Marlborough mussel business sold to United States investors

Havelock company Dry Food NZ Limited turns mussels into oils and powder to be used in health products.

Havelock company Dry Food NZ Limited turns mussels into oils and powder to be used in health products.

A Havelock company that specialises in producing greenshell mussel extracts has been sold to two brothers from the United States.

The company, Dry Food NZ Limited, is based in Havelock where it operates a factory producing ingredients for nutraceuticals and food products.

It was bought by brothers Jeremy Moore and Jackie Moore, who purchased a majority shareholding in the company.

Jeremy Moore, president of Stratum Nutrition in the States, said the reason he decided to invest in the company, started by Havelock man Keith Bowhill, was because of his experience in the industry.

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"I could see that the platform established by Keith Bowhill could be leveraged as a springboard for a much larger global business," he said.

There were already plans to expand the company, which included increasing its Havelock operations to improve storage capacity and production, Moore said.

A sister company was set up to distribute Dry Food products in the States, as well as other New Zealand products catering for human or pet health.

"We are definitely looking to establish a presence in North America, but expanding our global footprint and customer base in other geographies is also of interest," Moore said.

Dry Food NZ Limited had been a member of the Marlborough Research Centre's Food and Beverage Innovation Cluster for the past two years.

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The company would remain a cluster member, with Moore saying he was impressed by the support provided by the group.

"I hope that, in association with MRC, we can help companies who are currently exporting to the United States, or who want to get involved in that market, with their distribution networks and market growth," he said.

Marlborough Research Centre general manager Gerald Hope said cluster members might also benefit from any new research or expansion undertaken by Dry Food NZ.

"Direct foreign investment is the lifeblood of Marlborough, look at the wine industry," he said.

"Foreign investors, because they already have connections in key markets, can build businesses quicker, resulting in more jobs for the region."

Last week, United Kingdom pet food company Lintbells announced it had set up a research subsidiary in Blenheim to look at the health benefits of greenshell mussels in Marlborough.

 - The Marlborough Express


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