Rural round-up

23/11/2015

Enterprising Rural Women Award 2015 winners announced:

Joanne Taylor’s rural lifestyle magazine Latitude has won the supreme award at the Enterprising Rural Women Awards held in Nelson on Saturday 21 November.

“In the seven years of this competition we have seen vibrant rural businesses increasingly appeal to urban residents, tourists and the rural community. This has been reflected in the winning rural business woman : who has succeeded in pursuing her publishing dream, while also supporting New Zealand’s rural communities,” says Wendy McGowan, National President, Rural Women New Zealand.

Joanne Taylor was the NZ Post sponsored ‘Making it in Rural’ category winner; however, there were three other exceptional category winners: . . .

Thinking pink helps raise funds for hospice support – Sally Rae:

Tom Ballantine has been through a rough patch.

Not only did the Invercargill man lose his daughter, Paula Dempster, to cancer in December last year, but his wife, Lorraine, died in February this year, also succumbing to the disease.

”It’s been a really, really torrid time,” Mr Ballantine (71) said.

What has helped keep him occupied has been a fundraising initiative, selling pink singlets to those in the wool harvesting industry, with $2 from each sale going to boost hospice coffers. . . .

Trust head promotes wool with a passion – Sally Rae:

Wool is a fibre that ”easily ticks all the boxes”.

What now needed to happen was a concerted effort on getting that message out to discerning consumers, Campaign For Wool New Zealand Trust chairwoman Philippa Wright said.

Ms Wright, who is boss of Waipukurau-based woolbroker Wright Wool, has been involved with Campaign for Wool since its inception in 2010. . . 

JUSTICE for Mary Jane Veloso, JUSTICE for Filipino Dairy Workers in NZ and All Victims of Illegal Recruiters:

We applaud Indonesia’s moratorium on executions as we in the Filipino-Kiwi communities in New Zealand were among those who prayed and petitioned for the life of human trafficking victim Mary Jane Veloso. Mary Jane’s plight generated massive support from citizens around the globe. This young mother of two on the brink of execution on drug trafficking charges became the face of many other Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) on death row and those exploited by illegal recruiters and abusive employers. We hope that freedom and justice for Mary Jane will be the next good news.

In New Zealand, over 1000 Filipino migrant workers are now greatly distressed as they experience their lives hanging in the dairy farms. Last October, Immigration NZ arrested a dual Filipino/New Zealand national on fraud charges. This recruiter used false employer details and false documents on workers’ experience, asking huge fees from the applicants wanting to work in NZ. We hope Filipinos back home would be aware of this scam and be careful not to be victimised by recruiters who take advantage of their desperate need to find better jobs in NZ and elsewhere. . . 

NZ Farming's photo.


Rural round-up

17/07/2015

Fonterra shares first results of business review:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited has provided a further update on its business review.

Chief Executive Theo Spierings said the Co-operative’s leadership was developing initiatives to deliver value right across the organisation.
“The key aims of the review are to ensure that the Co-operative is best placed to successfully deliver its strategy, increase focus on generating cash flow, and implement specific, sustainable measures for enhancing efficiency. . .

Fonterra top brass on notice from farmers as 523 jobs go in shake-up – Fiona Rotherham:

(BusinessDesk) – Federated Farmers says top management should be leaving Fonterra Cooperative Group if results don’t start improving in the next couple of years.

The comments, from Fed Farmers dairy chair Andrew Hoggard, were in response to the confirmation today by the world’s largest dairy exporter that it will cut 523 jobs to save up to $60 a million a year on its payroll in the first swathe of a major review of the business. Hoggard said he hoped the job losses were part of a wider strategy to redirect resources in new areas rather than a knee-jerk reaction to cut costs as dairy prices continue to fall.

“Fonterra has had a history of knee-jerk reactions like that where it gets rid of a whole bunch of people and then two years later hires them back again, or rather having got rid of people with institutional knowledge, they hire new graduates who can’t do as good a job,” he said. . .

Waipaoa Station moulds young farm cadets for workforce – Kate Taylor:

The physical nature of the work means some farm cadets he works with fill out and some get lean but they all change, says Waipaoa Station stock manager Jerry Cook.

The station and the Waipaoa Farm Cadet Training Trust welcomes five new cadets every year for two years – all straight out of school.

“They come in as kids and leave ready for the workforce. They might arrive still with a bit of puppy fat at 17 and leave two years later toned and strong and armed with the right skills to go farming as adults.” . . .

New Ospri head sees big opportunities ahead – Gerald Piddock:

New Ospri chief executive Michelle Edge has some bold visions for where she sees the organisation making a greater contribution to New Zealand agriculture.

Edge started her new role in May and said there were exciting opportunities ahead for Ospri’s (Operational Solutions for Primary Industries) two wholly-owned subsidiaries TBfree New Zealand and NAIT (National Animal Identification and Tracing).

“There’s also a range of business development prospects on the horizon,” she said. . .

 Enterprising Rural Women Awards open for 2015:

Entries have opened for the 2015 Enterprising Rural Women Awards (ERWA) offering women who run their own rural businesses the opportunity to boost their profiles and gain recognition for their achievements.

“This year is very special as we have a lot of interest in the awards and we’re already fielding enquiries from women keen to enter,” says Rural Women NZ national president, Wendy McGowan.

Last year’s supreme winners, Keri Johnston and Haidee McCabe from Irricon Resource Solutions have come on board as sponsors. They are enthusiastic about the awards and want to encourage other women in rural businesses to have an opportunity to get the benefits that their business has gained since winning in 2014.

The future of Fijian sugar cane industry not so sweet:

Fiji’s National Farmers Union says the future of the country’s sugar cane industry could be in doubt.

The country’s cane farmers have begun harvesting however many are facing delays of up to six months due to labour shortages.

The union estimates up to 40 percent of the country’s harvesting labour gangs aren’t operating as they are unable to find enough people to fill them. . .

Weaker NZ Dollar Helps Lift Value of Meat Exports:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand compiles lamb, mutton and beef export statistics for the country. The following is a summary of the first nine months of the 2014-15 meat export season (1 October 2014 to 30 June 2015).

Summary

Over the first nine months of this season, beef and veal returns and volumes have been higher than lamb and mutton.

Because of the significant size of the market, changes in Chinese demand – specifically, less lamb and mutton and more beef – impacted across all categories of New Zealand meat exports.

Meanwhile, the USD / NZD exchange rate averaged 0.76 in the first nine months of the current season, compared with 0.84 over the same period last season – a 10 per cent drop. This NZD weakness contributed significantly to this season’s higher average export values across all products. . .

 

LIC sires named best in season:

Two of LIC’s artificial breeding bulls were named sires of the season by Jersey and Holstein-Friesian breed societies at their annual conferences last month.

South Land Jericho received Jersey New Zealand’s JT Thwaites Sire of the Season award and San Ray FM Beamer received Holstein-Friesian New Zealand’s Mahoe Trophy.

LIC bull acquisition manager, Malcolm Ellis, said it is an honour for the co-op’s sires to be recognised by the societies again, after LIC sires took out both awards last year also. . .

Carrfields Group brand to commence market rollout :

The Carrfields Group brand will begin a market rollout from August 2015 and will be fully integrated across the New Zealand agrimarket by December 2015.

Carrfields is borne from the Carr Group’s acquisition of the Elders New Zealand business in August 2014. The name is representative of the South Island based Carr family who have farmed and built the Carr Group of companies over the past forty years from the fields of the Canterbury region. . .

 

 


Irricon wins Enterprising Rural Women Award

20/11/2014

A South Canterbury-based environmental consultancy partnership is  the Supreme Winners of this year’s Enterprising Rural Women Awards

Keri Johnston and Haidee McCabe, principals of Irricon Resource Solutions, have gone from strength to strength since they established their joint consultancy in 2010. They now employ nine staff located from Motonau in North Canterbury to Duntroon in North Otago, with expertise ranging from ecology to engineering, and planning to field technicians.

A key feature of their business is Johnston and McCabe’s philosophy of fitting work around family and farming life, wherever that might be.

Keri Johnston, a natural resources engineer, says, “Where we are today was born out of a desire to have professional careers, but on our terms – working from home, around children and farming.” Keri and her husband farm just out of Geraldine in South Canterbury.

Haidee McCabe, an environmental consultant from Albury, explains. “Five of our consultants are women who would not be working professionally if they didn’t work for Irricon. Working from home means the best of all worlds for these women, and it allows them the opportunity to work, but be wives, mums and farm workers as well.

“Unless we’re in a hearing, we’re not a “suit and tie” type of business – our jeans and gumboots are well worn! Our clients really appreciate having someone turn up who knows farming. We can talk to them in their language about the issues.

“Because of the expertise we have, we can handle almost any job from start to finish – design, consenting, implementation and compliance. We have over 500 clients, and this number is still growing.”

The business focuses on improving or maintaining the sustainability of natural resources, such as land, water and waste, and is also involved in irrigation and catchment management.

Irricon Resource Solutions also won the Help! I Need Somebody category, sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd.
Other category winners in this year’s Enterprising Rural Women Awards are Renee De Luca of Putaka Honey based out of Blenheim. Renee won the Love of the Land category, sponsored by Agrisea.

The Making it in Rural section sponsored by Spark was hotly contested, with the main award going to Nicola Wright of Wrights Winery and Vineyard in Gisborne, and a special merit award to Dot Kettle and Georgia Richards of Dove River Peonies from Wakefield, near Nelson.

The winner of the Stay, Play Rural Award, sponsored by Xero, was Bobbie Mulgrew of Easyhike, a car relocation service based at Glenorchy, servicing hikers of the Routeburn and Milford tracks.

In congratulating all the winners, Rural Women New Zealand national president, Wendy McGowan said, “Through the Enterprising Rural Women Awards we are keen to raise awareness of women’s entrepreneurship and their input into rural communities. Women are not always good at promoting themselves, but we want to raise their profiles and give them credit for the huge amount of effort involved.”

These awards are well deserved recognition for the winners.

In highlighting enterprising rural women and their businesses they also show the opportunities that can be grasped outside city boundaries.

 

 


Rural round-up

11/09/2014

Farming for the future – Patrick O’Boyle:

Agriculture is the national breadwinner, accounting for 12 per cent of our GDP. But, making up nearly half of our greenhouse gas emissions, it is also a major reason we have struggled to meet the challenge of bringing down our emissions. For Patrick O’Boyle, the way out of this tight spot is not to demonise our farming communities, but to recognise that progress comes when we work together.

Dairy, and meat and wool. These have been the livelihood of my family. Our history of living in the land spans a large part of the North Island and involves a significant contribution to these two industries. We now live on a sheep and beef farm in the Wairarapa, where we operate a successful farming business.

My connection with the land has always been deeply seated in certain values: a respect of the land and animals, personal responsibility, and an ambition to succeed. As farmers, we see ourselves as caretakers, and with this comes a responsibility to make effective use of the land and hand it on to the next generation. . . .

Patrick O'Boyle's photo.

South Island needs rain – Stephen Bell:

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues.

It had not got to the adverse event stage but farmers needed rain soon, Federated Farmers adverse events spokeswoman Katie Milne said.

Farmers on the West Coast were starting to get a bit desperate. Some had used up their winter feed reserves and weren’t looking too flash.

A few farmers were finding it tough with lower pasture cover after the Easter windstorm and a series of frosts. . .

Strong contenders for Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2014:

Seventeen exciting and innovative businesses are in the line up for the Rural Women New Zealand Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2014.

“This is the sixth year we’ve run the Enterprising Rural Women Awards,” says Rural Women National President, Wendy McGowan. “It’s encouraging to see the diversity of businesses being run by women in rural areas and the significant contribution they make to the wider economy.

“Each year we see an greater sophistication in the marketing and presentation of rural businesses that enter the awards.

“As broadband slowly rolls out into rural communities it is increasing business opportunities and levelling the playing field for rural enterprises, even when operating from remote locations. . .

 The glamorous face of farming – Genevieve Barlow:

THERE they were, two glamorous women in heels high enough to fall from, babbling about agriculture, and the power of art to promote farming.

The younger one, Hannah, wore silver shoes. Her mentor, Lynne, wore red ones. We were in the city so, yes, there was occasion to dress up but boy were these women relishing their glitzy shoe-wearing moment. Their sartorial chutzpah in the shoes department nearly blew me off my flat-heeled boots.

So what do farmers look like these days? Yesteryear’s straw-chewing, Akubra-wearing, down-on-his-luck laconic type, while romantic, no longer tells the story in full.

That’s what these glam gals were out to prove.

They walk into classrooms and public places sometimes looking more like they’re lining up for the red carpet (in the shoe department, at least) than a talk about cows and farms. . . .

 

 

Blanket Bay named in Andrew Harper’s Top 20 International Hideaways:

Luxury lodge Blanket Bay has again received a prestigious accolade – named as one of the world’s Top 20 International Hideaways in the famous Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report.

Blanket Bay, near Glenorchy, was ranked 16th in the just-released 2014 list of favourite hotels, resorts and lodges, as voted by Hideaway Report readers. The Hideaway Report is an internationally-recognised source of information about luxury travel.

The Andrew Harper website describes Blanket Bay as a “splendid sanctuary along the shores of Lake Wakatipu with a majestic backdrop of snowcapped peaks; a scenic 45-minute drive from Queenstown”.

New Blanket Bay General Manager Brent Hyde says the award rightfully belongs to the Blanket Bay team under the direction of previous General Manager Philip Jenkins, but he’s delighted with the continued recognition of the outstanding property. . .

 


Rural round-up

12/08/2014

A2 milk easier to digest than A1 – study – Dan Satherley:

Milk that contains only A2 protein is easier to digest than the more common A1-type milk, according to a new study that directly contradicts previous research.

Scientists at Curtin University in Perth found that people reported less abdominal pain and bloating after drinking A2 milk than A1.

“We knew there were differences in animals consuming A2 milk without any A1 beta-casein, but this is now supported by our new human study,” says Associate Professor Sebely Pal.

A2 milk is produced naturally, taken from cows without the genetic mutation that most cows in Europe, Australia, the United States and New Zealand have. Normal cows’ milk has a mixture of A1 and A2 proteins. . .

 

Dairy plant conversion seen as catalyst for burgeoning food technology hub:

Plans to establish a state-of-the-art food technology and production hub in the small North Waikato township of Kerepehi have moved another step closer – with several large blocks of bare land with development potential being placed on the market for sale.

The 16 sites are immediately opposite the former Kerepehi dairy factory which was bought earlier this year by the Chinese-owned Allied Faxi Food Company for conversion into an ice cream export manufacturing plant.

Conversion construction of the dairy plant is scheduled to start in spring, with the plant targeted to be fully operational by the end of 2015 – forecasting to produce 10 tonnes of ice cream and 10 tonnes of frozen cream daily. All output is for the Chinese markets. . . .

Deadline approaches for entries in the Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2014:

Women looking for new ways to promote their small rural business are encouraged to enter the Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2014.

“With the deadline of Friday 5 September now around the corner, we’re reminding women to send in their entries,” says Rural Women New Zealand national president, Wendy McGowan.

In their sixth year, the awards attract good publicity for both entrants and winners, says Mrs McGowan.

“Rural Women New Zealand’s aim is to grow dynamic rural communities and giving a boost to women in rural business is a very positive way of achieving this.” . . .

Fine wool gets a sporting chance – Andrew Marshall:

THE wool industry’s search for a big break in the outdoor recreation clothing market may be about to bear fruit thanks, in part, to technology originally developed to make finewool finer.

Fashion industry responses to trials of the new wind and water resistant fabric indicate plenty of promise in clothing market segments such as recreational sailing, fishing, bushwalking or hiking and golf.

Wool marketers also anticipate genuine interest and spill-over orders from the booming smart-casual clothing scene. . .

Delivering Better Tools And Services for Maori Sheep And Beef Farmers:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is joining forces with the Federation of Maori Authorities (FoMA) to ramp up support for Maori sheep and beef farmers.

FoMA and B+LNZ are creating two new joint roles. Anaru Smiler and William McMillan have been appointed Kaiarahi Ahuwhenua Sheep & Beef, operating jointly for FoMA and B+LNZ. The positions will be responsible for delivering tools and services to support Maori sheep and beef farmers.

B+LNZ Chief Executive Dr Scott Champion says the organisation has worked closely with FoMA to develop the new positions and they will be a key part of supporting the development of more productive and profitable Maori-owned sheep and beef farms. . .

Warrnambool Cheese & Butter not ACCC at its finest, says Joyce – Andrew White:

AGRICULTURE Minister Barnaby Joyce has hit out at the competition watchdog and the law it enforces, claiming its treatment of Murray Goulburn’s bid for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter was a poor application of competition law.

Mr Joyce called for an overhaul of competition law to support the creation of national champions in industries across Australia after the giant Murray Goulburn co-operative was effectively blocked from buying Warrnambool by delays in the competition review process.

“If we want to create — and I believe we should — Australian national champions then that substantial lessening of competition test … its finest hour was not the Warrnambool Cheese and Butter issue,’’ Mr Joyce told a high-powered gathering of food industry and political leaders in Sydney as part of the The Australian and The Wall Street Journal’s Global Food Forum series. . .

Rabobank backs a Challenge – Reg Burton:

THE 2014 Rabobank Beef Challenge is once again focused solely on the graziers in the Richmond Shire with the Flinders and McKinlay Shire opting not to stage the Challenge this year because of the drought.

Conversely, the Richmond Shire graziers elected to continue with the Challenge to obtain information as to which breeds do better on a particular dietary supplement under drought conditions.

Ten mobs of six early weaners were put into the same paddock on Alistair McClymont’s Wilburra Station where they will stay and be weighed and tested monthly. . . .

Fonterra Grass Roots Fund:

Need help with a community project? Grants from $500 to $5,000 will be made. Hurry – applications close 31 August!

Need help with a community project? Grants from $500 to $5,000 will be made. Hurry – applications close 31 August!


Entries open for Enterprising Rural Women Awards

04/07/2014

Entries are now open for the Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2014, offering women running small rural businesses the opportunity to boost their profiles and gain recognition for their achievements.

“This is the sixth year we’ve run the awards, and we’re already fielding inquiries from women keen to enter,” says Rural Women NZ national president, Wendy McGowan.

Last year’s supreme winner, Diane Coleman, of Treeline Native Nursery in Rotorua, says business is booming after the publicity that followed her win.

Though entering the awards may be outside some people’s comfort zone, Diane encourages rural businesswomen to pluck up the courage, as she did.

“Winning this award has been a once in a lifetime opportunity that was challenging, exciting, scary, fun, humbling and has really put my business on the map.”

There are four award categories in 2014:
Love of the Land – sponsored by Agrisea – for all land-based business, from animals to agriculture.

Help! I need somebody – sponsored by Access Homehealth – for businesses providing any type of service – from retailers to agricultural contractors.

Making it in Rural – sponsored by Telecom – for businesses that involve manufacturing or creativity.

Stay, Play Rural – sponsored by Xero – for businesses engaged in rural tourism or hospitality.

To enter the awards, women have to own and operate a small business with less than 10 full time equivalent staff, based in a rural area. The business must have been running for at least two years. If in partnership, women must be an active partner of 50 percent or more in the business.

Entries close Friday 5 September. Entry forms and further information are available on www.ruralwomen.org.nz/enterprisingruralwomen.The awards will be presented at the Rural Women NZ national conference in Rotorua on Saturday 15 November.

Each category winner will receive $1,000 in prize money and a trophy, with a further $1,000 going to the supreme winner.

These awards provide profile for enterprising rural businesses and celebrate the women who’ve make them a success.

Rural round-up

26/05/2013

Award success a family affair – Gerald Piddock:

Farming, community, family, innovation and the desire to never stop learning has seen two North Otago farming families forge a successful business partnership.

The Mitchell and Webster families operate an intensive cropping operation and wholesale business producing bird and small animal feed.

Its home base is the Mitchell family’s Rosedale farm at Weston.

Their exceptional crop management and focus on long term sustainability helped them win the supreme award at this year’s Otago Farm Environment Awards.

The families entered the awards to help them learn more about their business, Mitchell Webster Group partner Jock Webster said. . .

Variable conditions a challenge – Gerald Piddock:

Variable growing conditions caused by fickle weather was the biggest challenge this season for the Lincoln University dairy farm.

It caused the dry matter produced on the 186ha farm to swing around violently throughout the season.

“It’s been more variable than most years and I would say that’s a result of those really variable growing conditions. We have seen hot and cold temperatures that have driven more variation in pasture,” DairyNZ’s Steve Lee said. . .

About face on dung beetle assessment – Richard Rennie:

One of the country’s most senior health officials has given the thumbs up to a review on the public health risk of dung beetle release.

Auckland medical officer of health Dr Denise Barnfather expressed her concerns earlier this year over the lack of risk assessment before beetle importation.

Approval for field trials on the beetle has been granted by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and these are under way in Northland. The next step is field release.

But Barnfather said this week the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) applauded the Ministry of Health (MoH) decision to assess the potential public health risk the beetles posed before release occurred. . .

Ten-year plan to beef up venison returns  – Jon Morgan:

A plan to lift venison returns by feeding deer better, improving their health and breeding, and by finding high-paying markets for the tastiest cuts, has been put to deer farmers.

The aim is to add $2 a kilogram to the value of a processed deer over the next 10 years, the deer industry conference in Wellington heard. At current prices, that would take the value of a 60kg stag from $540 to $660 at the season’s peak.

Deer Industry NZ chairman Andy Macfarlane said deer profitability was well ahead of lamb and beef on the same land.

“But are we satisfied with that? The answer is: no.”

The industry was launching “Passion to Profit” – its plan to increase returns – “to put deer farming back into the imagination of farmers”. That would be led by a renewed push in the core German market and a campaign to sell high-quality cuts under the Cervena brand to top-end European restaurants. . .

Butcher wins RWNZ award – Rosie Manins:

Almost four decades of hard slog is paying off for Lawrence butcher Jan Harper.

She is one of four category winners in this year’s Enterprising Rural Women Awards, announced at the Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) national conference in Christchurch on Thursday night.

Ms Harper (57) has worked in the meat industry since leaving school and opened Bluespur Butchery and Deli in Lawrence’s main street in 2009. . .

Sharemilkers second in national competition

Papakaio sharemilkers Morgan and Hayley Easton have placed second in the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Sharemilker-Equity Farmer of the Year competition.

The award, announced at an event in Wellington last night, was won by Southland representatives Don and Jess Moore.

The 2013 New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year title went to Richard Pearse, of Ashburton, and James Warren, of Winton, was named New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year. . .

Dairy farm profit down but still high – Andrea Fox:

Higher operating expenses per hectare in an otherwise-spectacular 2011-2012 dairy season resulted in farmer owner-operator profit sliding by $186 a hectare, a new DairyNZ report says.

But the 2011-2012 DairyNZ Economic Survey said operating profit which declined by 6.6 per cent to $2624 per hectare was a “still a high level”.

DairyNZ said the season was characterised by an excellent summer and autumn resulting in record milk production for all regions.

But offsetting the 9.2 per cent increase in milksolids per hectare was a matching decline in milk prices, leaving gross farm revenue per hectare almost unchanged. . . .


Enterprising rural women

10/04/2013

Even in the 21st century, some women who fall for farmers have to choose between their careers and their men.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of opportunities outside town boundaries and there’s no better illustration of that than the 20 finalists in Rural Women New Zealand’s Enterprising Rural Women Awards.

MAKING IT IN RURAL ENTRANTS

Saskia Missaar
Aotea Embrace
Saskia’s business is based on the remote Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf.  With little local employment and just 852 people living on the island, Saskia began the business in 2009 making soaps, massage oils, calendula balm and lip balms.  She now also makes a range of body lotions, hand cream and face moisturizers, made with essential oils and home grown ingredients such as manuka honey, herbs, flowers, native plants and clay, giving her products the ‘Barrier’ touch.  Her market is the gift market and those with sensitive or dry skin and she keeps her prices affordable.  Starting the business was a real challenge with no banks on the island, limited water and limited transport to the mainland.

 

Angela Payne
Agri-Lab Co-Products Ltd
www.agri-lab.com

Angela’s business is based in Waipukurau, where she has become a successful exporter of animal products, achieving consistent growth even in the face of the world economic downturn.  The business specialises in supplying ingredients for the medical, pharmaceutical and dietary supplements markets, including placenta, glands, membranes, tendons, eyes, brains, blood products and glandular.  90% of the products are exported to countries such as Japan, USA, Korea, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea and Australia.  Angela, who has taken the business from conception through to the internationally recognised company it is today, says her location is a significant competitive advantage in the export and pharmaceutical and biomaterial market, with NZ being a BSE free country, and having good access to freezing works, farms and essential services, as well as easy transport on SH2.

 

Lee Lamb
Lee Lamb Publishing

Facebook:  On the farm books

Lee’s business is based at Waikaia, Southland, where she is an author and illustrator of children’s picture books about NZ farming practices.  She lives with her husband and two young sons on a sheep and beef station and has to date written and illustrated four books in the ‘On the Farm’ series.  Keeping the stories true to life, they are educational as well as entertaining for children.  She was an entrant in the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards and the Storylines Book Awards.

 

Christina Perriam
Christina Perriam Fashion Design Ltd

www.christinaperriam.co.nz; www.surpinobambino.co.nz

Christina’s business is based at Tarras in Central Otago.  Her passion for merino wool and fashion has grown out of her upbringing on Bendigo Station, where she was influenced by her father’s entrepreneurial spirit and her mother’s love for merino.  As a qualified fashion designer, she took over her mother’s business in 2010, after her mother passed away and is focused on completing her mother’s dream and vision of making the small village a ‘must visit’ destination.  Christina Perriam manufactures and retails affordable luxury merino wool products that are proudly NZ made, targeting the woman, baby and child market.  The designs are aimed at 30-70 year old discerning women and have a classical and elegant element.  The emphasis is on sustainability, quality and affordable luxury.  The range includes clothing, accessories, sleepwear and home wears.  Suprino Bambino is Christina’s new child and baby clothing range, which is making a big splash and increasing sales month on month.

 

Jules Smith
WashBar Limited

www.washbar.co.nz

WashBar is based in Whangarei, and specialises in NZ made natural pet care products.  Jules targets the equine and canine market, producing animal coat care products.  The products evolved from a soap making hobby, when dog lovers approached Jules to make soaps for dogs with skin problems.  Allergies in dogs primarily manifest as itchy skin, and Jules’ market research revealed a market opportunity, which led to producing her specialist soaps in commercial volumes.  She now focuses on wholesale supplies to pet stores and vets and has continued to expand the range of products.  She now has 349 retailers across NZ and is exporting to Australia.  From dog soap, Jules has gone on to develop horse soap and natural flea repellent for dogs.  She recently developed a range of spritzers for dogs to freshen their coats, producing what she believes to be the first 100% natural, alcohol-free spritzer commercially available.

 

Jan Shoemark
Bell Cottage Crafts Limited

www.janshoemarkglassartist.co.nz

Jan Shoemark  is a glass artist based in Waitoa, Waikato.  Her work is all exclusive, and is characterised by her distinctive style of cutting glass, shaping it as desired.  She produces a wide range of products from memorial stones to plaques and signs, giftware and artwork.  She has won a bronze award at the Auckland Ellerslie flower show and best site at the National Fieldays.  Working with rural themes, all the timber and glass she uses is recycled.

 

LOVE OF THE LAND

Heather Wilkins
The Vege Shed

www.atholvalleymeats.co.nz

Heather Wilkins’ fresh produce and gourmet foods business is based on the family farm in Athol in Southland, where a 100 year old disused woolshed was converted first into The Vege Shed, and then selling Athol Valley lamb and venison sourced from the farm.  Athol Valley Meat is couriered throughout NZ into restaurants and this year the company was placed fourth in the NZ Beef+Lamb Golden Glammies in the retail sector.  The Vege Shed is on SH6 in Athol, an hour south of Queenstown en route for Milford Sound.  The vintage shop frontage has been maintained as an authentic 100 year old woolshed.  Heather’s aim is to give customers the chance to step back in time and slow down, enjoying genuine Kiwi hospitality, the opportunity to try NZ lamb and venison, local produce, preserves, sauces and gifts.

 

Diana Baird
Fairview Enterprises Ltd

www.dianasfruit.co.nz
www.kvw.co.nz

Diversity is the key to Diana Baird’s business Fairview, based in the Kawhatau Valley in the Rangitikei, where she and her husband run a sheep and beef farm, orchard, farm forestry and cereal cropping operation.  Summer fruit production includes traditional style peacharines, plums and quinces, (there is no other commercial fruit production for 100km). They also have a Drysdale sheep stud and promote and market specialist carpet wool.  The farm has two-tier forestry, with trees and grazing beneath, as well as multi-species forestry and amenity tree planting.  They have a walking route for private tours (Kawhatau Valley Walks), run on-farm research (current interests include bumble bees, Ume, succession and aquaculture), and are involved in Massey University case studies and tutoring.  They have previously been successful in the NZ Balance Farm Environment Horizons Awards.

 

Heidi Rosewarne
Blueberry Corner

www.blueberrycorner.co.nz

Heidi and her husband purchased a small blueberry orchard just outside Whakatane in 2002, knowing nothing of horticulture or blueberries, having previously been Taranaki livestock farmers.  It was a steep learning curve to develop a business from ‘honesty box’ roadside sales to the business that now supplies a range of blueberry products direct to the public, as well as internationally and domestically.  Each year new specialty blueberry lines are introduced, and now include james, relishes, juices, chocolate, soap, tea and blueberry honey.  Increasing to three growing properties, the retail business is now open for six months a year.  30 percent of the harvest is exported, 30 percent is sold on the domestic NZ market, and 40 percent is sold at the shop.

 

Diane Coleman
Treeline Native Nursery

www.treelinenursery.co.nz

Diane Coleman’s business is based 20km north of Rotorua in the small community of Kaharoa.  Treeline Native Nursery grows and supplies native trees, shrubs and grasses for revegetation and ornamental purposes.  Established in 1996, in its first 12 years of operation production grew from 10,000 trees to 300,000 trees produced and sold.  An essential part of the nursery production is seed collection, and eco-sourcing seed has become a major factor in customer requirements.  Diane travels through BoP and Waikato, contacting farmers for this task.  The nursery’s location at 419m above sea level ensures plants are hardy and relatively pest free. An interesting development over the last three years has been joining a bio-dynamic group and exploring planting by the moon, using an old Allied Farmers Co-op lunar calendar, which has streamlined the company’s propagation with surprisingly good results.  Plants are supplied in bulk to councils, farmers, landscapers, developers and the home gardener.

 

Stephanie Lynch
Sweetree Honey

www.sweetreehoney.co.nz

Stephanie Lynch’s business is based in Horsham Downs, near Hamilton.  The business involves every aspect of honey production, from caring for bees in 150 beehives, harvesting, packaging and direct selling at farmers markets, as well as through retail shops and the company website.  The bees have access to a wide range of flowering plants, and honeys from different areas are not blended with each other, meaning customers can choose a honey based on the location shown on the jar, such as Horsham Downs, Marokopa, Four Brothers Reserve and Hakarimata, with each having its own special characteristics.  The company also produces bee pollen.

 

HELP I NEED SOMEBODY

Lesley Armstrong-Jennings
Shopenzed.com

www.shopenzed.com

Lesley’s business is an online customer-driven Kiwiana gift store which has evolved since 2000 when she began supplying Kiwi goods to overseas customers on eBay.  Shopenzed.com is now one of the largest online retailers of New Zealand-inspired gifts and collectables.  The business caters for tens of thousands of customers worldwide, carrying over 3000 items, with more being added every week.  All purchases carry a 365 day money back guarantee.  The customers are often ex-pat Kiwis, or people who want to travel of live in New Zealand or who have holidayed here.  90 percent of orders are shipped overseas, with Australia a growing market.  Products include sheepskin boots, slippers, possum merino knitwear, NZ jewellery, rugby gear, souvenirs, books, cosmetics, food and more. Customer service is key to the business’ success, with ‘mad dashes’ to the nearest courier depot (a 50km round trip) to deliver a last minute order the norm.  Free gift wrapping in exquisite wrapping paper adds that special touch.

 


Lynne Johnston
Herd About Hair & Beauty

www.herdabouthairbeauty.co.nz

Lynne Johnston’s hair and beauty salon business is based at Riversdale in Southland.  It began in 2008 when she realised the need to diversify the family’s reliance on dairy share milking income after the downturn.  She first re-opened a hair salon in Riversdale that had ceased trading a year and a half earlier, growing the business to employ staff to work alongside her.  In response to the success of the hair salon she rented a second shop next door and employed a beauty therapist, offering a range of beauty treatments in addition to hair dressing.   Both the hair and beauty salons are now open six days a week.  In the meantime, Lynne has grown her own family, with a fourth child born in February 2011.  She is also still involved on the farm, rearing calves through the spring.  The success of Herd About Hair is based on offering rural people everything a city salon could offer, with exceptional service, with the mission statement ‘a little bit of luxury close to home’.

 

Jill Hollingum
Occsafe Services Ltd

Jill’s business is based near Picton, and involves workplace health and safety services, training and education.  She has put her background as a registered nurse to good use, and takes her occupational health services to the client base which has grown to almost 60 regular clients.  These include factories, vineyards, aquaculture, wood mills, engineering, construction sites and aviation.  She works with clients to help them build and maintain a healthy and safe work environment, to achieve legislative compliance, reduce employee down time, and cost effectiveness.  Services include health monitoring, such as workplace hearing tests, lung function tests, blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and vision screening; pre-employment work fitness assessments; workplace drug and alcohol testing, rehabilitation programmes; ergonomic workstation office assessments; noise and hygiene surveys and pre-audits for ACC audits.

 

Stephanie Evans
Oasis Beauty NZ Ltd

www.oasisbeauty.co.nz

Stephanie’s business is based at Oxford in Canterbury, where over the last 14 years she has developed a range of products for sensitive skin and sun protection.  Beginning by making products in her own kitchen, they are now manufactured in a factory in Christchurch.  This financial year the business has grown by almost 60 percent, and employs four women from the rural community who help look after the office and customer orders.  Stephanie’s story shows how one enterprising rural woman with very few resources can build a successful business in a very competitive market and provide long term rewarding jobs for other rural women in the community.

 

Jan Harper
Bluespur Butchery and Deli

Jan’s business is based at Lawrence in Otago.  When the deli opened in 2009 it was a ‘dream come true’ for Jan, who’s been in the butchery trade since she left school.  Jan sells meat to the public, but the main focus is on processing meat for farmers and hungers.  Lambs, pigs and venison are butchered and made into sausages, saveloys, burgers etc.  A popular service is gourmet lamb, where Jan creates barbequed cuts, marinated kebabs, mint glased lamb cutlets and ‘legendary’ burgers.

 

 

STAY, PLAY, RURAL

Deborah Hambly
Astronomy Adventures

www.skydome.org.nz

Deborah runs her business from Baylys Beach, Northland where she takes people on tours of the night sky with NZ’s largest hands-on telescope open nightly to the public.  With a passion for astronomy, Deborah arrived in NZ in 2005 with a plan of offering astronomy facilities for tourists and astronomers.  Acquiring her first second-hand giant telescope and dome, she set up on her front lawn, and has since acquired five more telescopes and caters for groups of up to 40.  The Skydome Observatory was fully operational by early 2006.  The telescope to guest ratio is kept at no higher than 1 to 4, so visitors observe at leisure.  Added to this Deborah tells stories and adds fun facts, myths and legends to the experience.

 

Linda Morrison
Tairoa Lodge

www.tairoa-lodge.co.nz

Linda runs boutique accommodation company Tairoa Lodge, which includes a Victorian villa built in 1875 in Hawera, Taranaki.  She and husband Steve bought the old homestead on four acres in 2000, which has Historic Places Trust rating, but was in need of renovation.  Over four years they worked on the property creating three luxury guest rooms, each with private ensuite, and decorated with a mix of antiques and country-style furniture.  In 2003 they relocated Tairoa Cottage to the grounds to offer self-contained accommodation for guests, and in 2007 purchased an adjacent property, The Gatehouse, to cater for the corporate market.  To compliment the business the couple added a secluded retreat, Kingfisher Cottage, in a rural farm setting, to their portfolio.  Finally they purchased Tairoa Church Hall, previously the Gospel Church, with stained glass and matai floors, which is used as an exclusive venue for private functions.  Tairoa Lodge has Qualmark accreditation 4star plus, and Linda’s mission is to provide exceptional customer service.  The business has seen robust growth though Linda says it has been ‘hard won’ and they have had to respond to shifts in the market by offering different accommodation options.  The catering and functions business has grown strongly, based on its reputation and a very strong client focus.

 

Tina Masters
Pure Cruise

www.purecruise.co.nz

Tina’s business, Pure Cruise, operates with a vision to be the foremost sailing product in the central North Island.  It offers a superior sailing experience on Lake Rotoiti, with high end sailing charters on board the 53 foot catamaran Tiua (run with the wind) to travellers, corporate and other groups.

 

Kylie Stewart
Rangitikei Farmstay

www.rangitikeifarmstay.co.nz

Kylie’s business, Rangitikei Farmstay, offers accommodation for up to 19 guests and a range of activities on and off the 1560 acre sheep and beef farm at Pukawa, Lake Taupo.  Kylie and her husband Andrew moved on to the farm in 2005, surrounded by beautiful landscape and scattered, largely unused buildings filled with ‘treasures’ – saws, stencils, pack saddles, and a push mower to name a few, used by the Stewart family on the farm for the past three generations.  The couple began renovating the old buildings and first opened up a bunkhouse and farm museum.  They have since converted three other buildings and have developed their farmstay and catering business with farm tours, shearing and mustering demonstrations, horse riding, farm walks, clay bird shooting and hole in one golf.  They now have school groups, birthday parties, and overseas guests.  Continuing to develop, the couple are presently building a lake to begin water activities on the property.

The winners will be announced at Rural Women’s national conference in Christchurch on May 23rd.


Rural round-up

28/03/2013

Strong contenders for Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013:

Twenty exciting and innovative businesses are in the line up for the Rural Women New Zealand Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2013.

The judges now face the challenging task of choosing finalists in the four entry categories: Love of the Land (sponsored by Agrisea Limited), Help I Need Somebody (sponsored by Telecom), Making it in Rural (sponsored by Fly Buys) and Stay, Play, Rural (sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd).

These four category winners will go on to compete for the title of Supreme winner, Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013.

“This is the fifth year we’ve run the Enterprising Rural Women Awards,” says RWNZ National President, Liz Evans. “Each year it’s rewarding to see the diversity of businesses successfully run by women in rural areas and the significant inputs they make into the wider economy.

“Through these awards Rural Women NZ aims to celebrate their success and raise awareness of women’s entrepreneurship, which helps to grow dynamic rural communities.” . . .

Alliance boss is buoyant on prospects – Alan Williams:

Price falls have helped increase demand for lamb in world markets and this will help New Zealand processors avoid the big build-up in stocks that hurt them last year, Alliance Group chief executive Grant Cuff says.

The country’s biggest lamb exporter has cleared the high inventory levels from last year and is managing to move this season’s kill through the market despite higher processing tallies caused by the severe drought conditions. . .

 

 

Opportunity missed on goat meat exports – Rob Tipa:

ONE of the world’s leading judges of the South African Boer goat breed believes New Zealand has missed an opportunity to capitalise on huge worldwide demand for goat meat.

Celia Burnett-Smith, stud director of Australian Breeding Services and a partner in the Terraweena Boer Stud in Queensland, has judged Boer goats at livestock shows in South Africa, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand and has been invited to set up a classification system for the breed in England. . .

 

Managing our freshwater responses in a changing climate – Waiology:

While water management is challenging enough as it is, climate change makes it harder. No longer can we rely solely on experiences from the past to guide our actions, but we must also consider forecasts of the future. And with New Zealand’s water resources expected to change in the coming decades – well within resource management planning horizons – it would be prudent to start to adapt sooner than later. So how does climate change affect the ways water may be governed, and how are current governance systems placed to deal with climate change?  . . .

Celebrity Cook Takes Up The Fight For Kiwi Bees:

New Zealand’s famous Free Range Cook, Annabel Langbein, has become an ‘ambassador’ for New Zealand bees.

The cookbook author and television presenter has joined forces with the National Beekeepers Association to work on projects that help promote and protect our kiwi bees. She will work officially with the NBA to help spread the message that bees are vitally important and that they need our help to survive.

“My father kept bees as a hobby, so I grew up watching him tend the hives in our Wellington backyard. And as a free range cook who uses nature as my pantry I thoroughly appreciate the importance of bees and the hugely critical role they play in our everyday lives – not to mention the value they add to our economy through pollination.” . . .

And from Smile Project:


Rural round-up

07/03/2013

Proposed RMA Reforms Seem The Real Deal:

After analysing the discussion document released late last week on the Resource Management Act (RMA), Federated Farmers congratulates the Government for undertaking a comprehensive examination of how the RMA is working.

“To be honest it has taken us a few days to get our heads around this 83-page discussion document,” says Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson.

“Federated Farmers actually supports the purpose of the RMA and requirements to protect our most important natural assets.

”Yet if we want real jobs delivering living wages then policy reforms like this are needed. Reform also needs broad political support and that is probably the most important thing we need to communicate; the need for RMA reform to survive changes of government.

“Aside from missing provisions for compensation we will raise in our submission, it is closely aligned to Federated Farmers 2008 reform package; Let’s Make it work – Why the Resource Management Act must change. . .

Ruataniwha Water Scheme Stepping Up:

A number of elements for the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme are being worked on in tandem to prepare for potential construction and investment in the scheme.

The scheme is yet to secure resource consents, however it is necessary to line up companies who may be interested in construction. Last month Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) Ltd called for Expressions of Interest from companies potentially interested in tendering for the construction of the proposed dam for the project. It is expected that HBRIC will choose two companies to move to the next phase of design and planning by the end of March. . .

Water governance – we’re getting into overdraft – Andrew Fenemor:

Like the challenge of balancing the household budget, we NZers are finding that despite being a ‘pluvial country’ we’re reaching allocation limits in many of our catchments.

Looking back, 100+ years ago exploitation of water resources focused firstly on rivers. Then water use especially for irrigation and urban supplies moved to groundwater takes. Now as pumping from our aquifers starts to deplete river flows and aquifer storage too much, we are seeing greater interest in water storage. Case in point, the Government’s Irrigation Acceleration Fund is supporting feasibility assessments for large schemes in Canterbury, Otago, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and Tasman, most involving new dams.

The trouble is, it’s a tough job for regional councils to set catchment limits in their regional plans (PDF) before the symptoms of excess appear. That’s not surprising, given the sizable investments in catchment science needed, the long time frames required to understand the inherent variability in water fluxes, water quality and aquatic ecosystems and the long time period required to establish new regional planning regimes. Setting catchment limits certainly focuses the mind. Most councils are now getting on with the job. . .

Rural enterprise award big boost for business – Sally Rae:

Since winning the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award last year, Rose Voice’s dog equipment business has gone from strength to strength.

Mrs Voice, who with her husband Nigel runs the Real Dog Equipment Company in Ranfurly, has taken on a part-time machinist to cope with demand and she has speaking engagements booked through to the end of the year.

She is now urging other women with small rural businesses to enter this year’s awards, saying it was ”absolutely” worth it. . .

A real story about inflation – Milking on the Moove:

My Uncle was a cropping farmer in Zimbabwe. He purchased his first farm as a young man and worked it for couple of decades.

Robert Mugabe decided in 2000 to implement his “Land Distribution Policy”.

The mob of “war veterans” arrived one morning and the beatings began.

My Uncle and his family fled to South Africa. They eventually immigrated to New Zealand.

Meanwhile the farm was distributed between Mugabe’s loyal supporters.

But the bank had a problem. There was still a mortgage on the property. . .

A2 Corp to join top 50 index, toppling PGG Wrightson from benchmark:

(BusinessDesk) – Alternative milk marketer A2 Corp is set to join the NZX 50 Index after qualifying in the February review, and will topple rural services firm PGG Wrightson from the benchmark bourse.

The change will come into effect from the open of trading on March 18, stock exchange operator NZX said in a statement. Shares in Wrightson rose 2.6 percent to 40 cents in trading today, while A2 was unchanged at 56 cents.

Wrightson is controlled by NYSE-listed Chinese agriculture firm Agria Corp, and has a market capitalisation of $301.9 million. . . .


Enterprising Rural Women entries open

16/01/2013

Entries have opened  for the Enterprising Rural Women Awards:

In their fourth year, the 2013 Awards are bigger and better than ever, with four Award categories:

Love of the Land – sponsored by Agrisea (Entries open for all land-based businesses.)

Help! I need somebody – sponsored by Telecom (Entries open for businesses providing any type of service.)

Making it in Rural – sponsorship tbc (Entries open for any business that involves manufacturing or creativity.)

Stay, Play Rural  – sponsored by Access Homehealth Limited (Entries open for businesses engaged in rural tourism or hospitality.)

Entries close on March 15th.


Enterprising Rural Women winners

26/05/2012

The 2012 Enterprising Rural Woman Award winner is Rose Voice of The Real Dog Equipment Company Limited.  Rose also won the Fly Buys Online Business Award category.

The Telecom North Island Award 2012 was won by Kylie Gibbard of Emkay Limited, a specialty bra manufacturing business based at Koputaroa, near Levin.

The Access Homehealth South Island Award 2012 winner was Jenny Scott of Livestock Office, a stock agent brokering software company whose business is based at Bannockburn.

“The Real Dog Equipment Company is an example of what can be achieved when you have a passion and are willing to follow your dreams,” says Rural Women New Zealand national president, Liz Evans.  “We warmly congratulate Rose on her very deserving win.”

Rose set out on her enterprising journey making harnesses and collars for her sled racing dogs.  This has grown into a very successful business producing quality animal equipment designed by Rose and manufactured by her and her husband at the company’s purpose-built premises near Ranfurly.  It’s also home to the family and their 13 sled dogs.

“What started as a hobby has grown into an impressive venture producing a wide range of equipment for dogs, alpacas and horses.  The Real Dog Equipment Company even exports sled dog equipment to Alaska, the home of sled dog racing!” says Liz.

The judges were impressed by Rose’s innovation and dedication to producing high quality products with good growth potential. 

They also appreciated Rose’s community involvement, often repairing sports gear for children in the district, for example.

Most of her company’s sales are conducted through the internet, proving Rose’s point that with a website and a courier service she could build her business anywhere, which allowed her to move from the city back to her roots in Central Otago.  She also uses the internet to upload instruction movies on training dogs and using her equipment.

The judges were impressed by the winner of the Telecom North Island Award.   Kylie Gibbard’s drive and business acumen guarantee strong growth for Emkay Ltd, which evolved from Kylie’s need to find a comfortable support bra that she could wear all day on the farm.

“Kylie has a strong vision and a can-do attitude that have helped her to take a problem, find a solution and turn the answer into an enterprise with huge potential,” says Liz Evans. 

Kylie started out wanting to design a comfortable bra for her own needs, but went well beyond a ‘number eight wire’ solution.  Emkay bras are the result of five years’ extensive research and product development, and use the highest quality Spanish lingerie fabric, which is laser cut for precision.  Originally designed for the 14DD+ niche market, the bras are now available in an 8B to 40HH sizes.

After launching the Emkay bra just two years ago, the company has already broken into the Australian market and is rapidly building its stockist base in New Zealand.  The Emkay bra is sold solely through stores, following retailer training.  This personal approach is an important part of the Emkay philosophy and one that translates into an impressive nine-six percent try on to purchase ratio.

The Access Homehealth South Island winner, Jenny Scott, has over 20 years experience in the market, a solid client base and a proven product,” says Liz Evans.  “The judges were also impressed with the fact that Livestock Office hasn’t stood still, and is meeting today’s market using e-sales and mobile phone technology.”

Livestock Office is used by livestock and grazing brokering firms throughout the country and is the only specialised livestock brokering software developed in New Zealand for local conditions.  It also has potential to be used internationally, which is the company’s focus for the immediate future.  The package includes debtors, creditors, cashbook and general ledger and can handle all types of sales including private, grazing and auction.

These women were among the sixteen finalists from all over the country.

The awards showcase the women and their businesses and prove that country life isn’t a barrier to business innovation and success.


16 finalists in Enterprising Rural Women awards

05/04/2012

Sixteen finalists have been selected for Rural Women NZ’s  Enterprising Rural Women Awards:

The judges now face the challenging task of choosing the North and South Island and Online Business category finalists.  These three category winners will go on to compete for the title of Supreme winner, Enterprising Rural Women Award 2012.

 “This is the fourth year we’ve run the Enterprising Rural Women Award, and it’s encouraging to see the diversity of businesses being run by women in rural areas,” says RWNZ National President, Liz Evans. 

“Celebrating their success and raising awareness of women’s entrepreneurship is an important way in which we can help grow dynamic communities.”

Entries in this year’s Telecom North Island category include an alpaca farmer, a bra designer and manufacturer, an importer/retailer, an export-focused food and beverage consultant, a writer, a soil specialist and an educator on biological farming.

The variety of entrants in the new Online Business Award category, sponsored by Fly Buys, illustrates the opportunities that the internet offers and the way it is levelling the playing field when it comes to doing business in a rural location.  The entrants include an online store focused on motherhood resources and products, a writer and author, a natural skincare manufacturer and a dog equipment company.

 The South Island category, sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd, attracted the most entries this year, with businesses ranging from an eco-based tourist park, to a designer clothing manufacturer and retailer, a tourism publisher, a livestock brokering software and support company, a travel broker and a beauty and day spa.

The finalists are:

NORTH ISLAND AWARD
Kim Fagan, Cluster of small businesses, Te Kuiti
www.3gteak.co.nz; www.bb-nz.com; www.smarty-pants.co.nz; www.buykiwimade.co.nz.

Kim Fagan began her retailing hub company in 2003 in a vibrant cluster of buildings in Te Kuiti.  3G Teak stands for three girls, three generations, three girls.  Kim, her mother and her daughter.  The retail outlets 3G Teak selling handcrafted gifts and homeware; Cantik Living – designs for the home; BB NZ (corporate and promotional marketing); Elements (outdoor pots, waterfeatures and landscape products); Smarty Pants (creative and educational play for kids); BuyKiwiMade.  Kim has won many awards for business and in 2010 3G Teak was officially named the Top Giftware and Homewares Shop in the Waikato by the NZ Retailers’ Association and in 2011 was one of three finalists in the 2011 Waikato Business Excellence Awards Leader of the Year.  Kim undertakes the marketing and operational requirements of each business.

Kim uses interesting marketing strategies.  All stores have an in store web kiosk available for customers browsing to promote products offered online.  3G Teak now trades nationwide and internationally.  In order to meet compliance 3G Teak has its own devanning facility so imported containers can be unloaded onsite.  Kim has a MAF Facility Operators Licence and MAF Accredited Persons Licence.

Through her business Kim contributes to the wider rural community attracting people to come and shop in Te Kuiti and providing employment for nine families in the community.

Kylie Gibbard, Emkay Limited Levin,  www.emkaygirl.com

Emkay Ltd designs, manufactures and wholesales the Emkay Bra.  Its unique design was launched onto the NZ market in November 2010.  The bra evolved from Kylie’s need to find a bra that provided comfort and support and that she could wear all day out on the farm.  It was originally designed for the 14DD+ market and took five years of design and component testing before it was released.  It’s now available in 8B to 40HH.  Production is based on the farm at Koputaroa, 10 minutes north of Levin and are proud of their Kiwi-designed and made product, made with highest quality components and a local labour force which now includes 4 full time and 2 part time factory staff, 1 NZ sales rep, 1 admin and customer services manager as well as Kylie and her partner Darrell Stratton.  Kylie has a sales focus and Darrell focuses on the running of the factory and business.

The company now has 35 NZ stockists and has broken into the Australian market.

Emkay is a truly rural based company with its design at the heart of rural living.  With a number 8 wire and can do attitude, Kylie and Darrell’s unique Emkay Bra is set to revolutionise the bra industry.

Leonie Walker, Nevalea Alpacas, Taumarunui, www.nevaleaalpacas.co.nz.

Leonie began her business in 2007 with the purchase of two female alpacas with cria at foot.  Now she has a herd of 340 alpacas and she employs six part time hand knitters.  The fibre is used in the garments and products sold in Leonie’s farm shop.  Each animal’s fleece is individually processed, and Leonie designs the garments and felted products.  All garments are hand sewn, and they offer a made to measure service.  Products are also sold via an online shop.

Lucy Cruickshank, Innov8 Aotearoa Ltd – Masterton.

Two years ago Lucy Cruickshank decided it was time to set up her own export-focused food and beverage consultancy with the skills she’d gleaned from 10 years in the international sales and marketing sector of NZ agri business.

The business works with start-ups through to large multi-million dollar operations.  She not only assists client with strategies, but also gives the operator the confidence to follow through with implementation.

Lucy says her point of difference is the business’ focus on rural based food and beverage producers.

She has done consultancy work for a range of businesses, providing innovative marketing and sales strategies and implementation, and analysing global market trends.  She has also established and sold her first brand – Pure Aotearoa – to a large trading company.  She has also set up a national food distribution business – Pure Wairarapa Limited – to complement the food and beverage consultancy work she does.  Lucy won a trip to Japan sponsored by the Japanese Government to further relationships in the agri-business sector with the JENESYS programme, which allowed her to develop exports to Japan for Innov8 and her clients.  She recently won a Grow Wellington scholarship to attend the Activate programme.

Sue Edmonds, The Farming Writer,  Eureka Waikato.

Sue Edmonds is a regular attendee at farming events and conferences and is a keen analyst, interpreting the significant issues arising and then translating them into ‘farmer speak’ for her readers.  She currently writes for Coast & Country, Rural News and Dairy News and contributes heavily to the New Farm Dairies publication which is distributed nationally.  She has spent the last fourteen odd years living on a lifestyle block in Eureka in the Waikato where she cares for a pair of cows, donkeys and goats.

Nicole Masters, Integrity Soils – Waipukurau www.integritysoils.co.nz.

Integrity Soils is a specialist business providing educational services and books to the rural sector throughout NZ and Australia.  In a ‘soils first’ approach the business focuses on putting control back into farmers’ hands in regards to nutrients and soil, crop and animal management.  It aims to support farmer learning to ensure food quality produced is the best in the world.  As biological farming moves into the mainstream, Nicole’s passion that she has pursued for the last 10 years since graduating from Otago, is becoming a reality.  She says “many on farm issues can be solved through improved observation skills and proactive management as opposed to the reactive model currently favoured.”

Nicole started her business to fit around being a single mum in a rural community, starting with a commercial worm farm supplying worm products, compost works and delivering school education programmes.  In 2003-4 she became the youngest chair on the board of Soil & Health in its 70 year history.  She is now an independent agricultural extension agent, working out of Waipukurau in Central Hawke’s Bay.  She organises conferences on biological farming, runs workshops here and in Australia, and promotes eco-agriculture through writing articles in rural papers, establishing farming networks and covering all sectors from dairy, beef, viticulture, horticulture, market gardening etc.

Nicole believes there are many incredible women who have played pivotal roles in shaping agriculture, and she believes now more than ever farming requires this feminine quality, working with nature in a more nurturing and empathetic manner.

ONLINE AWARD

Frances McInnes, Breastmates, Cambridge  www.breastmates.co.nz

Breastmates is an online store that started from humble beginnings in 2004 with $50 start up  and a one page website.  It started as a hobby while Frances was on maternity leave when a bad shopping experience helped identify a gap in the market for a breastfeeding specialty store.  This has now evolved into a trusted maternity brand with quality products and reputation.  The business operates solely through online sales and retails many brands, plus the company’s own designs and branded product range.  The online store focuses on motherhood and supporting mothers with their choices as well as selling products.  It has a large community of 13,000 Facebook followers, and an extensive base of resources (over 2,500 articles).  It also has a child birth educator and lactation consultant available to answer questions and an easy to use website.

The community and article base builds trust and potential customers and Frances believes that if they help people and give their time they will come back and purchase, or refer the store to their friends.  Supporting mothers is the key to the business, rather than selling products, and that is the key to Breastmates’ success.  The company has had steady increasing sales and performance since start up and is currently building international sales.

Rae Roadley – Writer and author – Maungaturoto, www.raeroadley.co.nz.

After moving to the city to a beef and sheep farm in Kaipara, Northland, in 2000, Rae’s work as a writer has evolved to accommodate her rural location, dreams and goals.  She has transitioned from being a full time newspaper journalist to being self-employed.  Initially she wrote for business and freelance articles, but is now also an author, columnist and writing tutor.  Rae currently writes for the Northern Advocate, NZ Concrete Society and Scene magazine. After several years as a columnist she submitted some of her columns to Penguin Books, which led to her publishing a memoir about her life at Batley, the Roadley family’s historic home, and the area’s history.  Love at the End of the Road was published in 2011, fulfilling a long held dream to become an author.  She tutors the Non-Fiction programme at NorthTec, with all the work done online.  In fact 95% of Rae’s work is now done online, and her promotional tools have grown to encompass social media.  Rae and husband Rex will feature in an episode of Country Calendar, filmed in early March.

Stephanie Kimpton – Oasis Beauty NZ Limited – Oxford – www.oasisbeauty.co.nz.

Stephanie says Oasis Beauty is a perfect example of what can happen when a person gets carried away with their hobby.  It happened to her 12 years ago when she discovered a book on how to make your own skincare products.  After producing a range of products with sister in law Donna Evans they began to sell by party plan, “the best product development any company could do”.  With this first hand feedback she researched, consulted suppliers and fine tuned her products.  Now Oasis Beauty offers a natural skincare range, with the point of difference being its specialisation in sensitive skin, sun protection and skin repair.  The company sells through beauty clinics, health stores and pharmacies and online.  All products are manufactured in a Christchurch GM-approved factory and each batch undergoes lab testing before going out into the market.  Ingredients are sourced in NZ as much as possible and the products are ‘cruelty free’. Oasis has grown from kitchen enterprise to factory-made in Christchurch and despite the Canterbury earthquakes and their aftermath has continued to grow its business, now employing two permanent part time staff and  casual labour to assist with preparing product samples and packing orders.  Stephanie works by the rule ‘treat people the way you want to be treated’.

The earthquakes caused Stephanie to review the business and a decision to focus more strongly on online sales to improve cash flow and profitability.  ‘The internet gives Oasis Beauty’ the same platform as every other business to showcase its products, services and points of difference.  It doesn’t matter whether a business is big, small, town or country-based, the internet levels the playing field.

SOUTH ISLAND AND ONLINE AWARD
Lynn Bridson, Bellbird Ranch Ltd, Owaka –
  www.catlinsnz.com

Bellbird Ranch Ltd in which Lynn is a 50% shareholder is a company that operates McLean Falls Holiday Park and Whistling Frog Cafe & Bar in the Catlins.  Having bought and run a sheep farm and planted a forest in the region (over 1 million seedlings) in 1996, Lynn recognised the tourist potential.  In 2001 Lynn purchased a farm that was located at a strategic intersection on the Southern Scenic Route and the iconic Cathedral Caves and McLean Falls intersection.  The run down sheep farm also included 100 ha of native bush, since fenced off.  Coming from a hospitality background, Lynn and her husband’s introduction to sheep and beef farming was a steep learning curve.  When the Southern Scenic Route was tar sealed in 2005 the couple gauged there were sufficient travellers to support a tourism business including a holiday park, motel and chalets and on site cafe and bar.

The extremely remote location presented its own challenges  with no cellphone coverage or broadband.  But despite being ‘the worst place in New Zealand to do business’ Lynn recognised the potential of the scenic wonderland.  They used an eco theme and recycled buildings and cabins, and based the decor on a Kiwiana theme.  They planted 10,000 natives to attract bird life, and a pond to offer habitat to the resident endangered Whistling frogs.  Lynn handles the daily operations for the park which can now offers 60 beds and accommodation for 100 tenters and campervaners.  It is often full. The business has boosted the local economy and employs 7 fulltime workers during the high season.  Tour buses also regularly stop by.

Rose Voice, The Real Dog Equipment Company Limited, Ranfurly; www.realdog.co.nz.

Rose’s passion for dogs has been with her for 30 years.  At that stage she was immersed in sled dog racing with Alaskan Malamute dogs, and imported gear from the US.  Being ‘a fairly sufficient sort of girl’ Rose thought ‘I can make that’.  She purchased an industrial sewing machine and set up costs came partly from the sale of a litter of puppies.  She developed a few articles of gear, and then a website to sell it through.  Her idea was that if she had a website and a courier she could live anywhere.  She sources materials, hardware and fabrics of high quality and guarantees her work.  A musterer came to the Southern Field days with his collar that he’d bought 9 years ago that had out-lived two dogs!

Her business has grown and diversified, including lifting strops for search & rescue dogs, collars for seeing-eye dogs and dog backpacks, life jackets, bungy leads all designed and tested by Rose.  She has expanded into the alpaca industry making halters, ropes and backpacks, as well as award winning Limited Slip dog collars used by the country’s top sheep dog trialists, and bull show halters and horse handling ropes.

Last year her husband retired from Police work to work with Rose and they moved to the Maniototo building a home and purpose built workshop and space for their 14 dogs.

Now they send gear all over the world, and even send sled dog equipment to Alaska!

They use YouTube and Facebook to make and show instruction movies for people struggling with a training issue or use of a piece of equipment.

SOUTH ISLAND AWARD

Christine Wardell, ChritinZ – Balclutha –  www.christinz.co.nz.

Christine started out designing a comfortable pair of pants to wear while recovering from an operation in 2006 and the business grew as she started making pants for friends and family until it became a full time occupation and the ChristinZ label was born.  The range grew to include skirts, jackets, tunics, dresses cardigans, coats and more. Clothes are made to order and many different fabrics are used to provide garments with an individualised look. Now she sells ‘on the road’ at shows and fieldays, as well as ‘pop up shops’ where she bases herself at a different South Island locate for three days at a time.

She also has a website shop and mail order service, meaning location is not  a barrier to supply.

She now employs a part time sewer and some of her clothing manufacture is outsourced.  Despite the range now including over 30 different garments , her original pants are still her Number 1 seller.

 

Amy Lamb, Tourist Times – Waikari, www.holidayhere.co.nz.

Five years ago, Amy Lamb purchased her first business, Tourist Times Canterbury.  After proving doubters wrong about the ability to run a business such as this from Waikari, along with farming and raising children, she has gone on to purchase the Otago/Southland and Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast regions of the monthly tabloid regional newspaper business.  The publications promote local businesses and regional destinations, with each newspaper run under a licence agreement.  Amy’s introduction to the media began at the NZ Broadcasting School where she studied for a Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications.  She is married to a North Canterbury sheep and beef farmer, and she sees her business as being all about communications and providing opportunities to allow businesses, regions, destinations, communities and people she works with to grow.  Building strong partnerships in her business meant that after the Canterbury earthquakes she didn’t miss an edition, and in fact provided the only updated printed information directly intended for visitors.

Jennifer Scott, Livestock Office, Cromwell  www.livestockoffice.com

After many years developing and selling software products relating to farming businesses, Jennifer now focuses on promoting Livestock Office a professional, specialised and comprehensive software package incorporating the latest advances in technology.  The aim is to provide the agricultural sector with innovative, reliable and affordable software.

Jennifer undertakes sales, training and support.  LivestockOffice is the only specialised Livestock Brokering software developed in New Zealand for NZ conditions, but with potential to be used internationally, which is the company’s focus for the immediate future.  It can be tailored to suit any livestock business from a one man band to the corporate level.  Modules available include mass communications, auction transfer, document manager, web sale using hand held devices and eSale using smart phones.  It includes debtors, creditors, cashbook and general ledger, GST calculator, reporting etc. It can handle all types of sales private, grazing, auction etc.

Lynne Sinclair, NZ Travel Broker – Five Forks.

Lynne is a self-employed travel broker living at Five Forks, 20 minutes inland from Oamaru.  Not restricted to the bricks and mortar of a traditional travel agency, she is able to fulfil her clients needs around the clock, from home.  She deals with air travel, accommodation, rental cars, cruising, coach tours, groups and special interest, sightseeing, foreign exchange, insurance, visas passports and more.  She’s been a travel broker for 15 years and is still passionate about travel.  In November 2011 she was placed 1st in QBE Travel Insurance Broker of the Year, and GO Holidays Broker of the Year.  When not travelling, virtually or actually, she helps on the family’s 305 hectare farm.

Sarah Huggins, Inspire Beauty & Day Spa – Waimate.

Sarah’s vision is to create an oasis of peace and tranquillity where you can soothe your mind, relax your body and renew your spirit.  She is the operator of Inspire Beauty and Day Spa in Waimate, where she’s lived most of her life, and lives on a farm.  But she’s no country bumpkin.  She has a strong passion for living on the cutting edge of style and fashion and says her calling is to make people feel good about themselves.  After graduating from beauty training school in Christchurch nine and a half years ago, she worked in Oamaru and Timaru, honing her product knowledge and developing her passion for specialised skincare.  She was however keen to help Waimate to become more self-sufficient in service and retail, with many people shopping and spending outside of the local area.  And so Inspire was born in 2008 and she became her own boss.  She now employs another person, and brings the benefits of the big city experience to the small town Pop. 3000.  She offers facials, skincare consultation, manicures, pedicures, massage, waxing, electrolysis, tanning, make up, weight loss programmes, botox and more.

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony to be held on the opening night of the RWNZ national conference in Hawera on Monday 21 May.


Lisa Harper wins Enterprsing Rural Women Award

24/05/2011

Lisa Harper of Sherington Grange is the 2011 winner of Rural Women NZ’s Enterprising Rural Women Award.

The business provides accommodation, food and activities, including cheese making and fishing  on a 400 acre working farm in Marlborough.

Runner-ups were  sisters Maria-Fe Rohrlach and Bernadine Guilleux. Their business, Nestling produces organis merino and cotton baby wraps and slings.

This is the third year Rural Women has run the awards. It’s a wonderful initiative which not only rewards the winners but highlights the achievements of rural businesswomen.


Enterprising Rural Women finalists

07/05/2011

Rural Women NZ has announced the finalists for its third annual Enterprising Rural Women Awards.

The South Island winner, sponsored by Telecom, is Lisa Harper of Sherrington Grange.

RWNZ says:

 Lisa supplies accommodation, food and educational experiences to a niche market on her farm in the Marlborough Sounds.  Lisa has built on family tradition and the skills she learned as a child, and now produces some of the best cheeses in New Zealand. 

She has developed a wide range of goats’ and cows’ milk cheeses, including full strength European-style cheeses that are not common here.  Deliberately cross-marketing her products and services, Lisa also caters for the growing market of travellers who seek experiences, rather than simply accommodation.  Many visitors come to take one of Lisa’s cheese making classes as part of their Marlborough Sounds’ stay.

The North Island winner is Nestling, a business run by sisters Maria-Fe Rohrlach and Bernadine Guilleux. 

RWNZ says:

Based in Mamaku, Rotorua, Nestling produces organic merino and cotton baby wraps and slings.  The judges were impressed by Nestling’s use of New Zealand materials and their commitment to manufacturing onshore, as well as their innovative designs, where modern fabrics and colours are fused with the traditional methods of wrapping and carrying babies. 

Judges were Liz Evans, Rural Women New Zealand’s National President, Tina Symmans, Telecom’s  director of corporate relations, and John Ayling, chairman of Access Homehealth.

The awards aim to celebrate rural business women and promote their achievements. Among criteria judges consider are: innovation, rural enterprise, points of difference;  product and service quality, meeting compliance requirements, environmental awareness;  marketing and promotion, including evidence that the business is progressing;  financial performance and economic inputs into the rural community; staff management and/or personal development.

The North and South Island winners will attend the Awards ceremony at the RWNZ national conference on Friday 20 May when the overall winner will be announced.


Calling enterprising rural women

30/11/2010

Rural Women NZ has opened entries for its third annual Enterprising Rural Women award.

“The Award celebrates women who take on the extra challenge of running a business in a rural area and it’s a great opportunity to boost your business profile,” says RWNZ National President Liz Evans.

Past entrants have received extensive media coverage and seen the positive effects on their businesses.

Last year’s Supreme winner, Tineke Verkade, of Homeopathic Farm Support Limited, says winning the 2010 RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award has led to three appearances on television, as well as radio shows and numerous newspaper articles throughout the country.

“Winning the Award was really a boost for the staff and for me.” 

She says it has made her more enthusiastic and given her the confidence to come up with strategies to cope with the recession, including new products that are currently being tested by Massey, and writing a book on homeopathy for horses.

Last year’s South Island winner, Tracey Robinson, who runs children’s merino sock company Cosy Toes Ltd from the tiny town of Rotherham in North Canterbury, says her win has had a very positive spin off. 

“I’m definitely busier because of it.”

The RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2011 is being sponsored by Telecom and Access Homehealth Ltd, who will both be involved in the judging.

Entries close Friday 18 March 2011 and the award ceremony will take place in Auckland in May.,

Further information and entry forms can be found here or by calling (04) 473 5524.


Enterprising Rural Women Awards announced

23/04/2010

The South Island Rural Women’s Enterprising Rural Women Award  winner is  Tracey Robinson of Cosy Toes Limited and the North Island award went to Tineke Verkade of Homeopathic Farm Support Limited.

 Cosey Toes, based in Rotherham, North Canterbury, is an online and mail order retail business, specialising in 100 % New Zealand made merino wool socks, merino clothing and other New Zealand wool products for babies and children.

Homeopathic Farm Support, in Waikato,  supplies high quality homeopathic products and information support to farmers and rural livestock holders throughout New Zealand and overseas.

Both are contenders for the supreme award which will be announced at Rural Women’s national conference in Oamaru in May. 

The Awards were judged by Margaret Chapman, Rural Women New Zealand’s national president, Theresa Gattung of Wool Partners International and Doug Langford, past chairman of Access Limited.

The judges were impressed by the innovation and adaptability of all the entrants in this year’s Enterprising Rural Women Award, many of whom have had to overcome extra obstacles to run a business from a rural location.

Tineke Verkade started her business following a career in nursing, a background in science and an interest in complimentary medicine.  She studied naturopathy and medical herbalism as well as homeopathy and has been in private practice since 1991.  Her aim is to provide easily available, affordable and effective complimentary animal health remedies.

Margaret Chapman says “Tineke Verkade has built up an impressive business from early days of skepticism and little belief in alternative methods of healing from the farming community.”

Nowadays more than a quarter of Fonterra dairy farmers and many sheep and beef producers use homeopathy.

South Island winner Tracey Robinson set up her Cosy Toes business after experiencing frustration that wool socks were not available for her two pre-schoolers.  Researching the market, she discovered that inexpensive imports of synthetic socks had led to New Zealand businesses closing down and selling their machines. 

She decided to reverse that trend, setting up a business in a rural township with a population of just 300, using the internet to supply a niche, high quality product using innovative marketing, including social networking sites.

Judge Doug Langford says Tracey Robinson is resourceful, passionate and determined to succeed in the face of obstacles.  Theresa Gattung adds “Cosy Toes is courageous in its inception and spot on in its execution.  Cosy Toes is a great example of new ways to reinvent the existing.”

 Cosy Toes products are now posted all over the world, and Tracey has gone on to support those less fortunate, including organising the Cosy Toes Sock Drive for orphans in Uganda.

You can read more about Cosy Toes  here and Homeopathic Farm Support here.

The awards are a wonderful initiative by Rural Women to celebrate rural women in business and their achievements. 

The South Island Award is sponsored by Ballance Agri-Nutrients and the North Island prize by Access.


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