75th Jubilee CelebrationsAssociate Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control
Yarrows, the bakers ltd
Ladies and gentlemen, the yarrow family, representatives from the company and invited guests, it is a pleasure to be here with you today celebrating your 75th jubilee, and the opening of yarrow's new administration block and storeroom.
Firstly let me pass on apologies from my colleague and your local mp, shane ardern, who unfortunately due to urgency in the house this week, has been held back in wellington. He speaks highly of your company and has asked me to pass on his congratulations on your jubilee and the opening of these facilities.
It is certainly heartening to see a company that is doing as well as you are, away from the main centres of new zealand.
Manaia, with its 1200-odd population, is no doubt immensely proud of your success and with some justification.
For a start the 110 local people you employ and the more than $110,000 you inject into this community each week no doubt plays a large part in keeping the manaia and taranaki economies healthy.
I'm told yarrows employs more than 200 people in the taranaki, auckland, wanganui, palmerston north and horowhenua regions, and that you earn over $10 million a year in foreign exchange earnings.
That is just fantastic. Even more fantastic is your recent trade nz export commendation.
International demand for your frozen bread dough and butter based pastries just keeps soaring.
The export commendation is timely recognition of your success in diversifying your bakery line. As the member of parliament for banks peninsula, a rural area bordering christchurch, i'm well aware of the sacrifices rural companies need to make today to succeed.
However more companies would do well to follow your example and more particularly your market philosophy:
I quote from the yarrow's company profile, "we are market driven. We endeavour to be entrepreneurial". Admirable sentiments indeed and ones that will keep you on track as one of new zealand's most successful food manufacturing exporters.
New zealand needs more companies prepared to take an entrepreneurial stand, to risk some of what they have, for the potential rewards of higher growth and returns.
Being one of the very few large bakeries left in new zealand that is family owned and operated, you've taken a courageous stand to be entrepreneurial.
I salute you on your courage, and your vision extending and upgrading your facilities in your 75th year. As associate minister for food and fibre, i'm also acutely aware of the changing face of the food and fibre marketplace.
Our rural businesses require, indeed demand innovation, if they are to remain internationally competitive today.
I was interested to read of your partnership with a seattle--based bakery in 1988 that has since led to new export markets in the united states of america, and further afield for your company.
I understand that while you started with an agreement to share technology with the canadians, you have since moved on to jointly produce products, as your combined knowledge is producing better end products. It is this kind of innovation and thinking outside the square that has allowed you to maintain your position as one of new zealand's leading bakeries.
Rural businesses need vision, perseverance, commitment and more than a little flexibility to compete in the global economy.
You definitely have all the ingredients and you've got the mix right. Again I quote from your company profile:
"diversification is our security for tomorrow. Our diversification is a very good reason for your interest in our product varieties."
It's not easy to get to the top of your industry, but you've done it.
The challenge is to remain at the top.
You're doing that as well.
75 years in business, and the more than 300 people gathered here today to celebrate your jubilee and your new extensions, is proof of your success.
Rural businesses, such as yarrows, play a vital part in keeping the lifeblood of rural communities ticking over.
New zealand needs more employers like you, celebrating and maintaining your rural origins, and putting money back into the community.
You can be proud of your endeavours and your efforts in creating employment in this region.
I'm delighted with what you have done and the foresight you have had to develop and grow the company.
I now take great pleasure in unveiling this commemorative plaque to mark this special occasion.