NPNZ’s executive director, Alison Quesnel, says consumer demand for natural products is growing, as is the number and quality of companies servicing it. Ongoing increases in the number and quality of entrants led the NPNZ board to this year introduce the supreme award.
“The natural products industry is a significant contributor to New Zealand’s economy with earnings of over $1.4 billion per annum,” she says. “Adding a supreme award to our annual industry awards is a sign of the industry’s maturity and its positive ongoing evolution,” she says.
Quesnel says entrants in the awards ranged from large FMCG companies through to independent retailers and smaller companies.
Absolute Essential impressed the judges by continuing to build upon its sustainability programme. It also picked up this year’s Label & Litho Sustainability Award, doubling down on 2015’s win.
Its activities included a fundraising campaign which raised a five-figure sum for Nepalese earthquake relief; using personal contacts to deliver emergency food to 90 isolated families;investing in “trade, not aid” by personally overseeing funds allocation, and supporting a family towards their winter roof project.
In addition, the company introduced a range of sustainability measures in New Zealand, including developing more environmentally-friendly store displays and point-of-sale material that generated less waste. It also upgraded product packaging to use 100 percent recycled materials.
“There’s a lot of greenwashing around sustainability, and this is a company that’s totally putting its money where its mouth is,” says NPNZ representative Anna Radford.
Other winners in the NPNZ awards are:
- James & Wells Innovation in Marketing Award: Vitaco Health (NZ)
- Cawthron Institute Innovation in Science & Technology Award: Forest Herbs Research / Phytomed Medicinal Herbs
- NZ Trade & Enterprise Exporter of the Year Award: SeaDragon