Technology focus of Tauranga Business Awards

The battery-powered fully-autonomous robot system on-orchard for preliminary trials. Photos: Supplied.

This year’s Tauranga Business Awards had a strong focus on technology, particularly in the Kiwifruit sector.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce CEO Stan Gregec is delighted to announce the winners of the Westpac Tauranga Business Awards 2018, with this year seeing a “very high standard of entrants”. 

“This year we continued to see local businesses embracing technology as the cornerstone for carefully considered and well-structured strategy and felt that regardless of the original motivation for entering the Awards the process which combines rigour us internal review and external assessment, makes the process beneficial for all,” says Head Judge Andrew Hitchfield.

The strength of the Awards sits with the high calibre of judges who all put in hours of time and expertise to visit each entrant.

Their feedback on their assessment is regarded as one of the strong benefits to entering the awards. 

This year’s Westpac Business of the Year is Jenkins Freshpac Systems Ltd, who also won the Vodafone Embracing Digital Technology. 

The culture of Jenkins Freshpac has been shaped by its long and proud private ownership; it has a leading position in the market for labelling and packaging of horticultural products, and continued to focus on this area to the point where it is the clear market leader.

It has been able to keep out larger competitors that are more resourced by focusing on its expertise and superior service offering.

Locally, the company works with all the large kiwifruit pack houses and Zespri to ensure that processed kiwi fruit is fit for market.

Given the bulk of packing is seasonal it is critical that its machines are able to run with minimal downtime which the company ensures it is able to achieve with around the clock technical service.

This year saw the introduction of a new award sponsored by Air New Zealand for Corporate sponsorship, which is a way of recognising and thereby encouraging sponsorship.  The corporate sectors contribution comes directly off their bottom line, and so it is important to acknowledge this contribution.

The Corporate sector is already extremely generous, without which a huge amount number of events, both sporting, and culture and amenity within the city simply would not happen.  It would be very difficult to quantify the amount that is contributed through the corporate sector, but if you were doing the sums on the back of a postage stamp, it would be safe to say it was in the millions.  Imagine for a moment a world without that contribution. 

While the dollars of contribution is extremely important, this award was not just about that, it was also the support, the voluntary hours, the understanding of how important it is to give back that factored into this award.

The finalists were nominated all of whom have been extremely generous over the years and it was not an easy category to judge, and there are seven company’s we would like to acknowledge in this section for their generosity to the region. 

The seven finalists were Holland Beckett Law, Craigs Investment, Farmer Motor Group, Lysaght, Realty Group, Metro Marketing with the winner being Carrus Corp. 

The business recognised for their Corporate Leadership this year is Seeka, The company has evolved over the years from a post-harvest business to New Zealand’s largest kiwifruit grower and specialised supply chain management company that has operations around New Zealand and in Australia. The company has also faced tough economic conditions when PSA devastated the kiwifruit sector but has come out the other side with renewed vigour and a drive to become more than just a kiwifruit service company.  Seeka is one of the largest post harvest companies in New Zealand operating in the Bay of Plenty, Northland, Coromandel and the East Coast. It is also a very large kiwifruit grower in its own right.  The company packs kiwifruit, avocados and kiwi berry

primarily for export. It is crucial that fruit is packed efficiently to ensure that it arrives in pristine condition so that growers can achieve high prices.  Market Capitalisation $103m (approx.), Total assets $283.7m, Asset backing $6.61 per share (as at 30 June 2018) , Annual revenue Dec 2017  $186.8m  $5.90 Historical Gross Dividend yield 6.07%  Seeka packs around 20% of New Zealand’s export kiwifruit and is the largest provider of management services for kiwifruit orchards. It is the largest grower of kiwifruit in New Zealand and Australia.

“Westpac are extremely proud to be associated with an event that recognises outstanding business achievement, both here in Tauranga, and across New Zealand,” says Clare Basire, Area Commercial Manager.

“The Westpac Tauranga Business Awards have always been about taking time out to acknowledge business excellence – this is about recognising the smartest, strongest and most sustainable businesses in the community. 

“Congratulations to the 2018 Westpac Tauranga Business Awards winners – we’re sure this is a stepping stone to even greater business success.”

The Chamber of Commerce thanks all their amazing sponsors for supporting excellence in business in the business community, and congratulates all the entrants in the Westpac Business of the Year.

Listed below the winners and finalists of the Westpac Tauranga Business Awards 2018:

ACC Workplace Safety Award

Winner Waikato & BOP Suspended Ceiling Services Ltd

Commended     Vertical Horizonz NZ Ltd

Finalist  Road Safe Traffic Management

Finalist  Jenkins Freshpac Systems Ltd

Business Innovation sponsored by Zespri

Winner Little Big Events

Finalist  Exceed Franchising Ltd

Embracing Digital Technology sponsored by Vodafone

Winner Jenkins Freshpac Systems Ltd

Commended     Exceed Franchising Ltd

Customer Experience  Award sponsored by Trustpower

Winner Tauranga Veterinary Services Ltd

Finalists                Jenkins Freshpac Systems Ltd

Finalists                Exceed Franchising Ltd

Social Enterprise sponsored by Bay of Connections

Winner Graeme Dingle Foundation Bay of Plenty

Retail Excellence sponsored by Gartshore Retail Interiors

Winner Fashion Island

Emerging Business sponsored by Toi Ohomai

Winner Road Safe Traffic Management Ltd

Finalist  Quentosity Ltd

Finalist  Little Big Events

Tourism & Hospitality sponsored by Bay Venues

Winner Good Local Pyes Pa

Finalist  Little Big Events

Sustainable Business sponsored by Bay of Plenty Business News

Winner Fern Garden Preschool & Childcare Centre

Finalist  Adam Taylor Architecture

Finalist   Exceed Franchising Ltd

Service Excellence sponsored by YOU Travel

Winner Jenkins Freshpac Systems Ltd

Finalist  Quentosity Ltd

Finalist  Exceed Franchising Ltd

Finalist  Vertical Horizonz NZ Ltd

Manufacturing &/or Distribution sponsored by Powerco

Winner Voyager Group

Finalist  AJC Distribution Ltd

Finalist  A1 Benchworx

Corporate Leadership sponsored by The University of Waikato

Seeka

Corporate Sponsorship sponsored by Air New Zealand

Winner Carrus Corp

Finalist  Holland Beckett Law

Finalist  Craigs Investment

Finalist  Farmer Motor Group

Finalist  Lysaghts

Finalist  Bayleys

Finalist  Metro Marketing

Westpac Tauranga Business of the Year

Winner Jenkins Freshpac Systems Ltd


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