Hark & Zander - Buying and supporting New Zealand Made Products and Businesses
If our new Covid-world has taught us one thing about conscious spending, it’s that old mantra, borrowed from the 1988 campaign: BUY NEW ZEALAND MADE AND KEEP YOUR COUTNRY WORKING! With the realisation that Covid had changed our world forever, we again realise the absolute necessity of buying NZ made. And at Hark & Zander we are wholly committed to the cause. Even before Covid reared its ugly head on our shores we had already established our guiding principles:
- To be 100% Natural
- To be uncompromisingly sustainable and
- To be New Zealand made.
We know the value of supporting NZ business. Our ethos means we extend ourselves beyond the mere token gestures which would ensure we got to wave our metaphorical NZ flag and slap a kiwi on our bottle. Instead, we tread new paths and extend ourselves in ways that are inconvenient or uncomfortable to ensure we are supporting as many NZ businesses as we can.
We are so committed to sourcing organically grown NZ hemp seed for our oil that we had to innovate to get the final high quality oil we needed to make our products. The default oil came from Canada or China and it would have served our purposes: it came in a form that was processed in the way we needed; it was cheaper; it was available immediately. But we wanted to support kiwi growers. The hurdles to do so though were numerous. The hemp we wanted was grown in the fertile soils of Whanganui on the west coast of the North Island. It’s a microclimate for hemp and produces 1-1.5 tonnes of glorious plump oily hemp seed per hectare. Our hemp colleagues were wonderful to work with, but the seed wasn’t in a form that we could use. With a little kiwi ingenuity, the import of a new machine (1st of its kind in NZ) and a whole lot of hard work from the Whanganui team and maybe a little pixie dust thrown in, the oil was delivered to us the day before the production line at the laboratory was ready for us. Our gamble to wait and insist on NZ grown golden hemp seed oil had paid off and with that delivery came much rejoicing!
Our production line
Making our products in New Zealand was a conscious choice. The laboratory and production line based in Auckland is a win-win. We support a NZ business, we get to work with a fantastic team and ensure the quality of our product from start to finish. But there are many others involved in the process: designers, box makers, label makers, bottle suppliers all of whom are the backbone of the NZ economy. It’s kiwis supporting kiwis and it makes a difference.
Hark & Zander
Yes, you guessed it… we are 100% kiwi owned and operated.
For any of us who are old enough to remember those 1988 ads with of lots of happy people waving flags to a catchy (though thoroughly ‘80s) tune, you’ll appreciate the importance of this crazy economic phenomenon that is “Kiwi-Made”. Back then it was a bid to support the manufacturing industries faced with an alarming increase of cheaper offshore alternatives (hmmm not much has changed there!) and to put a Band-aid on an economy which had suffered a whopping 60% value slash from the share market crash. Think Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, David Lange and a whole lot of devastated yuppies.
“Buy New Zealand made and keep your country working!” was the patriotic bid from a desperate government in recession. But it was their greatest hope because they knew that the consequences of our purchasing decisions reached further than just the till ringing up our purchases. Buying kiwi made products meant keeping kiwis in work, it meant profits for kiwi business owners rather than the Mc-Bosses of the newly franchised world, and ultimately it meant all good things for New Zealand itself with a government able to pay off nasty recession debt faster. But late-80s economic theory aside, it also meant more than that – there was good, old fashioned pride of the good variety at stake. We were buying KIWI made for the love of it!
And it’s all the same today. Perhaps it’s even more vital now than it was back then. Not only does a Covid world necessitate it, but we are far more conscious now of how we spend, of knowing the origins of the products we buy, of ensuring our spending makes a difference. We too buy KIWI made for the love of it!