[7 September/The Country]

Virgin Australia announced its final three shortlisted beef suppliers who are in the running to supply their produce to meals on flights from New Zealand to Australia. This was in an effort to compete with Air New Zealand when they become direct competitors in late October. The shortlisted farms were Beaumont Station, Hinterland Foods, and Moreish Limited. Virgin Australia General Manager, Customer Experience and Product, Tash Tobias, said it was impressed with the quality and creativity of the applications. They received more than 45 applications from New Zealand farmers. The finalists would offer produce for new menu items such as beef tagine with cous cous. Its airline caterer was undergoing testing of the shortlisted finalists. Air New Zealand Chief Executive, Christopher Luxon, said its decision to not renew the partnership with Virgin was customer led.