A number of important developments are happening at New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds, newly appointed business development manager, Wayne Roberts, is working hard across all aspects of the business from product creation to channel management, pushing this exciting business into a new growth phase.
“Agar was the foundation of this business which dates back to the early 70s,” Wayne explains. “There are families in Hokianga, Ahipara, Kaitaia and the surrounding remote coastal regions who have historically been collecting seaweed for this business.”
“It’s great to see the original families are still able to gain an income from this work and will have more opportunities to do so as our business continues to grow.” In 2013, New Zealand Mānuka Group purchased the existing seaweed processing company based in Opotiki Since then, significant investment has been made into upgrading the facilities, building an additional processing facility in Wairarapa and research & development into new market opportunities.
Over the next few months, an exciting range of garden mulch and bee nutrition products will be launched by New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds, bringing new market and business opportunities for an even brighter future for us all.
“When we collect the Pterocladia seaweed there is a lot of bi-catch which we wanted to find a use for so we have created a garden mulch, a bee nutrition tonic and we are in the process of developing pasture sprays, soil conditioners and other home garden products as well,” says Wayne.
Kōlush Garden Mulch will be available from Palmers Garden Centres nationwide as a Mānuka only or Mānuka + Seaweed mulch (the Mānuka is a bi-product from our oil processing activities). This will be closely followed by Kōbee Bee Nutrition which has been successfully trialled by our own beekeepers last year. Information about these products and our business will be available on our website at www.nzmānukaseaweeds.co.nz.
With a background that spans over 10yrs working for a seaweed business, Wayne clearly has the knowledge and skills to help us make New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds the success we know it can be.
“We want to offer highly ethical, nutritional and sustainable products to our beekeepers, landowners and the public.”