The Nelson Food Factory will open its doors today giving start-up and scale-up food companies in the region a collaborative and supportive environment in which to develop and grow the local economy, contribute jobs, and boost export opportunities.
Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau is attending the opening.
“Our hard and early health response to Covid-19 means the economy is fully opening up and so it is crucial to find new ways to stimulate our economic recovery, including supporting our innovators and entrepreneurs,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
“Nelson, like a lot of our regions, has been hit hard by the economic fallout from Covid-19 and this Government is working hard to build the regions back up through job creation and economic activity.
“Over 50 jobs were created during construction of the Food Factory and so far there are three local businesses using the facility.”
The new Food Factory tenants are:
· Mad Melon – processing and bottling watermelon juice
· Little Beauties – processing and packing dried feijoa, kiwifruit and boysenberries
· Fresh2U – an online home delivery organic fruit and vegetable supplier
“The factory was built with the help of a $778,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment announced in August 2019 towards this $2.1 million project,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
“It offers entrepreneurs access to fully equipped, commercial kitchens so they can test their product concept, potential scalability and marketing options in a fully certified food-grade environment.
“Advice and support will be on hand, along with market opportunities and exposure to a wide market.
“Pic Picot, whose well-known peanut butter factory is nearby, has spearheaded the project. A charitable trust had been formed from within the local business community to oversee the initiative.
“The Top of the South region is known for its high-value horticulture products, as well as artisan products such as cider, cheeses, olive oil and baked goods. The Food Factory is an enabler for business development for those entrepreneurs with a vision for their products and a penchant for small business success.
“No doubt those who make use of these facilities will be the food entrepreneurs of tomorrow and help to create new jobs for the region as their businesses flourish, and deliver flow-on benefits such as attracting more foodie tourists to the region,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.
Media contact: Laree Taula, 021 992 200