Fruit sticker ap­ple of judges’ eye

En­vi­ron­men­tally friendly la­bel makes the grade at Young En­ter­prise awards night

Havelock North Village Press - - News -

A wa­ter-sol­u­ble, en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly fruit sticker that will re­duce waste and en­cour­age con­sumers to wash their fruit is this year’s Young En­ter­prise Scheme Com­pany of the Year.

For the past eight months, Wood­ford House stu­dents Sarah Wixon, Mag­gie Pea­cock, Zoe Rookes and Rylie Bense­mann have been hard at work in the science lab per­fect­ing their prod­uct Bayu­ble.

De­spite all their hard work, they were “sur­prised” to be­come the Hawke’s Bay re­gional cham­pi­ons.

Their idea stemmed from con­ver­sa­tions around plas­tic bags and the re­cent move by su­per­mar­kets to ban them.

“Our first idea was to have an al­ter­na­tive plas­tic plas­tic bag, but we looked to Hawke’s Bay and thought how can we per­son­alise it to where we are from,” CEO Sarah Wixon said.

The “pesky lit­tle stick­ers” might seem use­less at first glance but are im­por­tant, con­tain­ing a price lookup num­ber (PLU) so the fruit is eas­ily iden­ti­fied by check­out staff.

Pea­cock said “no one had been of­fer­ing so­lu­tions”.

They hope their plas­tic-free, biodegrad­able sticker idea will rev­o­lu­tionise how fruit is la­belled. And while the make-up of their sticker ma­te­rial is a trade se­cret, it uses a byprod­uct of ap­ples.

Wixon said it re­quired an “in­ten­sive amount” of test­ing, and a num­ber of pro­to­types never made it.

Al­though the stu­dents are in their fi­nal year of high school, they are all study­ing de­grees which have busi­ness el­e­ments and plan to con­tinue with their fledg­ling com­pany.

“Since we are still in the re­search and de­vel­op­ment stage, we hope to con­tinue our test­ing and look for­ward in to the fu­ture of Bayu­ble to see what we can do, how we can make our prod­ucts bet­ter and ex­pand our prod­uct range. This is not the end.

“We all have a pas­sion for busi­ness, so it will al­ways be a part of our lives, no mat­ter what we do.”

The team’s men­tor is Dean Preb­ble, a for­mer New Zealand trade com­mis­sioner in Tai­wan, who re­cently set up the Hawke’s Bay An­gels in­vest­ment group.

They say Preb­ble’s in­put and feed­back has been price­less and he has pro­vided them with valu­able con­tacts as they have re­searched their project.

“We’ve built up a lot of con­nec­tions in the in­dus­try through our re­search, which has in­cluded dis­cov­er­ing there have been al­ter­na­tives to fruit stick­ers, in­clud­ing a fruit tat­too (done through laser­ing).

“We looked into that and dis­cov­ered that laser­ing the fruit can leave it blem­ished, which de­tracts from its vis­ual ap­peal,” they say.

Wood­ford’s head of busi­ness stud­ies and di­rec­tor of in­no­va­tion, Toni Dun­stan, in­cor­po­rated the YES pro­gramme into its newly in­tro­duced level three busi­ness stud­ies course.

“What I love about this course is the ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing and the in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary na­ture.”

YES Hawke’s Bay re­gional co­or­di­na­tor Karla Lee said 65

teams from 15 schools in the re­gion came up with an idea of a prod­uct or ser­vice, did mar­ket re­search and then took it to mar­ket.

The stu­dents com­pleted three YES chal­lenges which de­ter­mined the top six teams in the re­gion.

The top six Hawke’s Bay teams were Em­pressa Cen­tral (Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay Col­lege), MyTapp (Wood­ford House), Pon­cho Me (Iona Col­lege), Project Ran­gatahi (EIT Busi­ness En­ter­prise Unit), Light­ning Lock (Hast­ings Chris­tian School) and Bayu­ble.

Two Hawke’s Bay teams won na­tional ex­cel­lence awards this year: Ge­orge by St John’s Col­lege and Hawke’s Bay Prison’s Letz Lead.

The Bayu­ble team will rep­re­sent Hawke’s Bay in Welling­ton on De­cem­ber 6.

PHOTO / DUN­CAN BROWN

Wood­ford House’s Rylie Bense­mann (com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor), left; Zoe Rookes, (mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor); Mag­gie Pea­cock (op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor); Sarah Wixon (CEO) won the Hawke’s Bay YES Com­pany of the Year.

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