategy can be found online at https://manawatunz.co.nz/foodstrategy/

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