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Future looking bright for Kapiti's blossoming food and beverage sector - Kapiti Coast DC

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Over the next six months the Kāpiti Coast District Council, in partnership with the Economic Development Kotahitanga Board, will work with the district’s food and beverage sector on several initiatives to help grow, strengthen, and promote this blossoming sector.

Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan says we need to build off the momentum the sector is currently experiencing and look at ways to continue to grow and prosper in this space over the long-term.

"The recent announcement that Sustainable Foods and Rosa Foods, two companies that recently moved to Kāpiti, are planning a ‘centre of excellence’ for plant-based foods and sustainable food manufacturing is very exciting for our district.

"The food and beverage sector has a long and successful history in our district. From confectionary, to cheese, to craft beer, to ice cream - it’s vital we continue to continue to strengthen our reputation for producing quality innovative products and foodie experiences.

"Council looks forward to seeing the centre of excellence come to life and working with the sector on a blueprint for future growth. I encourage sector stakeholders to get involved with this important mahi."

Neil MacKay, Chair of the Economic Development Kotahitanga Board, said one of the pillars of our district’s Economic Development Strategy 2020-2023 is to support key sectors, including high growth sectors like food and beverage.

"The arrival of Sustainable Foods and Rosa Foods was one of the catalysts for developing a blueprint for this sector. Having a plan in place will benefit the whole district. It will be our roadmap to creating more job opportunities for local people, attracting new businesses, and growing the local economy.

"Sustainable Foods and Rosa Foods have already brought more than 80 jobs to the district so we’re very excited to be working with them, and others, as the ‘centre of excellence’ comes to life around the Te Roto Drive facility and wider precinct.

"Right now, we are working to formulate the building blocks of the centre. This work will be completed over the coming weeks and will be the start of developing a wider food and beverage ‘cluster’ that will focus on the consumer, innovation, and sustainability.

"Already, in the same neighbourhood as Sustainable Foods and Rosa Foods, we have excellent food and beverage manufacturers like Tuatara Breweries, Duncan’s Brewing Company, and Dark Horse Coffee. In some ways, the cluster has started to form organically," said Mr Mackay.

Kāpiti Coast District Council Economic Development Manager, Mark Ward, says the Council will be working across the food and beverage sector to develop the blueprint.

"We want everyone to be involved - from our farmers, to our manufacturers, to our hospitality business owners.

"The agreed blueprint will also support a joint funding bid to the Ministry for Primary Industries to support the implementation of the plan, including regenerative horticulture initiatives."

Justin Lemmens, Sustainable Food’s Chief Executive Officer says he’s excited for what’s to come and encourages other sector stakeholders to get involved.

"I am passionate about building things, business, brands, products and teams. We believe we have a unique opportunity here in Kāpiti to collaborate with business and the wider ecosystem in surrounding regions to leverage off what’s working already, and to innovate and scale up and provide an amazing centre for innovation, production, experience, and education.

"Sustainable Foods is raising up to $2 million to expand production, product development and build the team to deliver on the business strategy," Mr Lemmens said. "With existing partnerships with Foodstuffs, Progressive Enterprises, and Food Service Distributors, the goal is to take these products to the international market."

Food and beverage sector stakeholders have been approached to participate in an initial blueprint workshop to explore the current situation and desired future state. For more information on this workshop contact Mark Ward at mark.ward@kapiticoast.govt.nz.

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