Tonnes of carrots for a good cause

Carrots, anyone?

A Queenstown company has 10 tonnes of organic carrots to give away to schools, charities and people in need, at two different locations in the lower South Island.

Organic Solutions owner James Porteous got his hands on the huge amount of BioGro certified organic carrots from Willowmere Organic Farm, a 300-acre property in Hororata, just outside Christchurch.

Organic Solutions often buys produce from the Canterbury farm, to supplement the 16 organic crops grown on its own organic Oamaru farm. But, in this case, Willowmere didn’t have time to sort through the tonnes of carrots picking out the good and getting rid of the bad, and were planning to dispose of the lot.

That’s where the Organic Solutions team came in. Once James found out they were destined for compost, he knew he could make something work. Willowmere offered him an amazing deal he couldn’t resist, and his staff soon began sorting through the carrots.

Traditionally Organic Solutions buys about one tonne of carrots a month, so the current haul is nearly a year’s worth all at once.

The carrots are currently for sale at Thai2Go Queenstown and Thai2Go Timaru, both owned by Organic Solutions, for the small price of $10 for 5kg. But schools, charities and people going through a tough time are being encouraged to pop in and pick some up for free.

“Because we have so many organic carrots available at once we want to offer them up to good causes,” says James. “This way they don’t go waste and it might brighten up someone’s day.

“Wasting food really goes against our ethos at Organic Solutions, so whatever we can’t use will be sent to our worm farm and turned into worm castings.”

Carrots will be used in both Thai takeaway locations and distributed to some Queenstown restaurants with which Organic Solutions has business relationships.

The bulk of the carrots are being stored in Oamaru and are available for the next few weeks in Queenstown and Timaru, if not sold or given away before then.

Carrots 101 – all you need to know

  • Carrots are one of the most sprayed and chemically grown crops in New Zealand
  • Organic carrots usually retail at $7.99 a kg because all weeding has to be done by hand
  • Carrots are about 10% carbs, consisting of starch, fibre and simple sugars
  • Extremely low in fat and protein
  • Excellent source of Vitamin A (beta carotene)
  • Linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease
  • Improved eye health
  • Bugs Bunny loves them

Organic Solutions owns and operates Thai2Go Queenstown, Queenstown Wholefoods, Oamaru Organics, Thai2Go Timaru and Worms to Waste.

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Cancer Society Ball returns to Queenstown

After a three-year hiatus Queenstown’s local Cancer Society is bringing its annual fundraising ball back to life.

On November 23, the Queenstown Memorial Centre will wind back the clock to the 1920s for a Great Gatsby Ball raising funds for the charity.

The Cancer Society of New Zealand – Southland/Otago Division event is proudly sponsored by Naylor Love among a long list of other generous businesses.

Tickets cost $165pp and include a delicious dinner from local catering company Flying Trestles and complimentary refreshments, followed by an evening jam-packed with entertainment.

Cancer Society Event and Community Campaigns Co-ordinator Shantelle Cockroft-Gerken says it’s going to be a night to remember.

“There will be more than just a traditional ball and dinner – it’s going to be an evening bursting at the seams with divine food and amazing entertainment with an incredible line-up of local talent.

“We really hope the community rallies around us for this event because money raised goes straight back into Otago and Southland services, it’s not dispersed throughout the country.”

She says there’s already people enquiring about tables for end of year Christmas events.

A jazz band will kick off the evening followed by local stand-up comedian Hugo Huntington, comedy duo Wando and Simoe performing their interactive ‘magic’ show, music from RED Entertainment and a 1920s-style interactive, demonstration performance from Salsa Queenstown.

Cancer campaigner Blair Vining’s brother Shaun will speak during the night.

A selection of canapés and refreshments will be offered to guests at the beginning of the evening, followed by a banquet feast, finishing with a dessert platter. A cash bar will available on the night.

A range of items will be auctioned off including a premium economy return flight package to anywhere in Europe for two people, kindly donated by Singapore Airlines.

The ball runs from 7pm till late at the Queenstown Memorial Centre on November 23. Up to 23 tables of 10 are available, individual tickets $165, table of 10 $1650.

Tickets on sale from September 26 via Shantelle Cockroft-Gerken on [email protected]

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Go Orange named Deloitte Fastest Growing Services Business two years in a row

The awards keep coming for Queenstown and Fiordland tourism operator Go Orange.

For the second year in a row, it was announced today (Thursday September 26) that Go Orange has been named the Fastest Growing Services Business in Dunedin and the lower South Island by Deloitte.

Go Orange won the same award for the first time last year, with revenue growth of 209%, and went on to rank 37thon the national Deloitte Fast 50, announced later in the year.

“It’s an outstanding result for any company to be recognised for its contribution to the continued growth of the New Zealand business economy, but to do it two years in a row is exceptional,” says Go Orange General Manager Luke Taylor.

“We’re absolutely stoked with this latest award which recognises the hard work and dedication of our team across all our businesses in Queenstown, Te Anau and Milford Sound.”

It’s been a year of fast-paced success and industry accolades for Go Orange.

Less than two weeks ago it was named AWS Legal Fiordland Tourism Operator of the Year 2019. Within the past year Luke Taylor was named TIA emerging Leader of the Year, and Go Orange was a national finalist in the Humankind Employee Experience Awards.

Go Orange is also currently nominated as a finalist in the best tour/activity category of the Australia & New Zealand Adventure Tourism Awards 2019 and is an entrant in the innovation category. The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of tourism businesses in both countries.

The latest results are all the more remarkable for a tourism brand that was formed just over two years ago with the merger of a number of Queenstown businesses. It re-structured from a solely backpacker-focussed brand to one which aligns with a much wider range of travellers and demographics.

It delivers outstanding New Zealand visitor experiences with cruising, whitewater rafting, jet boating, kayaking and coach connections in Queenstown, Te Anau, Milford and Doubtful sounds.

In the past year it has launched a new Milford Haven cruise experience in Milford sound, a Go Orange jetboat experience, a bespoke Unimog fleet for rafting experiences, a new coach fleet and a new Queenstown ferry service.

“Our mantra is ‘Go Beyond’, inspiring and challenging visitors to become travellers, to go deeper, further and beyond the average tourist, and I’m incredibly proud of our team who have built an adventurous, fun and innovative brand,” says GM Luke Taylor.

Go Orange will attend the 2019 Deloitte Festival of Growth in November, where the national Deloitte Fast 50 index, national category winners, national Rising Star winner and national Master of Growth index are announced.


M: 027 337 7907 

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Pioneering Ziptrek Ecotours founder finalist in top New Zealand tourism awards  

Pioneering Ziptrek Ecotours founder finalist in top New Zealand tourism awards  

From architecture to guiding, outdoor education to tourism, with a degree of self-deprecation Trent Yeo says he “wandered with purpose” into the tourism industry.

Ten years down the track, what he’s achieved in setting up pioneering zipline company Ziptrek Ecotours, in tandem with multiple roles in industry organisations, events and working groups, on boards, as a speaker, facilitator, participant or host, is now being recognised.

This week he has been named a finalist in the prestigious New Zealand Tourism Awards in the Emerging Tourism Leader category, recognising his work as an outstanding tourism professional.

The Queenstown-based multi-award-winning Zipline Ecotours is celebrating ten years in business this year, as the pioneers of ziplining in New Zealand and a recognised leader in business innovation, eco-tourism and sustainable business practice.

At its heart, it’s an eco-tourism company, aiming to educate and inspire others towards long-term environmental and sustainable practices. And Trent could not be more proud of what the company has achieved.

“Ziptrek Ecotours is now woven into the Queenstown’s deep tourism heritage,” he says. “Tens of thousands of people every year now hear a story of humanity’s link to our natural world.

“I am passionate about travel as a multiculturally influenced Chinese-Malaysian-Australian proudly in Aotearoa. The effect of empathy of places and people through travel is profound, and tourism has to be of ‘net good’ for the individual, community and planet.”

Trent says the value he brings to the wider tourism industry is as a generalist, a collaborator and with connections outside tourism.

“I’m optimistic and macro-focussed, simultaneously patient and impatient about delivering with more impact. I’m in tourism because it counts, because tourism is an investment in people.

“This may seem grand, but the emotional component of tourism is the most powerful aspect of tourism; the experience economy. We must transform thinking around humanity’s role in sustainability.”

Much of Trent’s value to the industry is through tourism and across other sectors, such as technology, startups and future focussed projects.

Forty percent of his time is spent on unpaid work, direct and indirect tourism and ‘extracurricular’ work on a national or local level, as a business leader and citizen.

“I’m very proud to be a finalist in the awards and to be a part of this amazing industry of people in Aotearoa,” says Trent. “There are some outstanding finalists in all categories and I’m looking forward to the awards night in October.”

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VisitorPoint celebrates new tourism industry partnership

VisitorPoint celebrates new tourism industry partnership

A new tourism business partnership between New Zealand’s top brochure distribution company and Australia’s leading online booking platform is being hailed as a ‘win win’ for the travel trade.

VisitorPoint, New Zealand’s only national distributor of tourism information, has joined forces with global travel-tech group, Adventium Technology.

VisitorPoint BDM Stacey Scott says the new partnership, which aligns specifically with Adventium’s TravelDesk product, has amazing synergies and benefits for both businesses.

VisitorPoint currently distributes over 3,500 brochure titles from New Zealand tourism operators throughout the country. The new arrangement will mean all current and future users of the Adventism TravelDesk booking platform throughout Australia and New Zealand will have a seamless platform on which to order stock through VisitorPointOnline.

“Rather than requiring independent log ins, users will be able to click a button while within TravelDesk and choose the stock they’d like to order,” says Stacey.

“They’ll be dispatched within 24 hours from one of our three warehouses in New Zealand, meaning accessing stock has never been easier. As new outlets come on board, they’ll be automatically given log ins so there’s no delay in accessing the titles we manage.

“It’s fantastic news for TravelDesk outlets, but also for our operators as it means more than 600 outlets in Australasia now have access to their print collateral at the click of a mouse, and consumption is measurable through our client reporting system.”

Ms Scott says TravelDesk has a range of benefits for VisitorPoint outlets as it is a simple booking system, enabling them to generate revenue by booking national and international travel products from their brochure displays.

Adventium Technology’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Selina Kelly, says “We are dedicated to providing the content and functionality our travel agents need into the TravelDesk system to give them greater efficiency and make their lives easier. Both TravelDesk and VisitorPoint are focused on supporting agent and operator growth throughout the region, making this a great partnership for us and our clients.”

About VisitorPoint

VisitorPoint is New Zealand’s only national distributor of tourism information, having distributed brochures throughout New Zealand for more than 30 years.

It operates three warehouses in Christchurch, Auckland and Queenstown equipped with full teams of warehouse staff working in tandem with 19 merchandisers, as well as sales and marketing and senior management teams.

It is a company that likes to innovate — last year it introduced live online reporting for its clients, and it supports print companies which share its sustainable print visions.  It has over 2000 physical display outlets throughout New Zealand and operates 38 distribution circuits.

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