Kono is a family-owned Māori food and drinks business based in at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, and the families that own the business have connections to the region going back hundreds of years. Kono, (food basket in Māori) is a vertically integrated artisan producer and exporter of award-winning wine, cider, seafood, fruit and natural fruit bars.

At Food&HotelAsia 2018 (FHA), Kono will be showcasing its Tohu and Kono wines, including its Tohu Single Vineyard Awatere Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Kono’s most awarded wine. The company will also be promoting its greenshell mussels, and natural fruit bar – 100 percent fruit content with no added preservatives.

“To prosper, we recognise our environment must be well and healthy, full of life and vitality,” said Rachel Taulelei, Kono CEO. “This is reflected in both our products, and how they are produced. We’re continually looking for ways to make world-class products while being kind to the environment.” Kono’s vineyards are certified by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand, and New Zealand’s green shell mussels are recognised among the world’s most sustainable seafoods.

East Asia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and Kono is aiming to expand its business in this region. The team at Kono pride themselves on developing long-standing relationships built on trust and mutual respect. Being at FHA provides the opportunity to meet senior decision-makers and buyers from key international markets face-to-face. Kono is looking for distribution partners in retail and hotel, restaurant and café channels.

Consumers are increasingly choosing to buy products from brands that they trust are doing the right thing for people and the planet. They also like to know not only what is in a product, but the story behind where it has come from. “Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) is one of the core values that direct our business and our relationship with our environment,” explained Taulelei. “It’s our hope that customers will come to understand our guiding principles and know that products crafted by Kono have at their core a deep and inextricable connection to place. This is reflected by our tagline, love for the land, respect for the sea.”