Internationally there is a growing demand for products that are natural, healthy, and produced sustainably. The team at Onetai Station are looking to capitalise on this trend with their new food spread.
Onetai Station, a 1450-hectare sheep and beef farm in Awakino, has a strong track-record in sustainable farming practices. For the past five years Onetai has been trialling a combination of emission-reduction initiatives including reducing stock rates, planting native trees, restoring waterways, and reducing chemical fertiliser use. During this process they saw an opportunity to create a sustainably-produced product that combined two of New Zealand’s biggest exports – milk and manuka honey.
Corrie says Onetai’s milk and honey spread has many uses. “It can be spread on toast, drizzled on cereal, used as a desert topping, or mixed to make a hot drink. We’re also looking into its potential as a sport supplement – there are lots of options.”
Over the past year Corrie and the Rise Taupō team have been designing and building an export-grade dairy factory in Taupō. “As a team we are focused on investing in the Taupō district. We have used local suppliers for the factory construction, and local professional services including marketing, banking and legal support. We have also been talking with Miraka about supplying our dairy ingredients. It’s important that our product story is authentic – we want all parts of our production and marketing to be based right here in Taupō” says Corrie.
In the future the aim is to create a destination visitor experience in Taupo. “We want to attract visitors from around the world to the Taupō district. They can come and taste our products, connect with our team, and experience what this region has to offer” he says.
The team at Rise Taupō have received strong local support during the factory design and build process. “Organisations like Enterprise Great Lake Taupō have been really encouraging. They’ve helped connect us to local suppliers, and made us feel welcome in this community. Kylie and Rick are always available to talk through any issues that crop up - we’ve found it really easy to get things done” he says.
Although the COVID-19 national lockdown has caused delays, production of the new Onetai spread will be starting within the next few weeks. “We’re just putting the last finishing touches on everything, and then we’ll be up and running” he says.
Taupō District Mayor, David Trewavas, recently visited the Rise Taupō factory at Rakanui Road and said he was impressed by the investment and scale of the operation.
“It is always pleasing to welcome new business and industry to the Taupō District,” says Mayor David. “The team at Rise Taupō have created a unique and delicious new food product that will be proudly exported and branded as made in Taupō. I wish them well with the product launch and the commencement of production.”