Good Food Boost launches tasty competition

Auckland chef Michael Van de Elzen
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Auckland chef Michael Van de Elzen

Celebrity chef, Michael Van de Elzen has joined the mentoring team at a yearly competition aimed at making sure sustainable food businesses survive and thrive.

The Good Food Boost contest, organised by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), is in its third year, and begins its hunt for some of New Zealand's most forward thinking food businesses this week.

The competition is open to businesses around the country, and four winners will be chosen for their commitment to give back to society, or their protection of the environment.

Van de Elzen will join a team of big names in the food industry; Kim Evans, the creative director of Little & Friday cafe chain, Paul Johnston, the supply chain  and distribution manager for Life Health Foods, and Martin Yeoman, the director and managing partner of marketing and creative company, Assignment Group.

The winners will have the chance to get personal training, guidance and inspiration from the mentoring team, and will also receive free access to a marketing workshop, and a special session at the FoodBowl food innovation centre in Auckland.

Van de Elzen said: "I'm always interested in what's new and the different ideas people have. I can't wait to meet up with some of the hottest new talent in food. I am sure there are going to be some interesting new flavours, as well as interesting new ways to serve them up."

The Sustainable Business Network said the idea behind the continuing project was to help sustainable food firms succeed against increasingly tough competition in the food industry by giving them a helping hand with business expertise and marketing strategy tips.

Emily Dowding-Smith, SBN Project Lead, said: "The Good Food Boost supports the most exciting emerging food businesses. They will shape the future of good food in New Zealand.

"'Good food' goes beyond profit. It's about where food comes from, how it's grown and made and where it goes. We are passionate about food that's local, seasonal, healthy, tasty, culturally connected or organic."

The Good Food Boost initiative is part of a NZ-wide campaign, Good Food Nation. 

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"It brings together businesses and community organisations," said Dowding-Smith. "The aim is to solve the social and environmental challenges around our food. These include processed food, food insecurity, diabetes, food waste, soil depletion, and more. We want every meal in New Zealand to feature healthy ingredients produced to high environmental standards."

To enter, visit sustainable.org.nz/good-food-boost. Entries close on 25 January 2017 and mentoring will take place during February and March 2017. The competition is free to enter.

 - Sunday Star Times

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