Good food businesses get a boost

By Holly Leach

While many food businesses were hit hard during the Covid-19 lockdown, we were able to give four good food businesses a boost.

The Good Food Boost is our sustainability mentoring programme for emerging food businesses. Each year, four winners based in Auckland, as well as Wellington, are selected by a panel of judges to receive free expert mentoring from some of the country’s top foodies.

The Auckland Good Food Boost 2020 has just wrapped up and entries for the Wellington event close on 28 June. You can also nominate a business for the programme. Find out more here.

Usually the mentoring is done on a face to face basis but that all changed for the Auckland programme due to the lockdown. However, thanks to Zoom we were able to deliver the three-month programme online covering everything from packaging and entering export markets, to forming lasting collaborations with other like-minded businesses.

Last week we were able to get nearly everyone involved in the Auckland programme into the same room for a shared meal (very important when you’re talking food) and to find out what they’d learnt from the programme.

Ecology and Co. is a social enterprise and artisan producer of distilled alcohol-free spirits, consciously crafted in New Zealand.

“We were able to get our first export order off thanks to one of the mentors who connected us with one of his contacts. We’re now a supplier to a high-end supermarket in Singapore!”

Glass Bottle Milk Co. is a milk vending machine service for supermarkets and cafes that aims to reduce single use plastics.

“One of the mentors connected us with Lewis Road Creamery. We are now collaborating with them and have launched three Milk Refillery stations at Farro (in Auckland). A massive win for us!”

Niue Honey Company is a social venture adding value to organic honey imported from Niue and helping safeguard the future of all honey bees globally.

“The programme was incredibly helpful and enjoyable! Our design direction and product messaging was endorsed by the mentors and we have gained insights into the nuances of how we might develop a successful marketing plan with strategic partnership opportunities.”

Olive and Ash produces plant-based whole foods including activated raw organic granola and vegetable mince (Vince).

“The mentors really helped us with our funding and distribution strategy. We are now in communication with a nationwide distributer, which is really exciting!”

We’d like to say a special thanks to our mentors for giving up their time to help our winners. This year the Auckland mentors were Paul Johnston (Supply Chain and Distribution Manager, Life Health Foods NZ), Martin Yeoman (Founder and Strategic Partner, The Enthusiasts), Chris Morrison (Co-founder, All Good Organics and Karma Cola), Geoff Scott (Chef, consultant and lecturer) and James Griffin (General Manager Projects and Advisory, Sustainable Business Network).

Also, a big thanks to ATEED for sponsoring this programme for the sixth year in a row.

For further information please contact, Holly Leach, Sustainable Business Network, [email protected], 027 3 907 480.