Summer reissue: Rachel Taulelei from Kono

Business Is Boring is taking a break over the summer holidays. We'll be back in the new year, but until then we're we're republishing some of our favourite interviews of 2020. This week: Simon talks with Rachel Taulelei, CEO of Kono.

First released June 4, 2020.

While the full and lasting effects of Covid-19 are still to play out, and things are looking pretty fractious, there are some companies making the very best out of the current situation. One of these is Kono.

Demand for New Zealand produce overseas is currently up. Our country's careful and healthy management of the pandemic has shone a light on our products internationally as people want high quality food and beverage, made with Papatuanuku in mind.

That is exactly what Kono does. It's a whānau-owned Māori food and beverage business led by CEO Rachel Taulelei. They sell food, wine and produce brands all around the globe, from wines you know like Tohu, to Annie’s fruit bars.

Before this role, Taulelei founded Yellow Brick Road, a company selling the best seafood to top hospitality operators, and was NZ Trade Commissioner in Los Angeles. Today she is on the prime minister’s Business Advisory Council, and you might have seen her on one of the Conversations on Covid-19 that the PM was running. To talk about what being whānau owned means and her hopes for the rebuild post-Covid-19, Taulelei joined us on the podcast.

Business is Boring is presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand.


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