The conviction of high country growers combined with the collaboration of two leading primary sector companies was recognised as a winning combination at the 2014 NZ Food Awards.
Alpine Origin Merino Ltd (AOM) received the 2014 KPMG Export Innovation Award for its branded SILERE alpine origin merino.
Launched three years ago, AOM is a joint venture of Silver Fern Farms and The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) whose vision was to develop a premium product to the world’s most discerning diners.
Initially prototyped in domestic markets, the programme is now gaining momentum exporting into five markets – United States of America, Emirates, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“The markets are growing in the right direction; domestically we are 28% above last season/year to date and internationally we are approaching a key window, for the following reasons: China is expected to buy more aggressively for their winter period, traditionally a higher period of consumption, and we expect sales to gather momentum following this month’s launch in the Middle East and Dubai. We also continue to grow the market in the United States of America where there is an established New Zealand market for niche premium products,” says Sliver Fern Farms, chief executive, Keith Cooper.
The New Zealand Merino Company, chief executive, John Brakenridge spoke of the dedication of growers to quality and their commitment to the market driven business model.
“Growers have committed to the development of a programme for their long term sustainability. Their hard work to deliver the very best quality product has resulted in SILERE alpine origin merino entering markets and growing market share,” says The New Zealand Merino Company, chief executive, John Brakenridge.
The awards were held in Auckland on Thursday 25 September at The Langham and were attended by more than 260 people.
(Left to right) Ian Proudfoot, the head of Agribusiness & lead partner, consumer & industrial products at KPMG and Olivia Egerton, Alpine Origin Merino.