By DAVID HILL
Hopes are high that new North Canterbury branding will help local producers raise their profile.
Enterprise North Canterbury (ENC) is about to launch the “Made North Canterbury” brand.
It wants food and beverage producers in the Hurunui, Kaikoura and Waimakariri districts to sign up.
“North Canterbury is a growing region and you often hear that North Canterbury is a hidden gem. But we don’t want to be hidden any more,” ENC food and beverage business development manager Alissa Miller says.
The concept has been developed over the last year.
The idea came from local producers.
“We’ve spoken to a range of food and beverage businesses over the past year to find out what would add the most value to their businesses,” she says.
“We identified the need for a unifying platform to call out and promote the hugely diverse products grown, made, reared and caught in North Canterbury.”
The Rangiora and Kaiapoi New World supermarkets have got behind the project and are already identifying local produce on their shelves with the new logo.
A website is being developed to provide an online platform to make it easier for people to learn about local food and beverage producers, including the story behind the products.
The website will also provide a portal for local producers to collaborate.
ENC chief executive Heather Warwick said the group would like to get more local producers going to food events, and to attend the Food Show in Auckland.
‘‘Those food shows can be cost-prohibitive for small and medium-sized businesses, but if they work together we can get them there.’’
The new brand could lead to a tourist trail or even become a brand for anything produced in North Canterbury, Heather says.
‘‘We’ve had enquiries from large, local manufacturers who want to join the brand, but first and foremost we want to get food and beverage producers on board and then we can extend it to cafes and restaurants.’’
While Covid-19 has created challenges for local producers, it has also allowed for
innovative businesses, such as vegetable grower, Grown, of Sefton, to thrive by doing things differently, Alissa says.
The Made North Canterbury initiative is sponsored by Sidekick Rangiora and Meridian. It has been made possible thanks to support from the Provincial Growth Fund.
To get involved, contact Alissa Miller on (021) 618287 or email alissa@enterprisenc.