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ASB to boost food and fibre sector with new programme for high-potential exporters

Tuesday 3 October 2023, 9:32AM

By ASB

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ASB has today launched ASB ACCESS, a new programme to accelerate the export growth of established high-potential food and fibre businesses, through access to debt capital alongside advice, connections and expertise.

ASB ACCESS will support food and fibre exporters that are at a critical scale-up phase, taking a broader approach to lending, beyond traditional thinking and measures of risk and returns.

ASB Chief Executive Vittoria Shortt says: "We are aware of many innovative, ambitious and sustainably minded Kiwi exporters that are ready to take the next step and need the capital to do this.

“In establishing ASB ACCESS, we’re thinking differently about how we can change to meet the needs of the businesses of the future. This programme is about being more flexible and supporting our food and fibre entrepreneurs based on the potential we see in them and their businesses.

“For example, we are in discussions with producers of plant-based foods, alternative proteins, microalgae nutrition and agri-technology from around Aotearoa. With the backing of ASB ACCESS these high-potential exporters can scale to meet market demand.

"ASB has a purpose to accelerate progress for all New Zealanders, financially, socially, and environmentally, and ASB ACCESS is one of the ways we are looking to do this, by taking a more purpose-driven approach to lending.”​

Eligible food and fibre businesses will be backed with advice, connections and support with international trade, and ASB is working alongside government agencies, industry groups, local business accelerators and global innovation platforms to facilitate this. ​

“New Zealand produces high quality products from the land and sea, and we are committed to working with producers to ensure this value is captured in a purposeful and environmentally sustainable way. Through ASB ACCESS we’re partnering with our customers to help them grasp the economic and global potential that lies ahead,” says Rebecca James, Executive General Manager, Business Banking.

​The programme will initially be piloted with around six eligible businesses, with a view to expansion if the pilot proves successful.

Food and fibre businesses that would like to talk to ASB about their eligibility for the programme should email ASBaccess@asb.co.nz to register their interest.