A Tauranga business which moved 11 employees from its Auckland operation to the Bay of Plenty has been crowned Business of the Year.
Jenkins Freshpac Systems prints labels for the fruit industry and opened a new purpose-built facility in Tauriko in August, 2013, when it brought its Auckland staff to town.
Last night, Jenkins was named supreme winner of this year's Westpac Tauranga Business Awards.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said he saw a very high standard in entrants, with a strong focus on technology - particularly in the kiwifruit sector.
Other winners were: Waikato & BOP Suspended Ceiling Services; Little Big Events; Tauranga Veterinary Services; Graeme Dingle Foundation Bay of Plenty; Fashion Island; Road Safe Traffic Management; Good Local Pyes Pa; Fern Garden Preschool & Childcare Centre, Voyager Group; Seeka; and Carrus Corp.
Head judge Andrew Hitchfield said, "This year we continued to see local businesses embracing technology as the cornerstone for carefully considered and well-structured strategy and felt that regardless of the original motivation for entering the awards the process ... makes the process beneficial for all."
Jenkins Freshpac Systems Ltd, which also won the Vodafone Embracing Digital Technology award and the YOU Travel Service Excellence award, was touted by judges as having a culture shaped by its long and proud private ownership.
Judges said in a statement that Jenkins had a leading position in the market for labelling and packaging of horticultural products, and continued to focus on this area to the point where it was the clear market leader.
It has been able to keep out larger competitors that are more resourced by focusing on its expertise and superior service offering, judges said.
Locally, the company works with all the large kiwifruit pack houses and Zespri to ensure that processed kiwi fruit is fit for market. Given the bulk of packing is seasonal it was critical that its machines were able to run with minimal downtime which the company ensures it is able to achieve with around the clock technical service, judges said.
Westpac area commercial manager Clare Basire said the awards have always been about taking time out to acknowledge business excellence.
"This is about recognising the smartest, strongest and most sustainable businesses in the community."
This year a new Corporate Sponsorship Award, sponsored by Air New Zealand, has been established to recognise and encourage sponsorship.
Judges said the corporate sector was already extremely generous, without which a huge amount number of events, both sporting, and culture and amenity within the city simply would not happen.
Who won what:
ACC Workplace Safety Award - Waikato & BOP Suspended Ceiling Services Ltd
University of Waikato Corporate Leadership Award - Seeka
Zespri Business Innovation Award - Little Big Events
Vodafone Embracing Digital Technology - Jenkins Freshpac Systems Ltd
Trustpower Customer Experience Award - Tauranga Veterinary Services Ltd
Bay of Connections Social Enterprise Award - Graeme Dingle Foundation Bay of Plenty
Gartshore Retail Interiors Retail Excellence Award - Fashion Island
Toi Ohomai Emerging Business - Road Safe Traffic Management Ltd
Bay Venues Tourism & Hospitality Award - Good Local Pyes Pa
Bay of Plenty Business News Sustainable Business Award - Fern Garden Preschool & Childcare Centre
YOU Travel Service Excellence Award - Jenkins Freshpac Systems Ltd
Powercro Manufacturing &/or Distribution Award - Voyager Group
Air New Zealand Corporate Sponsorship Award - Carrus Corp
Westpac Tauranga Business of the Year Award - Jenkins Freshpac Systems Ltd