CHERRY BOMB www.foodtechnology.co.nz 51 New Zealand Winegrowers’ acting chief executive Jeffrey Clarke says 165 tickets for the event – held in Blenheim – were snapped up immediately. “This first event is a great way to kick-start Women in Wine NZ,” he says. “Having such a strong turnout for the first event just goes to show how much our members value the initiative.” Clarke says the industry is keen to encourage women into roles of leadership and governance. “We are an innovative industry and it is The allegations include mislabelling of wine from vintages 2011, 2012 and 2013, and the falsification of records. New Zealand Winegrowers acting chief executive Jeffrey Clarke says it is important to note that this is a mislabelling and record-keeping issue, rather than a health and safety issue. “We have been informed about the matter and the allegations, and we know that MPI has been investigating carefully for some time,” he says. “New Zealand proven that diversity – gender, experience, perspectives and backgrounds – contributes to the development of new ideas. If we want to continue moving forward, initiatives that foster a more diverse and engaged industry will only drive our suc- COURT ACTION New Zealand Winegrowers has been advised that MPI has laid charges against Southern Boundary Wines Limited, former directors Andrew Moore and Scott Berry, and winemaker Rebecca Cope, alleging breaches of the Wine Act and the Crimes Act. A mix of pop and pop culture has seen more funding being directed at the cola farmers of Sierra Leone. Cosmo Hawke from Karma Cola and Ray Letoa from the Roxy Cinema in Wellington have brought their creative energies together to make Roxy Cherry Cola, inspired by Hollywood romance and Americana. The fizzy – described as a nostalgia scent with an olden day citrus backbone and a cherry-ness than brings an undertone of tang with sweet vanilla and cola nut – is made with organic ingredients using a cherry concentrate from Turkey, and every bottle sold makes money for the Karma Cola Foundation, which gets cola farmers and their families back on their feet after a 10-year civil war in Sierra Leone. “The foundation supports a lot of initiatives like educating children, building infrastructure, future proofing food supplies and helping people set up their own businesses,” Hawke says. “Ideas that help eight villages become independent through trade rather than dependent on charity.” The foundation has given more than $150, 000 to the people of Boma and Tiwai communities. “We’re into things that taste good, look good and do good and when we get to play with other companies who are just as excited about these things, just like The Roxy Cinema, it makes work a whole lot more rewarding,” Hawke says. cess.” My Food Bag co-founder Nadia Lim, American corporate sustainability expert and writer Sandra Taylor and Australian wine writer and journalist Jeni Port spoke at the event about challenges they have faced in their careers. IT’S THE REAL THING Coca-Cola is expanding its development of all-natural low or no calorie sugar alternatives with the launch of two sweetener challenges worth up to $1.1m aimed at the public and the scientific community. The ‘Sweet Story Challenge’ offers five cash prizes up to $100,000 in total for written anecdotes and videos about their favourite, “tried-and-true” methods of naturally sweetening foods or beverages in their cultures, communities or families. A second challenge is asking researchers and scientists to find a naturally sourced, safe, low or no calorie compound that creates the taste sensation of sugar when used in beverages and foods – with one grand prize winner taking away $1 million in October next year. Coca-Cola senior vice president and chief innovation officer Robert Long says the public winners will be chosen in December. “We’re always searching for newer, better ingredients, and we know that amazing ideas can come from anywhere,” Long says. “These two challenges are very much rooted in our desire to make the drinks our consumers want to drink, and in our willingness to look beyond the walls of our company for breakthrough sugar alternatives that help us deliver the great taste people love but with less sugar and fewer calories.” The two sweetener challenges have been placed on the HeroX crowdsourcing platform. Earlier this year, Coca-Cola announced plans to accelerate its transformation into a total beverage company by reshaping its growth strategy and operating model in line with changing consumer tastes and buying habits. Chief executive James Quincey says the company will focus on driving revenue going forward by building “consumer-centric” brands – including more low and no sugar options and drinks in emerging categories. “We’re seeing what consumers want and making adjustments immediately… because at the end of the day, speed and agility are critical in this rapidly changing consumer landscape.” wineries and grape growers are committed to the highest standards of product integrity and quality, and there are very good systems in place to ensure this. The investigation proves the systems in place work and it is appropriate that this matter is before the courts. The New Zealand wine industry is highly regarded around the world and we cannot let the alleged actions of one winery damage a reputation that we have all worked so hard to build,” Clarke says.
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