Companies sign up to joint plan
Twelve food and beverage companies have signed up to a Marlborough Research Centre initiative to boost export earnings.
The Food and Beverage Innovation Cluster was launched on Tuesday night.
Centre manager Gerald Hope said the cluster was an exciting new venture co-ordinated by the centre and Massey University's Riddet Institute, designed to help new and existing companies increase growth, innovation, and profitability.
"This cluster will directly benefit member businesses through new research and development programmes, the sharing of information, and ongoing investment focused on business innovation and export growth.
"As a result, the wider Marlborough region and the New Zealand economy as a whole stand to benefit greatly."
Each company has committed to fund the cluster for five years. Priority areas have been identified, one of which would be developed each year.
The cluster had five workstreams, dealing with:
- proteins, marine oils, bioactive ingredients, and nutrients
- production, inputs and processing
- new products and ingredients for commercialisation
- new networks, collaborations and partnerships, including funding streams.
The food and beverage sector has been targeted by the Government to increase export earnings.
Massey University vice-chancellor Steve Maharey said all regions of New Zealand were looking for ways of kickstarting their economies.
"We have a wonderful country and resources, but we're not making the most of them. We should be rich, but we're not."
He said programmes such as the cluster could help more value be extracted from our resources, leading to greater skills and higher earnings.
Marlborough mayor Alistair Sowman said the cluster fit with the council's Smart and Connected economic development policy.
The 12 companies involved are:
New Zealand King Salmon;
New Zealand Extracts;
Dry Food New Zealand;
Renaissance Brewing Company;
Saffron Pure NZ;
Marlborough Grape Marc
- The Marlborough Express