On 24 May, ANZCCJ together with the Japan and Tokyo Chambers of Commerce and Industry co-hosted the Gourmet Food & Wine Garden Party at the Australian Embassy. The night marked the ninth anniversary ANZCCJ had hosted the event, each occasion being hosted in the beautiful Australian Embassy gardens. This year, having moved the event to spring, guests experienced wonderful weather throughout the evening.
The night drew over 270 guests to celebrate enduring business connections between Australia, New Zealand and Japan. ANZCCJ Chair, Sally Townsend, addressed attendees, noting that she had attended the very first Garden Party event working at the Jeroboam booth and was happy to see how much the event had grown. She discussed the advantages that are coming with the CPTPP and noted that there are many upcoming opportunities to promote Australian and New Zealand values such as creating green, innovative, and high-quality products.
She reminded the audience that the Rugby World Cup is only four months away. The rugby theme was present during the event with a rugby themed stage backdrop and with Australian born (Pone Fa’aumusili) and New Zealand born (Anaru Rangi) Melbourne Rebels rugby players in attendance on the night. The players threw five rugby balls as prizes into the crowd, to be kept by those who caught them.
Australian Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Greg Hunt, discussed the AusRally program, noting that in June the embassy will have a Team Australia launch and that the embassy looks forward to working with the chamber over the next sixteen months to promote Australia during upcoming international sporting events. He also reminded guests of the upcoming G20 summit in Japan and the annual business conference to be held in Osaka.
New Zealand Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Dominic Walton-France, spoke of his personal passion for rugby. He described his excitement at how rugby brings people together and puts New Zealand on the world stage. He praised Japanese hospitality and highlighted the fact that various events during the RWC will be a good opportunity to engage with the business community.
A common theme throughout the night was how important it was for all stakeholders to continue building and leveraging on the brand and reputation that Australia and New Zealand have in Japan, especially in the food and beverage industries. This would continue to be important for Australian and New Zealand companies who were seen, to date, as producing high quality, environmentally friendly and innovative food and beverage products.
Guest speaker, Dr Akio Mimura from the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry also shared his anticipation for the upcoming RWC. Dr Mimura noted that he wishes to see finals games with Australia, New Zealand, and Japan participating. He then described the method in which TCCI connects to foreign countries, mentioning that in 2020 they will be sending a delegation to Australia and New Zealand, with members of the Japanese Business Committee travelling next February.
ANZCCJ Chair Emeritus, Melanie Brock, briefly welcomed the crowd, noting the wonderful weather and the fantastic selection of food and beverage on offer. She gifted an All Blacks supporter’s cap and a Wallabies supporter’s scarf to Dr Mimura on behalf of the Chamber, asking that he support both nations during the RWC19. They then provided a joint kampai.
The top door prize for the night – an economy ticket to Australia, flying with Qantas – was won by Taiki Hirata from STH Japan. Other prize winners included:
Takako Ohyabu (Nissan): SEPTIÈME Brasserie & Bar - Voucher for dinner for 2;
Brittany Arthur (Accenture Japan): Ruby Jack's ticket - Voucher for brunch for 2;
Jody Dopper (Sofico Services Japan KK): Arossa Restaurant – Voucher for lunch for 2;
Kenichi Kitamura (Avion International Japan): All Blacks branded sake from Tochigiken, Nikko (Katayama Sake Brewery);
Ross Cooper (Andaz Tokyo): KOB’s selection of organic tea and honey (imported from Queensland);
Achim Wagner (HORITOMI Commercial & Industrial Co., Ltd): Official Wallabies supporter pack (Rugby shirt and cap) provided by the Australian Embassy;
Yoko Kimura (MOD) & Andrew Walker (Panalpina Workd Transport (Japan) Ltd.): 2x Adidas Branded Official All Blacks shirt and shorts set (Japanese Size Large – Male) provided by Adidas; and
Chris Bond & Travis Parman (Nissan): Patties Foods, FourN’ Twenty 2x packs of Party Pies.
The evening was brought to a close by ANZCCJ Food Ag and Hospitality Committee Chair, Tim Barnstable who thanked the vendors for making the evening possible.
Accolade Wines, Don Small Goods, ECN Hospitalities, Fonterra, Patties Foods, Harnet Corporation, Jeroboam, Little Creatures, Murray River Organics, PJ Partners, Rangitoto, Treasury Wine Estates, Village Cellars, and Wholesum Japan all contributed their food and beverage products for the occasion, giving guests a great variety of high quality options to try.