Sustainable is Attainable Hawke's Bay

​​​​​​​Hawke’s Bay grows and processes a huge amount of food, particularly fruit. Some companies are progressing projects to add value to by-products, but many don’t have sufficient internal resources to do this optimally. All businesses are under pressure to improve their performance on sustainability metrics. 

In Hawke’s Bay, the food industry (from the farm to the processor) faces significant sustainability challenges. Consumers, customers, and regulators are all demanding better performance and evidence of that performance. 

Hawke’s Bay’s five councils are investing in a food programme, which will coordinate Hawke’s Bay’s ‘Sustainable is Attainable’ project, alongside and connected to the programme running in South Canterbury, which enables and supports businesses to come together to look for collaborative opportunities that come from combined scale and/or combined waste streams.

Venture Timaru has been running ‘Sustainable is Attainable’, which has demonstrated the value of this approach.  Venture Timaru and its partners are happy to support Hawke’s Bay on this journey, and for us to integrate into the ‘Sustainable is Attainable’ programme as appropriate. 

For more information or to get involved email Dr Nicky Solomon or phone 027 608 2902.

More than 30 Hawke’s Bay businesses are currently committed to the project, which began in mid-November 2021.  The first stage of the project ran over summer 21/22 with three students on the ground in Hawke’s Bay collecting and collating data from participating businesses, with support from 3R Group. Two of the students were funded by Callaghan Innovation, and the third was funded by the Bioresource Processing Alliance. 

From the data collected last summer, several projects have been identified as priorities, based on three criteria:

  • The region has capability to deliver these projects
  • There is high potential for collaboration within the region 
  • The projects will have significant benefits to Hawke’s Bay

These projects are listed below, and we continue to progress them.​​​​​​​

1. Collection of black pallet covering for recycling
2. Recovery and transformation of pallet strapping for recycling 
3. Recovery of bentonite, activated charcoal and fiber from settling tanks for pet/stock feed
4. Off-season equipment utilization
5. Investigation of regional capability vs regional benefits for commercialized wine by-product processing options

1. Recovery of shrink wrap for recycling into NZ products
Organic waste as a feedstock for black solder fly larvae 
Biochar production
Bioenergy production (pyrolysis, biomass, biogas, biofuels)

1. Mobile stabilization process for organic waste for further processing (eg: dry, freeze, ensilage)
2. Process pomace into a powder/fiber ingredient.

We are currently hosting four students under the Sustainable is Attainable Hawke’s Bay umbrella:

  • A Bioresource Processing Alliance funded Master’s Student looking into mobile stabiliation processes for organic waste (University of Auckland)
  • Two Callaghan-Innovation funded students interned with 3R Group in Hastings, looking at three key areas:
    • Diversion from Landfill:
    1. Opportunities to use label backing in worm farms, working with MyNoke
    2. Reducing, reusing, recycling of pallet strapping (potentially in partnership with Hawke's Bay business Waipak)
    • Higher value outcomes for by-products: 
    1. Value extraction from used brewer’s yeast and applications for post-manufacturing sludge
    • Research: 
    1. Pulling together existing research to determine the feasibility of creating a starch ingredient from by-products
  • A Bioresource Processing Alliance funded summer intern working on processing pomace into a powder/fibre ingredient (Massy University)

Businesses can join the programme at any point – the door to the tent will always remain open. Our students are working with businesses to continually update and expand our data. There is no direct cost to businesses for participation at this point, but a time commitment will be required.

We are partnering with Massey University as a portal to relevant research and development expertise and will also benefit from connections with the University of Canterbury Biomolecular Interaction Centre, which has been involved with Venture Timaru from the outset.​​​​​​​