A leading honey manufacturer and exporter has been awarded a prestigious prime ministerial scholarship and is setting his sights on alternative product markets.
100% Pure New Zealand Honey chief executive Sean Goodwin is considering international market opportunities after receiving a 2016 Prime Minister’s Business Scholarship.
The scholarship could enable him to develop his management and leadership skills by undertaking an international business school course for half price.
Goodwin chose Stanford University’s executive programme ‘Be A Leader Who Matters’ because it targeted innovation, new products and design.
“It’s really focused on how do you take those new products and develop them for the international market,” Goodwin said.
“The future of the New Zealand honey industry is very much about new products.
“It’s about how do you get a higher return from honey through skin care, medical products and probably products we have not thought of yet.”
He hoped the six week course starting in late June would help him build up the knowledge and contacts to break into different facets of the honey market.
High grades of Manuka honey were “too expensive” for eating, but using it for skin care or medical products would be an opportunity to grow their market, he said.
The business’ honey-producing capacity has grown by half recently, following additional planting, and “we have scope to go higher than that if we need to”.
This could mean more jobs in the future as well as partnerships and combined-ventures, but he planned to continue to run them from the plant in Timaru.
The exporter has already been approached by international organisations, including businesses in China and India, that were interested in different products.
This move would provide additional revenue for the business and the beekeepers, who would earn more for higher quality produce, he said.
The honey industry was going through a growth phase with plenty of competitors established in the market, Goodwin said.
The future of honey was positive and it would continue to be with good management, he said.
A large government and industry-partnership planting programme would see higher grade Manuka grown in the near future, he said.
Economic development Minister Steven Joyce said the size of the New Zealand economy and distance from overseas markets could present a challenge for businesses wanting to enter international markets.
“The Prime Minister’s Business Scholarships are a one-off opportunity for these executives to expand their horizons and turbo-charge the growth of their companies,” Joyce said.
More than 70 executives have received scholarships since they were established in 2010.
Applicants must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents working for a NZ-based registered company, which is looking to internationalise or intensify its operations overseas.