Pitango, AgriSea and Hawke’s Bay educator John Ridout were winners at the Organic Sector Awards held as part of the OANZ organic conference.
The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Award for the Organic Exporter of the Year was won by Pitango, a food manufacturing company whose range of certified organic soups can be found in Woolworths stores and IGA outlets across Australia.
Organic Export Success
“Pitango’s export success demonstrates that strong demand exists, with growth opportunities for quality New Zealand organic products”, said Organic Products Exporters of New Zealand (OPENZ) chair Tom McLaughlin.
“The global organics market continues to show strong growth, which is well into double digits in many countries”, he said.
Over 70 New Zealand companies are exporting organic products, valued at $120 million per year.
The OANZ Organic Enterprise Award was presented to Agrisea, whose certified organic liquid seaweed concentrates are popular among both organic and contemporary farmers.
“As well as producing a great product, AgriSea take an active role in educating others about organic values, holding education days and discussion groups with farmers and members of the public”, said OANZ executive directory Ken Shirley.
“New Zealand’s organic sector is coming of age, and it is time to begin recognizing the people and enterprises that are making a real difference” Mr Shirley said.
Organic educator awarded
John Ridout, programme director of the Certificate of Applied Organics and Biodynamics at Taruna College, Hawke’s Bay was given the Jon Manhire Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Organic Sector.
“John is one of the exceptional people involved in organic education, touching the lives of thousands of students who are now making their own contributions to the growth of the organic sector," said Mr Shirley.
Mr Ridout's teaching ability and dedication to adult education has seen him previously recognized as Tutor of the Year by the Private Education Providers NZ Association.