Cedenco wins export award

Gisborne success first year in.

Gisborne success first year in.

Joe Nelson, chief operating officer of Cedenco, with his team, celebrating after winning the ASB Exporter of the Year award last night. Picture by Warren Buckland

Gisborne-based fruit and vegetable grower and processor Cedenco took the top award at last night’s ASB Hawke’s Bay Export Awards.

It was the first time the awards had been opened up to include Gisborne exporters.

Cedenco chief operating officer Joseph Nelson said it was a “real honour” to have been nominated and to have been put through the “challenging” judging process.

“Obviously there are some great companies also put forward as nominees. I know a lot of companies, say that when they get put in the same position, but it truly was a surprise for us.

“We always think our people are really important, they work really hard, they are passionate about what they do but also we’re very customer-focused on those key export markets like Japan, China, Taiwan — and focusing on those customers, focusing on what we do. That’s been a key part of our success.”

Founded in 1986, the business manufactures powders, pastes, purees and individually quick-frozen products from locally-grown crops.

With 80 permanent and 400 seasonal staff, the business plays an integral role in the Gisborne community and economy.

After winning the inaugural T&G Global Best Medium to Large Exporter Award, Cedenco was named ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay ASB Exporter of the Year.

First Fresh judge’s pick, Pultron has unsung hero

The judges said Cedenco impressed them with its investment in market research, customer relationships, and research and development to get their product right for the customer.

“We liked the level of engagement across the wider team in developing the company vision, and the continuous improvement and commitment to innovation was genuinely impressive.

“The factory was well laid out and the effort that was put into health and safety stood out.”

The Judges’ Choice Award was won by Gisborne fruit exporter First Fresh.

Judges said the Gisborne company was “snapping on the heels of the winner in their category”.

“We liked their focus on niche markets, with absolute clarity about how to prioritise markets for entry, and their investment in understanding their customers’ clients, all stood out as praiseworthy — we hope they will enter again.”

A Gisborne woman also featured in a new category for 2018, the Unsung Heroes Award, aimed at recognising the hard work put in behind the scenes of exporting organisations.

Mairead Hart, finance manager at Gisborne’s Pultron Composites, shared the award with Kellie Millar, sales co-ordinator for Future Products Group and Steve Young, business development manager at Napier Port.

T&G Global chief executive Gareth Edgecombe congratulated Cedenco on its win.

“As a major exporter, we understand the complexities of delivering products on time and in optimum condition, and the challenges and opportunities exporting presents.”

ASB’s Mike Atkins said the calibre of finalists had been exceptional across a range of industries.

“ASB is in its fourth year of sponsoring the ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay Awards, and every year the bar is set higher.

“New Zealand companies do an amazing job of excelling on the world stage and this year’s winners really highlight that.”

Business Central chief executive John Milford said he was very impressed by the quality of the candidates.

“Exporters are vital to the lifeblood of Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand, and this year’s awards reconfirm the quality that exists in the region.

“Proof of that is that a Gisborne company has taken the top award in the first year they could enter.”

Winner of the Tomoana Food Hub Innovation in Export Award was Hawke’s Bay’s Rock-it Boards, with the judges describing the business as one of the “unexpected highlights” of the awards.

The winner of the ContainerCo Emerging Exporter was Woodcut Tools, in Napier, which stood out for its “relentless customer focus” in making tools for woodturners.

All category winners are automatically entered into NZTE’s International Business Awards.

  • Established in 1986 by Cedric and the late Dean Witters to process tomatoes, Cedenco has evolved over the past three decades.

Now it manufactures powders, pastes, purees and individually quick-frozen products from locally-grown crops.

It processes apples, onions, pumpkins, sweetcorn, tomatoes, peas and kiwifruit.

At one stage, in 2009, while owned by the US-based Sayler family, Cedenco collapsed into receivership.

In 2010 it was bought by Japanese Food Group Imanaka Limited.

In 2015, the Imanaka Group branched into the aquaculture sector, buying the North Island mussel processing and marine farming interests of Sealord.

Imanaka invested into dairy farming, investing into development of a milk processing plant to make high-value niche products in Kawerau.

Kawerau Dairy is a collaboration between 11 Maori Bay of Plenty entities, which own two-thirds of the venture, and Imanaka’s Cedenco Dairy unit, which owns the remaining third.

They expect the first stage of the $32 million project to begin operations early next year.

In April this year Cedenco bought the major apple processing assets and business of ENZA Foods Ltd.

The acquisition included all operations at the Hastings site and the food ingredients facility in Nelson.

Gisborne-based fruit and vegetable grower and processor Cedenco took the top award at last night’s ASB Hawke’s Bay Export Awards.

It was the first time the awards had been opened up to include Gisborne exporters.

Cedenco chief operating officer Joseph Nelson said it was a “real honour” to have been nominated and to have been put through the “challenging” judging process.

“Obviously there are some great companies also put forward as nominees. I know a lot of companies, say that when they get put in the same position, but it truly was a surprise for us.

“We always think our people are really important, they work really hard, they are passionate about what they do but also we’re very customer-focused on those key export markets like Japan, China, Taiwan — and focusing on those customers, focusing on what we do. That’s been a key part of our success.”

Founded in 1986, the business manufactures powders, pastes, purees and individually quick-frozen products from locally-grown crops.

With 80 permanent and 400 seasonal staff, the business plays an integral role in the Gisborne community and economy.

After winning the inaugural T&G Global Best Medium to Large Exporter Award, Cedenco was named ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay ASB Exporter of the Year.

First Fresh judge’s pick, Pultron has unsung hero

The judges said Cedenco impressed them with its investment in market research, customer relationships, and research and development to get their product right for the customer.

“We liked the level of engagement across the wider team in developing the company vision, and the continuous improvement and commitment to innovation was genuinely impressive.

“The factory was well laid out and the effort that was put into health and safety stood out.”

The Judges’ Choice Award was won by Gisborne fruit exporter First Fresh.

Judges said the Gisborne company was “snapping on the heels of the winner in their category”.

“We liked their focus on niche markets, with absolute clarity about how to prioritise markets for entry, and their investment in understanding their customers’ clients, all stood out as praiseworthy — we hope they will enter again.”

A Gisborne woman also featured in a new category for 2018, the Unsung Heroes Award, aimed at recognising the hard work put in behind the scenes of exporting organisations.

Mairead Hart, finance manager at Gisborne’s Pultron Composites, shared the award with Kellie Millar, sales co-ordinator for Future Products Group and Steve Young, business development manager at Napier Port.

T&G Global chief executive Gareth Edgecombe congratulated Cedenco on its win.

“As a major exporter, we understand the complexities of delivering products on time and in optimum condition, and the challenges and opportunities exporting presents.”

ASB’s Mike Atkins said the calibre of finalists had been exceptional across a range of industries.

“ASB is in its fourth year of sponsoring the ExportNZ Hawke’s Bay Awards, and every year the bar is set higher.

“New Zealand companies do an amazing job of excelling on the world stage and this year’s winners really highlight that.”

Business Central chief executive John Milford said he was very impressed by the quality of the candidates.

“Exporters are vital to the lifeblood of Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand, and this year’s awards reconfirm the quality that exists in the region.

“Proof of that is that a Gisborne company has taken the top award in the first year they could enter.”

Winner of the Tomoana Food Hub Innovation in Export Award was Hawke’s Bay’s Rock-it Boards, with the judges describing the business as one of the “unexpected highlights” of the awards.

The winner of the ContainerCo Emerging Exporter was Woodcut Tools, in Napier, which stood out for its “relentless customer focus” in making tools for woodturners.

All category winners are automatically entered into NZTE’s International Business Awards.

  • Established in 1986 by Cedric and the late Dean Witters to process tomatoes, Cedenco has evolved over the past three decades.

Now it manufactures powders, pastes, purees and individually quick-frozen products from locally-grown crops.

It processes apples, onions, pumpkins, sweetcorn, tomatoes, peas and kiwifruit.

At one stage, in 2009, while owned by the US-based Sayler family, Cedenco collapsed into receivership.

In 2010 it was bought by Japanese Food Group Imanaka Limited.

In 2015, the Imanaka Group branched into the aquaculture sector, buying the North Island mussel processing and marine farming interests of Sealord.

Imanaka invested into dairy farming, investing into development of a milk processing plant to make high-value niche products in Kawerau.

Kawerau Dairy is a collaboration between 11 Maori Bay of Plenty entities, which own two-thirds of the venture, and Imanaka’s Cedenco Dairy unit, which owns the remaining third.

They expect the first stage of the $32 million project to begin operations early next year.

In April this year Cedenco bought the major apple processing assets and business of ENZA Foods Ltd.

The acquisition included all operations at the Hastings site and the food ingredients facility in Nelson.

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