Tuesday, 19 November 2019 13:55

A fine win for NZ Merino

Written by  Pam Tipa
NZ Merino team celebrate taking the Supreme Award. Photos by Fiona Goodall Getty Images for NZTE. NZ Merino team celebrate taking the Supreme Award. Photos by Fiona Goodall Getty Images for NZTE.

NZ Merino took out the Supreme Award at the 2019 New Zealand International Business Awards.

The annual awards celebrate the success of businesses on the world stage. 

NZ Merino chief executive John Brakenridge says these awards go to their team and board, and the 500 high country farmers, strong wool farmers, Māori agribusinesses and Pamu farms who dare to be different. 

“They are leaning into regenerative agriculture and embracing the notion of wellbeing, not just of people but also of the planet,” he said. 

“We’d also like to acknowledge our innovative brand partners who are taking our special fibre to the world and the Te Hono network who continue to lead the way for agribusiness in New Zealand.” 

The awards are run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

The judges were impressed with how NZ Merino had worked to help shift the entire local Merino industry from volume to value, investing in a design-led approach over multiple years. Their helping many of their partner brands and suppliers to adopt design thinking approaches also impressed the judges.

The company aims to help transform Merino wool from a commodity into a high-value fibre, working with brands to create unique design-led and R&D-based products that incorporate Merino wool and in turn helping growers to get better returns.

Its partnerships include local and global brands Icebreaker, Allbirds, Mons Royale, Rodd & Gunn, Untouched World, Hugo Boss, Fjallraven and Helly Hansen. 

As well as apparel, they have also teamed up for novel products such as US boardmaker Firewire’s Woolight composite surfboard.

The company also won the ‘Excellence in Design’ category, and achieved highly commended both in the ‘Excellence in Innovation’ and ‘Best Large Business’ categories. 

NZ Merino was included in the awards process after winning a Westpac Champion Canterbury Award – one of six regional export award programmes that feed through to the New Zealand International Business Awards via a partnership with ExportNZ.

Thirty-nine of New Zealand’s top export companies and business leaders made it through to the final stage of the awards, a record number. This followed a nine-month application and judging process. 

Now in their 52nd year, the New Zealand International Business Awards are run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and supported by Strategic Partner and ANZ. 

More like this

Meat sector takeover of wool?

A meat industry-dominated group has formed to carry out the recommendations of the Wool Industry Project Action Group report and is ready to lead that change.

Wool outfits to combine

Two wool companies, that handle around one-third of NZ’s strong wool clip between them, are looking to join together in an effort to rejuvenate the country’s struggling wool sector.

A glimmer of hope for NZ strong wool?

A Lincoln-based wool products company believes it offers a glimmer of hope against the increasing negativity currently saturating New Zealand’s strong wool industry.


Longest running ag field days all go

The South Island Agricultural Field Days, held in Kirwee on the outskirts of Christchurch, will celebrate its 70th year in March 2021 with a bigger demonstration area.


New Feds man keen to build

New Feds board member, William Beetham wants the organisation recognised for its significant contributions to NZ farming and society as a whole.


Machinery & Products

New tractor fills the gap

Deutz Fahr has introduced the new 8280 TTV, which is aimed at filling the gap between its current 7 and…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound


OPINION: This old mutt had to have a giggle at the dig Feds recently made at the Green Party in the…


OPINION: Your canine crusader was aghast to read that the prices of zucchini and cucumbers rose more than 30% in…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter