ENVIRONMENTALLY SUPPORTIVE FIRMS TAKE WEST COAST HONOURS
HOKITIKA-BASED SPHAGNUM moss distributor Coastpak Besgrow won the Supreme Award at the 2018 Development West Coast Leading Light Business Excellence Awards, held at Shantytown in October. The 30-year-old family-owned company also took out top honours for medium-sized businesses, winning the Crombie Lockwood prize.
Coastpak was commended for its sustainable practice of managing, harvesting and processing sphagnum moss from West Coast swampland, before selling its product to customers across New Zealand and around the world.
The sphagnum moss is primarily used for orchid growing but is also used in floristry, and many other industries where water retention and humidity are important. DWC chief executive Chris Mackenzie says the honour was well deserved. “At the peak of the sphagnum moss industry there were close to 40 exporters in the region. Most of them are no longer operating, yet Coastpak is not only surviving but going from strength to strength. They’ve managed to thrive by adopting leading manufacturing management processes, developing value-add products, and embracing scientific approaches to sustainably manage their resources.”
Chief judge Stephen Caunter described Coastpak Besgrow as a standout, along with the winner of the Greymouth Star Rising Star Award: West Coast Scenic Waterways Retreat.
“Both businesses are using resources from the natural environment. They demonstrated the essential need to work with land owners an/or government agencies to run a successful business.
“They also took seriously the need to protect what they are using, so have become guardians of the environment in the world in which they operate.”
Mackenzie was impressed by the calibre and diversity of the finalists. “For a region with just over 30,000 people we constantly punch above our weight.”