24 Jul 2012

Maori food businesses band together

6:30 am on 24 July 2012

Maori food and drink producers are banding together to market themselves under one banner.

Chilli sauce maker Kaitaia Fire and Ringawera, a specialist baker on Waiheke Island, are among the businesses joining the programme, which is called Indigenous New Zealand.

The plan is to sell their goods at home and overseas as part of a collective, while still retaining their individual brand names.

Another member of the group is Aotearoa Breweries, which makes Mata beer.

Spokesperson, Gloria Viitankangas - of Whakatohea descent - says support means better marketing and distribution.

She says it's very expensive for small businesses to market themselves as a company.

Ms Viitankangas says there will be benefits from the initial 18 businesses operating as a cluster, because there'll be one body pushing to get their niche produce into supermarkets.

Indigenous New Zealand will be launched in Auckland on 30 July.