Last month a group of Fonterra supplier petrol-heads swapped their milking sheds for the garage of Supercar driver Fabian Coulthard at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
The exclusive VIP behind-the-scenes access to the Supercar star was part of a Farm Source Rewards sporting experience package organised by Waikato travel broker Kay Humphries. Kay, who accompanied the group, says it was a real ‘bucket list’ moment for the six Fonterra Suppliers as they were ushered in past a long queue of fans and given a private tour of the Coulthard team garage.
“Fabian was due back on the track to race within the hour but he took the time to show them around his garage and answer their questions – they were like kids in a lolly shop!” says Kay, who reports a few Holden fans in the group happily defected and wore Coulthard/Ford shirts for the day.
The Australian Grand Prix trip to Melbourne in March was one of five Farm Source Rewards sporting experience packages available to Fonterra Suppliers. The packages covered some of the world’s top events on the sporting calendar since last November including the Bathurst 1000, the Bledisloe Cup, the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Open and the Australian Grand Prix last month.
All travel packages included flights, transfers, accommodation and event tickets and could be paid for with Farm Source Reward Dollars.
Most importantly though, each package included an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime Farm Source Exclusive element that was not available to the general public.
For Raglan farmers Norris and Janet Peart, who travelled to Melbourne for the Australian Open in January, the exclusive experience was a drink with a retired tennis Majors player Wayne Ferreira of South Africa who dished the dirt on what goes on behind the scenes during a Grand Slam tour.
Long-time tennis fan Janet said the trip, which was organised by Willament Travel, exceeded all their expectations.
“I thought we might one day make it to Auckland to see the tennis but didn’t think we’d make it as far as the Aussie Open,” says Janet. The couple paid for most of their trip with their Farm Source Reward Dollars.
Kay says 70% of the packages she booked were paid for using Farm Source Rewards.
Leeston farmer Christine Donald took up the Farm Source Rewards package to the Bathurst 1000 last October with her husband Pete after receiving a brochure in the mail.
“I had left the stack of mail on the table and that just happened to be on top. My husband thought it was a hint! He is a die-hard Ford Falcon fan and, as it was the last year of the Falcon, we decided to make the pilgrimage.”
Like the Grand Prix package, the Bathurst trip included VIP treatment and a dinner with Fabian Coulthard.
“Getting to meet Fabian was great. The whole trip was just excellent and the highlight is hard to pick – probably the display by the jet plane prior to the start of the big race: A-maz-ing!! We also did the helicopter ride around the track,” says Christine.
Canterbury farmers Grant and Robyn Pinny, travelled to the Melbourne Cup last November.
They used their Farm Source Reward Dollars to pay for the trip, which was also organised by Willament Travel, and Robyn says every detail was taken care of. Even the rain didn’t put a dampener on their experience.
“At 3pm we were sitting in the stand with a glass of bubbles looking down at the birdcage waiting for the gates to open for ‘the race that stops the nation’. It was pretty cool, even the weather knew how to behave as the sun had come out by then,” says Robyn.