NURTURING OPEN MINDS IT’S PROVEN THAT SUCCESSFUL INNOVATION IS LINKED TO BETTER FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE. SO IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT NEW ZEALAND COMPANIES ARE SUCCESSFULLY USING INNOVATION TO TAKE THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TO GLOBAL MARKETS. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s support of the Innovation Awards is an important part of how we help Kiwi companies to grow internationally – bigger, better, faster. All for the benefit of New Zealand. We’d like to congratulate all finalists and winners of this year’s New Zealand Innovation Awards. It’s these businesses and the people within them that display the innovative and open mind-set that is part of being Kiwi and succeeding in business. NZTE – proud sponsor of the 2016 New Zealand Innovation Awards nzte.govt.nz
INNOVATIONAWARDS.ORG.NZ 1 1 EXPORT INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR & SUSTAINED INNOVATION EXCELLENCE CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO ZESPRI SUNGOLD KIWIFRUIT Think of New Zealand’s iconic agriculture exports. Put animal products aside and what do you think of? Kiwifruit? You can thank Zespri for that. The Mount Maunganui company is the world’s largest seller of kiwifruit, with sales in more than 56 countries around the world and managing 30 percent of the global volume. In the 2015-2016 financial year alone, Zespri sold 131 million trays of premiumquality Zespri Kiwifruit. With 22 offices around the globe, the company still manages to spend about $20 million per year on innovation to support the 2,500 growers in New Zealand and 1,200 offshore. Zespri’s SunGold kiwifruit, developed with help from Plant & Food Research, is one of its key innovations. Developed over the last 20 years through an exhaustive process of trial and error, breeding multiple varieties of kiwifruit to get the SunGold hybrid just right, they are also resistant to a disease known as PSA, which can devastate entire kiwifruit crops. In other words, the SunGold is a big innovation in terms of what we all may be eating in the near future. Zespri has orchards in four Northern Hemisphere countries to provide yearround supply in the few months where New Zealand kiwifruit is not available and it's currently doing trials in China. To get its kiwifruit to export markets like China, another one of Zespri’s key areas of innovation is how its products get to the other side of the world before they spoil, while also minimising harm to the environment. One method the company employs is bulk refrigerated cargo (known as ‘reefer’) shipping, which is 36 percent more carbon efficient than traditional shipping. Then there’s what Zespri does with packaging. In a world first, Zespri introduced compostable fruit labels across all Zespri Organic kiwifruit in 2013, after a large-scale trial conducted in 2012. The company has a goal of introducing compostable fruit labels for several years, and worked closely with US-based packaging manufacturer Sinclair to overcome the daunting technical challenges involved. Sinclair tested the degradability of labels to international standards and found they degraded within 22 weeks, with less than 10 percent of the original dry matter remaining. Oh, and the company also encourages its growers to use sustainable practices, and maintain the biodiversity of Aotearoa. Natural bee pollination is encouraged, and, to do so, the company actively works with New Zealand beekeepers to support the industry and funds research to make sure the bees keep coming back time and time again. Zespri grower Graham Dyer, who grows his kiwifruit at BayPark Orchard near Tauranga, says sustainability should be an important focus of any business. “Sustainability is a passion,” he says. “It’s about leaving our property in better condition for the future generations, including our children and grandchildren.” EVALUATOR'S COMMENTS This innovation has a tremendous story to share, ticking the boxes in meeting unmet consumer needs and significantly improving value and benefits throughout the supply chain. It is a great example of innovation for other primary industries in New Zealand to follow proactively, rather than waiting for a crisis to stimulate the same re-orientation.