Fostering innovative food businesses

A food industry specialist is in Marlborough this week to look at the possibility of building an international profile for the region's businesses involved in natural marine extracts.

Mark Ward is the general manager of Riddett Institute, a North Island-based research centre that specialises in the science behind the development of health-enhancing food products.

During the next three days Mr Ward will be meeting businesses to discuss Marlborough's potential of becoming a world leader in natural marine and seafood-based extracts and nutrients that promote human health and wellbeing.

"I can certainly see an opportunity for Marlborough businesses to actively pursue a strategy of partnering with science and government at both central and local government level," he said.

One particular focus would be on innovations in aquaculture and wine, he said.

Marlborough Research Centre chief executive Gerald Hope said Mr Ward's expertise and connections would help form a strategy to foster innovative businesses based on the region's existing primary products.

He is unaware of other New Zealand regions thinking of pooling their resources to enhance their brand on the world market.

"We have a worldwide reputation for producing fine wine and seafood, now we are looking carefully at how we can replicate that major Marlborough branding and image."

Mr Ward's trip is paid for by the Marlborough Research Centre and supports the council's Smart and Connected plan, Mr Hope said.

Mr Ward arrived in Marlborough this morning.

The Marlborough Express