CEO of New Zealandís premier Māori food and beverage business to co-lead business delegation during trade mission to Japan

Rachel Taulelei
(Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Rarua, Ngāti Koata), CEO – Kono NZ LP (Kono) will be co-leading, with Sir Graham Harrison, the business delegation during New Zealand Prime Minster Bill English’s trade mission to Japan, from 16-18 May 2017.

Kono is an associated business of Wakatū Incorporation, and is a vertically integrated, family-owned Māori food and beverage producer – an artisan producer, and exporter of award-winning wine, cider, seafood, fruit and natural fruit bars.

“I am looking forward to sharing the rich history of our company and our products, including talking about my deep connection to the company, as a direct descendant of the original landowners. Our goal is to be the best indigenous food and beverage com­pany in the world, while being kaitiaki or guardians of the resources we use,” Ms Taulelei says.

“Innovation, adaptability, and putting our customers at the centre of everything are key to ensuring success. We know that Japanese consumers are sophisticated and expect the best and freshest products, and are increasingly interested in where their food comes from, and how it is produced. Our values, including a focus on sustainability, are integral to our business. These values resonate strongly with the section of the Japanese market interested in premium products.

“Kono currently exports our Greenshell™ mussels, along with our award-winning Tohu wine, to Japan. This trade delegation provides us with the perfect opportunity to further deepen relationships and build new ones, as well as gaining a greater insight into Japanese consumers.

“This visit will help us further understand our Japanese consumers so we can tailor products to their needs,” Ms Taulelei says.

“I am also looking forward to connecting with the indigenous Ainu people. There has been a rich exchange between the Ainu and Māori for many years – we have much to share and learn from each other.”

More information about Kono:

More information about Wakatū:

New Zealand Government’s media release about the trade mission and business delegation -

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