A household Kiwi name has shown its quality to the world. Whittaker’s were crowned Exporter of the Year at the 2021 ExportNZ ASB Wellington Export Awards, in front of a socially distanced and fully vaccinated audience at Te Papa.
“Whittaker’s success, despite a turbulent global environment, and domestic restrictions, shows the best of Wellington’s export community,” said Simon Arcus, Chief Executive of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, which delivers ExportNZ in Wellington.
“After the past year, it’s more important than ever to acknowledge the contribution exporters make to keeping Wellington’s economy running. They have persevered through lockdowns, closed borders and supply chain shocks,” Arcus added.
“Every one of this year’s finalists deserves recognition for their hard work, and Whittaker’s success in international markets shows just how successful Wellington can be.”
ASB’s Executive General Manager for Corporate Banking Nigel Annett said he was impressed by the calibre of this year’s regional finalists.
“At ASB we’re extremely impressed by all of the 2021 ExportNZ ASB Export Awards winners and finalists. Every business involved this year demonstrated their relentless pursuit of an identified market niche, supported by highly developed product innovation. We’re proud to support the range of diverse companies involved in this year’s awards, all doing a remarkable job representing New Zealand on the global stage.”
The judges found that Whittaker’s were set apart by their ability to reorient their product and use data to adapt to new markets, all while remaining true to their values.
The judges were Chair of Business Central Vaughan Renner, NZTE Customer Director Ann Clifford, and ASB International Trade Consultant Paul Gestro.
Whittaker’s, who also claimed the CentrePort Wellington Best Established Business Award, were not the only successful exporter on the night. Peanut Butter maker Fix & Fogg won the Southeast-Asia CAPE Best Emerging Business Award, as the judges were impressed by their rapid expansion into new markets.
Tube perforator manufacturer Sanpro Industries won the WellingtonNZ Excellence in Innovation Award, as the judges recognised the committed customer support and continuous innovation that has allowed the Petone based company to lead its industry worldwide.
Method Recycling claimed the Toitū Envirocare Excellence in Sustainability Award, recognising both their own commitment to sustainability, and the potential of their product to help others on their journey.
Hutt Valley staple Woolyarns claimed the Wellington School of Business and Government Judge’s Choice Award – recognising their exceptional resilience to in navigating a challenging pandemic.
Full List of Winners & Finalists
SEACAPE Best Emerging Business Award: Fix & Fogg
Finalists: Lazulife, Mana Pacific, WashBar
CentrePort Wellington Best Established Business: Whittaker’s
Finalists: ITL, Woolyarns
Toitū Envirocare Excellence in Sustainability: Method Recycling
Finalists: GIVE Packaging
WellingtonNZ Excellence in Innovation: Sanpro Industries
Finalists: Ackama, InternNZ, Snapper Services
Wellington School of Business & Government Judge’s Choice: Woolyarns
ASB Export of the Year: Whittaker’s