Award recognises fish oil firm exports

Nelson fish oil company SeaDragon has been recognised for its export successes.

The company won the DHL Global Forwarding Exporter of the Year at the Natural Products NZ industry awards in Nelson this week.

The judges cited SeaDragon's innovative ability to commercialise resources that would otherwise be disposed of, and its 40 per cent growth in 2013.

The listed company refines and blends fish-derived oils. Its expansion plans this year include a new $4 million refinery in Richmond that will produce oil rich in Omega-3, primarily from hoki.

Chief executive Ross Keeley said he was thrilled with the award that was a tribute to the passion of the company's staff. He paid particular tribute to administration manager Jo Singer and production manager Mike Baird.

Another Nelson company, Oxygen Skincare, was highly commended in the James & Wells Intellectual Property Excellence in Marketing Award. Judges praised its "inventive and nimble approach" to the online marketing of its products.

Around 140 delegates from across the country attended the two-day natural products industry summit. The national body represents businesses involved in natural foods, complementary medicines, health supplements, cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals.

Natural Products NZ executive director Alison Quesnel said the industry had remained vibrant throughout the recession, and had huge growth potential.

Demand for natural products was driven by consumers searching for products to boost their health, she said. There was now a large volume of research to back their beneficial effects.

The Nelson Mail