Olive oil drizzle wins PM's praise
A concept and product devised and produced on Waiheke Island by students from Manurewa High School is in the running for a regional award and has had Prime Minister John Key singing its praises.
The product is an extra virgin olive oil which the school team created from olives they picked at The Estate and pressed at Azzuro Grove.
They entered it in the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme and have reached the regional finals.
The foundation will be holding the regional finals in four locations around Auckland in October.
At each event the regional winning team and the regional entrepreneur of the year will be announced.
The winning teams and entrepreneurs will then compete in the national Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Awards in Wellington in December.
The Manurewa High School team called Caring and Co will be exhibiting its Unique Drizzle extra virgin olive oil.
The seven students who make up the company networked and negotiated with the two Waiheke companies to create their oil. The Estate at Church Bay allocated the students a number of olive trees which they picked themselves before getting the olives pressed at Azzuro Grove at Te Whau.
The extra virgin olive oil the year 13 students produced was then bottled and sold, raising more than $6000 to go towards the Life Education Trust's challenge to "Leave No Child Behind".
The students say each bottle of their oil that is sold puts one child through the life education programme.
Azzuro Grove co-owner Kerry Hart was delighted to be invited to help.
"They were great young guys. I had them bottling, labelling and capping. The oil was presented in our bottles with our labels that they over-labelled with their own that told the Unique Drizzle story.
"I was really impressed. They had done their research before they arrived and were well coached by the people at the trust."
Caring and Co's olive oil Unique Drizzle Azzuro Blend 2012 has since won best in class and a gold medal at the LA International Olive Oil competition - the only New Zealand producer to win gold and best in class.
The quality of the oil was put to the test by John Key when the students presented their product to a Pacific Business Forum last Thursday.
Young enterprise scheme spokesman Lance Hutchison says the prime minister spoke with the team about their business enterprise and asked about their experiences in running a company.
"He was very impressed with their entrepreneurial skills, dedication and enthusiasm, and described their Unique Drizzle as a world class product.
"He was also impressed the company was supporting one of his favourite charities, the Life Education Trust."
After taking a taste test the prime minister treated himself to a bottle of Unique Drizzle, Mr Hutchison says.