Former Westland Milk chairman Pete Morrison says Yili’s new ownership represents a significant milestone for the former co-op and the start of a new era for the dairy industry on the West Coast.
The Hokitika-based company – New Zealand’s second biggest dairy cooperative – has made the finals with a design profile that takes the proud tradition of West Coast farming families to the world. They’ve personalised their brands with stories, videos, photos, packaging and creative about real farms and real people who have a passion for the products they produce.
The design category judges looked for the best use of design to succeed in a global marketplace. Entrants had to have achieved success by integrating design into their business model, with a high degree of design competency across their products, services, environment and culture. Westland’s entry focused on design of both the company brand and its flagship consumer brand Westgold, and how both have been developed with an international audience in mind.
Head of marketing Charlotte Sullivan says Westland is delighted to make the finals of New Zealand’s top international business awards in a category that is so intrinsic to selling New Zealand to the world.
“At the core of much or our design is the fact that we’re a cooperative company, which means that our people, and particularly our farmer shareholders, are front of mind when we are considering design; especially for our brands,” says Sullivan.
Sullivan says that good design is about more than making a product look attractive.
“Strong design also provides us with a platform to develop more value-added products as part of our strategy to add more value to our milk here in New Zealand. This supports Westland’s drive to move up the value chain, producing more high-end products that can generate better returns for the co-operative and our shareholders.”
Another great aspect of the whole project, Sullivan says that while it included international teams it was driven from New Zealand by New Zealand talent.
“With a very small in-house marketing team, we work very closely with our design partners – be they researchers, brand strategists or actual designers. And for us building these long term relationships is easiest done when we are able to spend time together. Q Brand Agency in Christchurch has worked with Westland for the last six years, leading design across our brands. Much of our beautiful design work can be attributed to them.”
Winners of the New Zealand International Business Awards will be announced at an evening function on November 24 at the SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland.