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Far North Holdings Ltd invites Northland food and beverage industry to attend hui about New Zealand’s first all-in-one shared food and beverage manufacturing facility

Northland food and beverage (F&B) businesses interested in manufacturing value-added

products within Te Tai Tokerau are invited to attend FoodNorth- an informative hui and

workshop about plans to establish New Zealand’s first shared F&B manufacturing facility

here in Te Tai Tokerau.

The event will take place next Thursday (January 25) at Ngawha Innovation and Enterprise

Park (NIEP) and will include a detailed update of the facility, opportunities for networking and

meeting with the project team, plus talks from food and beverage manufacturing experts.

Far North Holdings Ltd CEO Andy Nock said the hui was a great chance to showcase the

Park’s plans to build the end-to-end manufacturing facility and for the region’s growers and

F&B manufacturers wanting to scale-up without bearing the cost of their own facilities.

“Food and beverage offers the biggest opportunity for growth in Northland and has

significant potential to increase its productivity and grow its contribution to the national

economy,” Nock said.

“With technical support from NZ Food Innovation Auckland, we plan to build an open-access,

scale-up F&B manufacturing facility and associated cool store here at NIEP, which is ideal

for companies already supplying a market, but whose growth is not yet large enough to

warrant the investment in their own premises and equipment.

“While the facility is open access, companies would still need to pay to use it, they’ll just

avoid incurring overheads and costs when not using the facility unlike with a lease.”

Nock added the facility would also provide a place where growers could process their

‘second’s crops’ into higher-value products rather than sending them to compost.

“Locating this at NIEP has the benefit of growers and manufacturers being able to

collaborate to get better returns all-round,” he said.

“Being in an area with high Māori land ownership, the benefits to the local Māori community

are also significant.”

While the facility would fill a gap in the scale-up process, Nock said it was not designed to be

a product development facility.

“The development and market testing of new products will continue to be done through the

NZ Food Innovation Network,” he said.

“The FoodBowl in Auckland is already providing invaluable support to Northland F&B

businesses to scale-up production, to review their processes and increase their business


Whangarei couple Debbie and Nigel Stowe own ‘Vince’- an award-winning, small Northland

food company which produces a dried vegetable mince made from fresh grown vegetables.


The Stowe’s have recently relocated their production operations from their own

manufacturing facility in Whangarei to Auckland and are now utilising the FoodBowl- a

shared manufacturing facility equipped with higher output machinery.


The couple said being able to produce and manufacture their product in Northland without

going to Auckland or overseas to scale up was hugely appealing.


“At the moment we need to use three separate facilities in order to get our product out, so

having something more accessible and in a one-stop-shop would be great,” they said. 


“The capability or facility to scale production for export just doesn’t exist in this country yet,

so most people are forced to go to Australia or Asia.


“Having this type of facility would be huge for us and others around the country and a great

way to attract more talent to Northland.”


CEO of Northland Inc, Paul Linton confirmed Northland’s F&B sector currently created one in

five jobs, with 2022 seeing a 19 per cent growth in beverage manufacturing and 4.5 per cent

growth in food processing in the region.

Despite this high demand, Linton said the region’s productivity had significant capacity for

improvement (12 per cent lower than the national average) and indicated a need to improve

business processing capability through better access to technology.

“With the government’s recent investment in water storage enabling an increased range of

crops, plus the creativity of the region’s many artisanal food producers, this proposed facility

will provide a great opportunity for growers and manufacturers alike,” Linton said.

“We can’t build resilient businesses if they must invest in premises and equipment that would

be underutilised at the early stages of growth.

“This facility will therefore help overcome the challenges of seasonal production and sending

seconds out of the region to process, as well as build business capability and access to

technology not currently available in the region.

“This will also enable Northland to contribute far more to the national economy than it has to



Attendance is free, with lunch provided. Places are limited and registration is mandatory, so

we encourage you to confirm your attendance as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.


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