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Business Manufacturing

Firm’s proud history of innovation

Kim Stewart Oct 10
Firm’s proud history of innovation
Established in 1950, Betacraft has made a name for itself supplying the rural sector with high quality, functional rain and work gear. The company sees future opportunities in fishing and horticulture.

Wet weather clothing manufacturer Betacraft is continuing a 60 year tradition of innovation with plans for a new strategic innovation team focused on developing ideas into new products to meet the changing demands of New Zealand’s agricultural sector.

Betacraft has been known for its innovations since it was established in Palmerston North in the 1950s.

David Beatson started manufacturing equestrian products and canvas products out of his shed, and soon saw a demand within the Manawatu’s thriving rural community for wet weather clothing.

This part of the business grew very quickly, and soon demanded all of David’s attention.

He sold off the canvas business to Straitline Canvas, which is still operating today in Palmerston North, and continued on with Betacraft .

The next generation was quite strategic, and with the business in the hands of Peter Beatson, he set up some significant contracts with leading rural supply retailers and the Betacraft brand soon became the brand of choice for New Zealand Farmers.

As its relationship with key accounts evolved, Betacraft took another strategic step and moved its operation to Pahiatua in the rural region of the Wairarapa, close to its end users and distributors.

In the 1990s, Betacraft achieved a milestone bringing its Techniflex rainwear to the market.

A first for New Zealand, Techniflex is designed specifically to withstand the rigours of use by New Zealand farmers.

It’s 100 per cent waterproof with ultra-high frequency welded seams, and the garments are manufactured using the latest in European lightweight two-layer fabrics, superior flexibility and stretch up to 50% of its original size, providing the ultimate in comfort and safety.

By 2003, Betacraft had passed on to the third generation of the Beatson family, and while still focusing on producing high quality, functional rain and work wear, also started to lead the way in work wear, supplying a wide range of fleece and casual wear.

The company has worked hard over the past 15 years to develop these ranges to be functional, comfortable, and look great.

In recent years the company has become the exclusive supplier of Bekina PU gumboots, which are three times more durable, lightweight, and comfortable to wear, providing warmth in winter and cool in summer.

Bringing a new product to market is a challenge Betacraft and the Beatsons undertake with enthusiasm and positivity.

“We have been educating farmers on the benefits of these boots over the last two to three years,” says general manager Rueban Beaumont.

“After we launched them for the first time at Fieldays, we had customers coming back two years later to tell us how great they were.”

Rueban knows Betacraft has to continue to evolve, and that its customers rely on his products being 100% waterproof.

He can see future opportunities in fishing and horticulture, as well as new opportunities around technology.

“We are already bringing in technology to help us with distribution and ordering, and how we form relationships with key customers,” he says.

“Next on the agenda for Betacraft is a strategic innovation team so we can continue to evolve and meet the needs of all of our old customers, as well as t he new ones coming in.”