Pet food fac­tory open­ing

Christchurch Mail - - YOUR PLACE - BUSI­NESS

A new man­u­fac­tur­ing fac­tory opened in Christchurch last week to meet the world­wide de­mand for pre­mium nat­u­ral pet food.

Mt Maun­ganui-based com­pany Ziwi cel­e­brated the open­ing of the new fa­cil­ity on Thurs­day with a visit by 20 ‘dog friends’ from na­tional pet ther­apy or­gan­i­sa­tion Ca­nine Friends tak­ing part in a ‘dog morn­ing tea’.

Ziwi is a rapidly-grow­ing $40m ex­port-fo­cused busi­ness.

The coun­try’s largest ex­porter of pre­mium pet food, it opened its first South Is­land oper­a­tion in Burn­ham to en­able the com­pany to dou­ble its ca­pac­ity within the next year and em­ploy more than 30 peo­ple.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Richard Lawrence said Ziwi’s gen­tly air-dried, qual­ity New Zealand freerange meat and seafood has struck a chord with pet own­ers around the world.

‘‘With in­creas­ing pet own­er­ship and a grow­ing aware­ness of pet nu­tri­tion, con­sumers are de­mand­ing qual­ity, nu­tri­tious meals for their pets and this has re­sulted in mas­sive growth for Ziwi and the New Zealand pet­food in­dus­try as a whole,’’ he said.

‘‘This in­vest­ment in Christchurch comes on the back of three years of dou­ble digit growth and sig­nals another ex­cit­ing chap­ter for the busi­ness.’’

Along with the ex­pan­sion into the South Is­land Ziwi has part­nered with ANZCO Foods to form a new joint ven­ture oper­a­tion pro­duc­ing pet treats and oral health prod­ucts. The New Zealand Nat­u­ral Chews and Treats Com­pany will also op­er­ate out of the Burn­ham site to pro­duce a range of nat­u­ral, pre­mium prod­ucts for ex­port mar­kets.

Ziwi was founded in 2004 by a New Zealand cou­ple who shared a pas­sion for pet health and nu­tri­tion, and were look­ing for a more con­ve­nient way for pet own­ers to give their pets the ben­e­fits of a raw diet. Recipes con­tained no ar­ti­fi­cial bind­ing agents, grains or fillers.

As well as dog food, Ziwi pro­duced a range of cat foods as well as treats and ca­nine oral health chews.

The com­pany was still 100 per cent New Zealand owned, with Christchurch’s Ste­wart fam­ily be­ing the ma­jor­ity share­hold­ers.

SUP­PLIED/LOUIS PANG

Dogs tuck­ing in to cel­e­brate the open­ing of the first Ziwi oper­a­tion in the South Is­land.

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