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From ‘waste’ to wonderful – upcycled braziers launch nationwide

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Raglan Food Co upped the ante in its bid to turn the ‘waste’ created in their production process into useful resources.

As a certified Toitū Carbon Zero (shortly Climate Positive) and B-Corp business, Raglan Food Co have a strong ethos around reuse and recycling.

In 2022, plant manager Dave Stoof came up with the creative idea to convert empty coconut cream steel drums into beautiful braziers, incorporating a pōhutukawa design as a nod to the abundance of the trees, affectionately known NZ Xmas trees, found around Raglan.

The resulting brand, ‘Reforged’, has created new jobs for welders/fabricators to join the team, and over time they aim to develop more useful products that give the drums – otherwise destined for scrap-metal – a second life.

The braziers are now available to purchase from selected Bunnings stores across the country.

Raglan Food Co co-founder Tesh Randall was thrilled when Bunnings agreed to stock the Pōhutukawa Ring Brazier in 27 Bunnings Warehouse stores nationwide.

“Having their support for what we’re trying to do around recycling means a lot to us.”

Bunnings national buyer Guy Davies was keen to support a local business.

“It’s a unique product with a great story. We’re excited for our customers to see the new range, made locally and helping to reuse waste in an innovative way.”

Added to this, Raglan Food Co were recently awarded the Outstanding Sustainability Award at the Outstanding New Zealand Food Producer Awards. This is the second time receiving this accolade, after first collecting it in 2020.

Sustainability judges Emily King and Fiona Stephenson recognised that Raglan Food Co continues to raise the bar.

“It’s a leader in its sector and a shining light for others to follow. What stands out is its continuous innovation and commitment to community. Sustainability has been integrated into the way the business operates from the start.”

The judges were particularly impressed by the company’s social initiatives, which include a staff profit share programme, staff health and wellbeing fund, and a local community fund.

Raglan Food Co ongoing focus on innovation includes products as well as other initiatives, such as wastewater treatment.

“It is a truly impressive company that started small with organic coconut yoghurt and is now transforming the dairy-free sector.”

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