Whisky goes down a treat
A decent motor and a tipple at the end of the day are important in farming life, and two first-time Fieldays exhibitors are finding a receptive crowd.
Kaiapoi Distillery has ventured from Canterbury for the first time and Fiat Chrysler NZ is back at Mystery Creek after a gap of around 10 years.
The weather hasn't put farmers and other Fieldays folk off getting to either of their stalls.
In fact, the wintry conditions worked in Kaiapoi Distillery's favour.
"We've never found the weather affected whisky sales. Whisky's a cold weather drink, as is port," Southern Grain Spirits director Matthew Fitzpatrick said.
"It's quite conducive."
The third-generation distiller is a veteran of Southern Field Days, where fellow exhibitors told him his whisky and port would go well in the Waikato.
After a day at Fieldays he confidently predicted they would make money from the experience and sell all the stock they had brought.
"It's the right crowd for us," he said.
"It's [whisky] almost part of farm life ... People enjoy what they do and they enjoy the end of the day, and sociability in the rural areas is everything. These kind of social lubricants are important."
Fiat Chrysler NZ sold cars on day one, their aim in returning to Mystery Creek.
"We're pretty happy about that. The people we've had have been serious buyers," Fiat Chrysler NZ sales and marketing manager Greg MacDonald said.
"They're the hardy souls that are prepared to come out in the driving rain and wind. And by the time they get here they're pretty keen to buy something."
Farmers weren't necessarily chasing the cheapest price but looking for value, he said.
Fiat Chrysler NZ had been absent from Fieldays for around 10 years but decided to come back after they took over the distribution of five brands last year - and it was an ideal platform to launch their 2014 Jeep Cherokee.
Setting up the sites cost between $50,000 and $100,000 and a fair few man-hours went in.
They were "definitely" looking to come back again, although MacDonald said they would reassess their interest each year.
- Waikato Times
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