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Food hub ready to go

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With the i’s almost dotted and the t’s almost crossed, the construction of Foodeast will be underway by September.

The building of Hawke’s Bay’s Food Innovation Network hub, the sixth in New Zealand, is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

It will be a place of innovation and connection, designed to add value to the region’s food, beverage and agri-tech industry by assisting businesses to develop new products and take them to market. It is forecast to add $100m to the region’s GDP over 15 years, and bring 500 new full-time jobs to Hawke’s Bay.

Heinz Wattie’s non-executive chairman and Foodeast establishment board member Mike Pretty says international demand for New Zealand products is ever-growing, and Foodeast will ensure Hawke’s Bay is at the forefront of innovative food product development.

“Innovation occurs in expansionary and challenging times, and it could be argued that the imperative to find new creative solutions is even more compelling in the latter. The timing of Foodeast, particularly given the challenges of the last year, could not be better.”

The project’s partnership approach will make it a “beacon” of innovation.

“Evidence clearly shows strong collaboration between government, universities and industry can underpin improved levels of innovation and national productivity – look to Denmark and Singapore as great examples,” Mike says.

Most of the project’s administrative requirements are completed and the $18 million funding target has been reached,  including $12m from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund.

“It has been a very involved and meticulous process to get to this point, but the outcome will be game-changing for Hawke’s Bay’s food, beverage and agri-tech industries,” says establishment board chairman Tony Gray.

 

First published by The Profit. Click here to read the full article.