Southern firms urged to make most of event
The success of Southland businesses at an Auckland food fair has prompted a call for a dedicated southern stand at the show.
Businesses including Deep South Ice Cream, Blue River Dairy and a meat exporter attended the Auckland Food Show last week.
The four-day show attracts about 40,000 people.
Farmer Bill French said he encouraged other southern businesses to go.
"Being there in person to promote the internet site really helped sales," he said.
It was such a success, he has already booked his stall at the show next year.
He suggested that Southland should have its own section at the show like Hawke's Bay had this year.
"I thinks it's a good chance for Southland to promote its business but I don't know who will drive it," he said.
Mr French and his wife, Sue, who run Leelands, on the outskirts of Invercargill, offer export-grade meat which is sold and delivered straight to the consumer.
Deep South Ice Cream co-owner and director Mike Killick was impressed by the event.
"About 12,000 samples of the traditional premium ice cream was tasted over the four days and the feedback was brilliant," he said.
Four new flavours and a new product would be launched next month, he said.
He had many inquiries from restaurants, cafes and parlours that were setting up or wanted to sell Deep South products.
The business exports to China, Japan and Australia but plans to expand into Russia, Vietnam and Thailand.
Venture Southland enterprise services manager Alistair Adam said it had taken businesses from the region for the past two years.
Blue River Dairy Products marketing co-ordinator Hannah Shand said the business had done well promoting its speciality cheese, which it almost sold out of.
"We also wanted to make people aware of our sheep milk powder, which we hope to introduce into the domestic market in October."
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